Japanese Tattooing also referred as Irezumi is arguably one of the richest and oldest forms of tattooing. Despite a difficult and complex situation due to political regulations, Japanese Tattooing still influences the whole tattoo community around the world.
Given the very high status of the Japanese tattoo culture, here at World Tattoo Events we were extremely thrilled, when one of the very few Japanese Tattoo Supplies called Bunshin Tattoo Supply decided to became our official sponsor in early 2019.
They supply all the major international tattoo brands within the Japanese market, including World Famous Tattoo Ink, Bishop, After Inked and more. But more interestingly Bunshin also sells internationally a carefully selected collection of Japanese books and publications under a separate branch called Hayabusa Books.
One of the most notable books in their collection which they actually publish themselves is the Japanese Traditional Tattoo Designs by Horikoi.
This is an amazing book of designs from Horikoi I a tattooer who has lived and worked in among the Yakuza for many years, who received his name from Horiyoshi III. The work is of the highest quality of traditional Japanese tattoo design. A truly inspiring book and an absolute must for all into Japanese tattooing. The book contains primarily full colour plates, but also has smaller sections of line drawings and photos of his work.
Irezumi (hence Japanese traditional tattoo) is based on Ukiyoe, which is a genre of Japanese art in edo era. This couldn’t be shown in the museum. It is definitely different from other arts.
Working in Toyohashi, Aichi, Horikoi I is self-directed learner and his skill is outstanding, especially vibrant dark edge and vivid color.
Even though it should not be talked about that, he used to be Yakuza (Japanese gangs). Because of Yakuza, Irezumi has been developed uniquely and flourished as a secret art. They pursued and refined their dynamic desire.
Under living in severe condition as yakuza, Horikoi learned and practiced Irezumi. It is impossible to imitate that magnificence if you just study. His working style is different. He uses his own hand and well-used machine.
From stencils he drew for customer, you could feel Irezumi alive equal in the real one. Although, originally, not so many tattoo artists spread their artwork out, this photo collection shows a lot of stencils which Horikoi I created for over 30 years.
“Bunshin-Rensei-Tonsyo (文身道練成屯所)” would be the first book of Horikoi I and has been released proudly and sincerely.
*“Bunshin-Rensei-Tonsyo (文身道練成屯所)” is the name of his workshop and inherited from Horiyoshi III, who is a friend of him and has a longer career.
Knowing his gratitude for such long years, we believed the best title is “Bunshin-Rensei-Tonsyo (文身道練成屯所)”.