The Japanese Tattoo (Horimono)


As the power of the common people of Japan grew in the latter half of the Edo period (18th and 19th century CE) horimono, or traditional Japanese tattoos, began to flourish as an art form. Based on images from watercolour paintings, woodcuts and popular picture books of the time, the ultimate reward for the long endurance of pain would be a tattoo of immense beauty. To fully understand Japanese horimono it is important to understand their history and background, and it is equally important to continue to preserve the tradition behind them. © National Geographic

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