Tattooing for spiritual and decorative purposes in Japan is thought to extend back to at least 10,000 BC. [text via wiki]
From the Book “ Irezumi Decorated with Honor” by Makoto Kubota
For the past six years, acclaimed Japanese photographer Makoto Kubota has photographed dozens of practitioners of the ancient Japanese art of “irezumi.”
#japanesetattoo #tebori #handpoke #handpoketattoo
It started 7years ago
Edo Firemen! (Edo Period- 1603-1868)
The firemen, or hikeshi (火消し), were known to have tattoos, and popular subjects would often be of the dragon, whose element of water was thought to protect the firemen from flames. The firemen donned heavy coats when they went to fight fires, but so that their company could be identified, the outsides of the coats consisted of geometric patterned coats and kana symbols corresponding to which company they belonged (i.e. ‘Ha’ group would have a ‘ha’ kana on the coat). But after they put out the fires, they would strut through town and reverse their coats. The inner part of the coats had designs as intricate as tattoos themselves and ukiyo-e prints. These pictures here are dramatized kabuki actors in roles of firemen with coats already reversed, but Edo firemen coats actually were decorated profusely on the inside.