21 Jul
NOWNESS visits the tattoo sensei's studio in Yokohama

Master Japanese tattoo artist Horiyoshi III (born Yoshihito Nakano) first became stunned by the artistry of tattoos after running into a fully inked Yakuza at a bathhouse as a boy. After seeing the gangster’s shocking full body suit, Horiyoshi III was inspired to learn the craft himself, and at the age of 25 earned a prestigious apprenticeship under his mentor Horiyoshi I. He has since grown to become the most revered tattoo artist in Japan, one of his great abilities being the mixing of traditional Japanese techniques of tattooing (with real bamboo sticks, for the color) with the selective applied use of Western technology (tattoo guns for the outlines). Moreover, he never draws a sketch of the tattoo first, favoring illustrating on his subject from his imagination as he goes. As described by NOWNESS, who visited his quiet studio in the port city of Yokohama: “Horiyoshi for the most part draws the tattoos freehand on the body, using an electric needle for the outlines and traditional bamboo tools for filling in color…Horiyoshi considers each symbolic figure, dragon or floral motif as a component of one great masterpiece — for which clients will pay tens of thousands of dollars, making weekly, hour-long visits over the course of several years to obtain an indelible, corporeal artwork.” Although the video is more ambiance than documentary, it gives you a subtle peek at the working philosophy of a focused artist.

No Responses to “A Peek Into the World of Revered Japanese Tattoo Artist Horiyoshi III”

  1. Edwin Nishi says:

    Can you give me information on were Horiyoshi III tattoo studio is located at in Japan? Address, phone number, etc.? Thank you!

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