JAPANESE TATTOOS | Born To Ride Motorcycle Magazine - Motorcycle TV, Radio, Events, News and Motorcycle Blog


Published on June 1, 2016 under Blog

History • Culture • Design

by Brian Ashcraft with Hori Benny


“A well-researched book offering great information about the modern world of Japanese tattooing with a firm respect for the traditions that it comes from.”

—Doug Hardy, second-generation American tattooist

Japanese Tattoos explains the imagery featured in Japanese irezumi (tattoos) so that readers can avoid getting ink they don’t understand or, worse, they’ll regret. This photo-heavy book traces the history of Japanese tattooing, putting the iconography and kanji symbols in their proper context so readers will be better informed as to what they mean and have a deeper understanding of irezumi. Tattoos featured range from traditional tebori (hand-poked) and kanji tattoos to anime-inspired and modern works—as well as everything in between. For the first time, Japanese tattooing is featured in a visually attractive, informative, and authoritative way.

Along with more than 350 full-color photos, Japanese Tattoos features interviews with tattoo artists* on a variety of topics. What’s more, there are interviews with clients, who are typically overlooked in similar books, allowing them to discuss what their Japanese tattoos mean to them. Those who read this informative tattoo guide will be more knowledgeable about Japanese tattoos should they want to get inked or if they are simply interested in Japanese art and culture.


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. www.horibenny.com

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