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Good japanese reference books

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Hi guys, I know a lot of you have some killer japanese tattoos so I was wondering if anyone has any recommendations for good japanese reference books. Woodblock or straight up tattoos been nagged for what I want for Christmas (my family celebrate in January so it's not super short notice).

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* This one is pretty decent as an overview (and it is readily available i.e. affordable!)

Japanese Tattoos: History * Culture * Design


* This one is a bit older but good (written by Taki aka Horitaka aka Ryudaibori, owner of State of Grace in San Jose)

Bushido Legacies of the Japanese Tattoo


* Another one by Taki that is good (sounds close to what you're after)

Tattoos of the Floating World: Ukiyo-e Motifs in the Japanese Tattoo


* This one (by Horitomo of the Monmon Cats) is good if you're particularly interested in Fudo Myo-o (has some more general reference material on irezumi/monmon/wabori/etc). A lot of it is sketches that he had made from original art as well as historical detail on the iconography. Geared towards artists but I still found it interesting/educational.

Immovable: Fudo Myo-O Tattoo Design by Horitomo


In the end though, if you have a good artist who is knowledgeable, they can guide you in the right direction. I know that I could trust the person I worked with to get everything "right" and he also was able to explain to me what decisions he made that were "breaking" the rules (and why).

P.s. two more online resources that I personally like:

Irebokuro (hasn't been updated in donkey's years but what is there I found very educational)


P.p.s. I am not an expert, I am just very interested in the subject...

Edited by piccalilli
Typos...typos everywhere... fo=/=of

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Check out:


Here's my collection, and while there are so many better ones by the artists themselves, my priority is the backpiece itself!

Thompson, *Tattoos in Japanese Prints*

Ashcroft and Hori Benny, *Japanese Tattoos: History, Culture, Design*

Cooper, *Tokyo Tattoo 1970*

*Perseverance: Japanese Tattoo Tradition in a Modern World*

Mandelbaum, *Studying Horiyoshi III: A Westerner's Journey into Japanese Tattoo*

Fellman, *The Japanese Tattoo*

Kitamura and Kitamura, *Bushido: Legacies of the Japanese Tattoo*

Kitamura, *Tattoos of the Floating World: Ukiyo-e motifs in the Japanese Tattoo*

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On 06/01/2018 at 4:42 AM, thewitchhunter said:

Take a look at this:

Of Brigands and Bravery: Kuniyoshi’s Heroes of the Suikoden

This has pictured many woodblock prints auf the 108 heroes of the Suikoden, a famous chinese novel, which is often used as inspiriations in asian styled tattoos.

Oh yes, I forgot - I have this one too, it is excellent. Good call, @thewitchhunter !

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That's a flop. The Japanese culture does not allow tattoos and treat Japanese citizens with tattoos in japan like yakuza.
Sent from my SM-J337VPP using Tapatalk

The OP was not asking about Japanese culture.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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