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HomeLatestJapan's 'cool' tattoo tradition displays altering values

Japan’s ‘cool’ tattoo tradition displays altering values

Tattooing has a protracted and complicated historical past in Japan. Its lineage could be traced to facial designs on haniwa, historical clay collectible figurines relationship from the fourth and fifth centuries, but it surely was additionally used to punish recidivist criminals, who have been humiliated by having their foreheads inscribed with 4 strokes composing the ideogram for “dog.”

From the late 18th century to the mid-Nineteenth century they have been used concurrently as punishment marks and as trend statements amongst legions of laborers, rickshaw-pullers, sushi cooks, artisans, Kabuki actors and ladies of the pleasure quarters.

Aside from their ornamental perform, tattoos have been usually worn as safety towards evil spirits or pure disasters. Firefighters have been loyal patrons of tattoo artists, who offered them with water-themed imagery, frequent motifs being carp, water dragons and waterfalls. Japanese literature is peppered with references to irebokuro — pledge tattoos worn by lovers, courtesans, and promiscuous monks. The novelist Junichiro Tanizaki wrote that guests to the leisure quarters of Edo (a former identify for Tokyo), “preferred to hire palanquin bearers who were splendidly tattooed.”
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