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The Japanese Yakuza Tattoo Art. Is it reserved only for the Japanese?

Look ma, someone knocks at the door

Some people of other cultures have adopted the japanese tattoo style

Today, Japanese tattoos are no longer only associated with criminals, they are proud of many types of people with their beauty, fluid composition and deep meaning. There are some Japanese tattoo style images and symbols used to convey specific meanings such as: B. Personal beliefs, character traits and even aspirations. These design elements, called “patterns,” are meant to show the meaning of the tattoo to the person who sees it.

Modern tattoos in Japan are mostly done in a similar manner to Western tattoos. Unlike traditional irezumi, where designs are largely decided by the artist, customers can bring a design of their choice or choose whatever they want in-store. In addition to traditional Japanese tattoos, many Japanese artists are proficient in a variety of styles, giving clients the opportunity to choose from a variety of styles.

Traditional japanese tattoos are only for members of the yakuza crime syndicate

Wearers of traditional tattoos often keep their art a secret because tattoos are still considered a sign of crime in Japan, especially among the elderly and in the workplace. It is for this reason that many gangsters and other criminals avoid tattoos.

Aside from actors, firefighters, and samurai, another group in Japan known for their penchant for tattoos is the Yakuza. Active since the 17th century, this criminal organization is known in the West for its secrecy, the practice of yubitsume (cutting off fingers as an act of penance), extreme wealth, and tattoos. In gangs, tattoos are one of the ways members demonstrate their wealth, loyalty and commitment to the group, as well as their courage. For Yakuza members, tattooing is very personal and the relationship with the tattoo artist is crucial. Some tattoo artists, such as Yokohama-based Irezumi artist Horiyoshi III, have been known to tattoo many yakuza members. In 2017, VICE asked Horiyoshi why yakuza liked being dyed by him, and he replied, “Yakuza always want the best…they want to look good, so that’s where they come from.”

Japanese tattoos are known for their intricate and colorful art

One of the most popular styles of tattoo art, Japanese tattoos have a rich history filled with meaning and purpose derived from Japanese culture. Japanese-style tattoos were originally developed as a way of conveying social status and providing symbolic protection through spiritual devotion.

Patrons of the ink proudly wave their traditional Japanese tattoos in festive festivities. Most tattoos you’ll see cover a large portion of the wearer’s body, from the shoulders to the ankles and knees. While these types of tattoos are often associated with yakuza partners, this event simply showcases the craftsmanship that goes into these intricate designs.


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