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The Japanese traditional tattooing art has evolved throughout the centuries and it is still kept and practiced in the modern times. It is very popular in Japanese society, not only in Japan but also in other Asian countries, such as Korea, China and Thailand.
Tattoos are usually applied for cosmetic purpose and to commemorate an event, like a marriage or death of a loved one. The most common reason for getting a tattoo is to enable the wearer to show his bravery, courage and loyalty to his family, friends or country.
The first time that the word “tattoo” appeared in print was in 1769, when James Cook brought it back from Tahiti. In Japan tattoos were used even before then, though that particular term was unknown to them. How did they call it then? They called it irezumi which means “insertion of ink”. The process of tattooing has been refined through the years and nowadays new methods are used for this purpose.
The traditional Japanese tattoos can be categorized into four groups: The most common one is the irezumi which is done as an art form; there is also shizumi which is done by geishas (female entertainers) on their wrists; then there are bokkei which are great
In the early 16th century, a samurai named Oda Nobunaga brought Japan its first unification in over a century. His success has been attributed to his innovative military strategies as well as his use of firearms, which gave him an advantage over his rivals. It is said that he also brought about this change because he foresaw the demise of the samurai class, which was due to the coming industrial revolution.
Tattooing became popular among criminals and outcasts. During the Edo Period (1603-1867), tattooing was banned for all but criminals, who were forced to wear their yakuza tattoos as a mark of shame. In recent times, however, tattoos have regained popularity and are common amongst all classes in Japanese society.
The Japanese character for tattoo is irezumi (入れ墨), which means “insert ink” or “imbedded ink.” The word itself is made up of two kanji: 入(ire) means to put something inside and 墨(sumi) means ink or pigment. To this day, tattoos are still worn by yakuza members as proof of their toughness and endurance. They are also popular among young Japanese women and men as they are believed to be cool
Tattooing has been practiced in Japan for at least two thousand years. The first tattoos thought to be found in Japan were the clay figurines from the Jomon period (around 1000 B.C.). Circa 400-300 B.C., these figurines began to depict tattoos on their faces, hands and arms.
The Ainu, an indigenous people who live in Hokkaido, had facial tattoos as well as tattooed hands and arms, legs and sometimes even heads. These tattoos are believed to have been associated with power, beauty and good health. The Ainu are also known for their love of body modification, for both men and women would bind their feet to make them as small as possible and insert plugs into their earlobes.
The first recorded instance of Japanese tattoo was from 5 B.C., when a Chinese traveller named Xu Fu described men with tattooed faces, hands and arms living on the islands of Bungo province (modern day Kyushu).
Japanese tattoos were traditionally applied by hand using a steel needle dipped into ink made from soot and water. The process was slow and painful; the tattooist would pierce the skin repeatedly until the desired pattern was completed.
As time passed, methods changed but still focused
The tattoo has an important role in Japanese culture. Japanese tattoos have been a popular form of body art for many centuries. In the past, these tattoos were used to protect the wearer or to provide a visual identity to the wearer.
Today, this form of body art is also used to decorate the body of the wearer. These tattoos are created with various symbols and images that represent different meanings depending on their purpose. For example, a koi fish tattoo symbolizes good luck while a crane tattoo symbolizes longevity and perseverance.
Tattoos can be found everywhere on the human body including back, chest, arms and legs. However, the most popular placement for these tattoos is on the arm just below the shoulder or wrist area.
The people who wear these tattoos in Japan are not only men but women as well. The Japanese women who choose to wear tattoos also place them on their arms just below their elbows and wrists.”**
The Japanese tattoo (also referred to as irezumi) is one of the most ancient forms of body art in the world. It is said that the first Japanese tattoo artist (or Irezumi) was Horitaka in the beginning of 9th century. This art form has a long history, which, even though it does not have official documents, its history begins with the arrival of Buddhism in Japan. The Buddhist priests and monks, who came from Korea and China to spread their religion, also brought with them their culture and traditions. In addition to religious practices and beliefs, they brought with them the practice of tattooing or Irezumi.
Tattooing was very important at the time because it was considered a method to purify or cleanse the mind and soul of bad feelings or habits.
The original meaning of this practice was not so much artistic as therapeutic.
The first tattoos were made with ashes, water and charcoal and were used by both men and women to keep evil spirits away from the body. Over time, however, this practice evolved into an art form practiced by highly skilled masters who were able to create works of great beauty on their client’s bodies.
The Japanese believe that Irezumi help purify and protect these warriors from