Tuesday, March 10, 2009

emma- japanese Irezumi

The Japanese have been using Irezumi since around 10,000 BCE during the Jomon or Palaeolithic period.Like most cultures at the time many believe that the first designs were cord-markings put onto the faces and bodies. In 300-600CE during the Kofun period the main designs were Branding of slaves and unfaithful wives also prisoners similar to roman traditions phrases such as "I am a slave who has run away from his master" Were popular.

In 1600-1868 CE the Edo period, the art of Japanese returned and the designs involved Dragons and other Mythical beasts, flowers, tigers, characters from old stories of bravery plus religious symbols and sayings.
Widely Popular Japanese Tattoo Designs
Not only the style of Japanese tatoos is unuseual but also the subjects used makes it unique.

Kanji is the calligraphy style letter writing method used by the Japanese. It’s a wildly popular choice among those seeking Japanese style tattoo designs. By using Kanji, you can easily create and display nearly any message you want. Some popular Kanji characters translate into words like: Happiness, Wealth, Love, Lovers, Laughter, Sadness, Beautiful, Duty and Loyalty.

Inspired by Life
The Japanese culture as a whole has a deep respect and reverence for nature and life. Taking time for tasks such as meditation, calm walks, and admiring the cherry blossoms as they fall is expected, if not exactly required. Therefore, much of their art and creativity has been inspired by their local flora and fauna.
Popular Animals
Popular animal subjects in Japanese tattoo designs come from all sorts of categories. They often portray the animals in the Chinese horoscope: the dog, the rat, the rooster, the dragon, the tiger, the goat, the horse, the pig, the ox, the monkey and the snake. In addition to these creatures, Chinese dragons, gibbons, spiders, fish (like the very popular koi fish); birds and foxes are commonly featured Japanese pictures. If you’re looking to make a truly breathtaking design, consider the octopus, a bonsai tree, or cherry blossoms.
And don’t disregard the supreme animals, humans. More than in most other cultures, human subjects abound in the Japanese art. Masked people, warriors, ladies, young girls, geisha, samurai, and the ancient gods and goddesses make popular appearances in Japanese designs.
A japanese woman with a full body tattoo. Depicting a man and dragon during a battle.

A man with a full body religious tattoo.
The process of Irezumi, most people cannot complete their tattoos because of the pain.
Man with the traditional blue and black with small amounts of red.
A man with a Tiger and flower design in less traditional colours 

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  1. Wow! There amazing. There like walking, living, breathing arts of art. Completely captivating.

  2. hi emma, its chris from tafe.
    cool post! love the designs that the ancient japanese irezumi created! it has obviously changed the whole fate of tattoo design in modern day as we know it. super cool post. respect.