Item description for A History of Japanese Body Suit Tattooing by Mark Poysden & Marco Bratt...
* Traces the history of the practice and artistry of body suit tattooing in Japan. * Highly illustrated: color and b/w photos and illus throughout
Tattooing has had a long and sometimes dark life, particularly in Japan. The practice of punitive tattooing has existed for at least two thousand years globally. Japan was the last country to abolish it, in 1870. As elsewhere, the Japanese covered these marks of shame with decorative tattoos. The decorative designs became more elaborate as their popularity increased, largely as a reaction to strict sumptuary laws. Tattooing was repeatedly abolished, without effect. Even today, it is illegal to display tattoos publicly in Japan.
In Japan, tattoos are primarily associated with the yakuza---organized crime. A History of Japanese Body Suit Tattooing traces the origins and development of the Japanese yakuza, ranging over their pre-WWII history, samurai and Bushido influences, the darker side of Tokugawa rule, and gambling connections and describing what happens when a highly regulated society disintegrates.
The book then discusses the artistic influences on these designs. While acknowledging the impact of Kuniyoshi's famous print series on the art of tattoo, this book concentrates on other print artists who depicted tattooed heroes and kabuki actors. For instance, it profiles the tattoo artist Horikazu of the Asakusa district and includes numerous examples of his sketches and work, with explanations of Japanese motifs and techniques. It also comprehensively covers the history of the Asakusa temple complex and the Sanja Matsuri, the Shinto festival held in Asakusa which is a showcase for full body-suit tattoos adorning members of the various yakuza gangs who reside in the district.
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Reviews - What do customers think about A History of Japanese Body Suit Tattooing?
A quality read for those looking for information on Irezumi Dec 23, 2007
I had to write a paper for my Japanese Pop Culture class on the history and current events of Irezumi and I have to say, with all the research I put into it this book won out over competitors such as Bushido : Legacies of the Japanese Tattoo, and The Japanese Tattoo. To a certain degree this book repeated its facts however it was necessary in some sections to give more details. Overall I was quite satisfied with the huge volume of information on the history, actual tradition insofar as physical tattooing and the culture around tattooing in Japan. Definitely the BEST buy for the Japanese Tattoo (Irezumi) enthusiast.
Very thorough Sep 24, 2007
This book was extremely well written and very thorough. It's an excellent history of the traditional Japanese skin suit.
Deserving of ongoing mention for any arts collection providing comprehensive coverage of tattooing art Jun 9, 2007
Deserving of ongoing mention for any arts collection providing comprehensive coverage of tattooing art is A History of Japanese Body Suit Tattooing, which explores not only the art involved, but the social and political forces which evolved Japanese methods from prehistoric to modern times. Connections between tattooing and cultural influences are rare, making this a top pick for not only college-level arts collections, but for any college-level holding strong in Japanese history and culture.