Japanese Tattoos: History * Culture * Design

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Japanese Tattoos not only peers deep into the nuances of Japan’s tattooing history, but also takes a look at its current fusion with pop culture and shows us where it’s heading.” —Shinji Watanabe, editor-in-chief, Tattoo Tribal magazine

I can think of no better guide to take me through another element of Japanese art with far more ancient roots: tattooing. This book brings a respect and reverence that the sacred and timeless art of ink deserves.” —Xeni Jardin, Boing Boing

Ultimately, Japanese Tattoos brims with the authors’ respect and love for the craft, occupying a curious space somewhere between field guide and coffee table book.” —The Japan Times

As informative as it is beautiful, Japanese Tattoos takes you from the very beginnings of what was until recently an underground and taboo art form, to the modern practitioners who have carried on a long tradition of storytelling and beauty.” —Scotti Hill, guitarist, Skid Row

Japanese Tattoos is as much a book about the art form as it is about Japanese culture. As it traces the earliest history of getting inked in the country and moves into modern times, it reveals the cultural and spiritual meaning of popular tattoo motifs, explores the traditional and modern techniques that Japanese tattoo artists have used over the centuries, and reveals the ways in which East and West are influencing one another when it comes to contemporary tattoo culture.” —Tokyo Weekender

A rare insight into the world of tattoos in Japan. This book is filled with visuals of this breathtaking form of art—some of which you would only be able to see if you were brave enough to ask the person to strip.” —Danny Choo, founder, Culture Japan and Smart Doll

This book gives you great insight into the beauty, mystery, and tradition of the Japanese tattoo. It’s a delight to read and a worthy addition for the collection of any Japanophile.” — Jake Adelstein, Tokyo Vice

The bottom-line coolness of Japanese Tattoos is the world it opens up. This is imagery rarely seen by anyone, Japanese or foreigner.” —Tofugu

About the Author

Brian Ashcraft is a senior contributing editor for the video-game site Kotaku. Ashcraft was previously a contributing editor at Wired magazine; his work has also appeared in Popular Science, the Guardian, the Japan Times, and the design journal Metropolis, as well as numerous other publications worldwide. He is the author of Arcade Mania! and Japanese Schoolgirl Confidential. Originally from Texas, he has called Osaka home for well over a decade.

Hori Benny was born in Minneapolis and moved to Japan in 2002. Two years later he settled in Osaka and began a tattoo apprenticeship at Chopstick Tattoo. In 2014 he formed his own studio, Invasion Club, near Osaka’s otaku cultural center in Nipponbashi. He does custom work in a variety of genres.

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Art History (Books)

Asian History (Books)

Body Art & Tattoo

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