Tattoos have been part of the culture of Japan for thousands of years. Japanese society’s relationship with the tattoo – and the tattooed – has evolved throughout history. In recent years, many younger Japanese people have begun embracing tattoos as fashion statements, like people do in many western countries. However, there remains a group of traditional Japanese tattoo artists who look at body art as something more than fashion – something spiritual and deeply personal. One of those traditionalists is Horimyo, a Japanese “tebori” (done-by-hand) tattoo artist.
Horimyo works out of a small studio in the Saitama area of Tokyo. While most tattoo artists today use tattoo machines, all of Horimyo’s art work is applied by his own hands. The entire process – from design to mixing inks to the actual creation of the tattoo on the body using bamboo – is done by hand, using traditional methods that have been passed down from masters to apprentices over generations.
There aren’t many Japanese tattoo artists still working in the traditional tebori method, so we felt very lucky to get a chance to visit Horimyo’s studio. Horimyo allowed us to film his work on a large tattoo. He also took time to tell us about why he strongly believes in traditional Japanese tattoo and the power of art made by hand. In addition to the video, please check out the photos of Horimyo’s tattoos below.
Horimyo – Traditional Tebori Tattoo Studio Visit & Artist Interview Video
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The Tattoo Art of Horimyo – Photo Gallery
We would like to thank Horimyo for taking the time to talk to us and for allowing us to film his very personal work.
If you would like to know more about Horimyo, see more of his work, or even talk to him about possibly creating a tattoo for you the next time you’re in Tokyo, please check out his official website.
All photos and video produced by 1K Films/Anthony Knight.
1K Films is a full production independent video company working in both the US & Japan. For more info, check out the 1K Films & Anthony Knight Photography website.