THE HISTORY OF TATTOO IS HARD TO RECOUNT EVENTHOUGH IT’S AN ANCESTRAL PRACTICE WE CAN’T PLACE IT’S ORIGI
The art of japanese tattoo
The art of japanese tattoo got several names: irezumi or horimono. Irezumi is the name for the traditional tattoo that covers large part of the body like the back. Thanx to the influencve of confucianism and buddhism on the japanese culture, the japanese art of tattoo has a negative connotation for the main part of the japanese people. In he eyes of a japanese the tattoo is considered as the mark of a yakuza (a memeber of the japanese mafia) or a macho symbol of the inferior classes.
History of the artistical tattoo
Archeologists believe that the first settlers of japan, the Ainu people, used facial tattoo according to some chines docmuments concerning Wa people (chinese name for their japanese neighbours). Those reports are approximatly 1700 years old. For the higher chinese culture tattoo was a barbarian action. When buddhism was brought from china to japan and with it the the strong influence of the chinois culture, getting tattooed became a nagative action. Criminals were tattooed to punish them and to identify them in society.
Tattoo during the Edo area
During the Edo area (1603-1868) the prostitutes (yujos) used tattoo as an plus for their customers. Tattoos were used on workers and firmen. Since 1720 tattooing of the criminal was replaced by the amputation of nose and ears. Tattoingcriminals lasted untill 1870 and then was abolished by the new government meiji of the emperor. This visisble punishment created a new classe of exile with absomutly no place in society. A lot of this outlaws were ronin (samurai warriors without master). They had no other choice than to organise gangs. This men created the roots of the yakuzas.
From the meiji restauration to the japan after WWII
In it’s effort to adopt the western civilisation, the imperial government meiji forrbid tattooing, considered as a barbarian relic from the past. The funny things is that the artists of the irezumi obtained more customers: the western sailors in the japanese ports. So the art of japanese tattoo spread westward. For the first half of the XXth century horimonos were a form of forbidden art untill 1948 when prohibition was officially stopped.
Eventhough that t he new generation consider tattoo as a form of art the main part of the population of japan consider tattoo as something linked tot he yakuzas.