The unforgettable Japanese Style Tattoo

When global shipping took off, sailors had the opportunity to travel all over the world. And when they returned home, they brought reminiscences of the places they visited in the form of tattoos. Among all the designs and styles in tattoos, the Japanese style was most liked and favored simply because of their elaborate and vibrant full body tattoos.

These tattoos took months to complete and were drawn with hand using a range of bamboo and steel needles. As the sailors had very less time to spare they demanded for an easier style that still reminded of the oriental design. Thus came the style of carved designs on timber which were transformed on the skin as wood block prints. After the designs were transferred on the skin, they were made into a tattoo using needle and ink.
kaiju-manga-snake-tattoo1.jpgMost common designs tattooed in this style were that of snakes and dragons.

Even when new ways of drawing tattoos, like the patent of a mechanical needle by Thomas Edison in 1876, kept coming these designs remained popular. Even today young artist like Tom Kristensen from Australia specialize in the tradition of Japanese woodblock printing. Kristensen’ Snakeoil tattoo and Woodpecker Venus in the Kaiju Manga (pictures of Magical Animals) series are best examples of ‘woodblock prints still being a rage’ in tattoos.

So next time you think of drawing a tattoo do not forget to check the woodblock designs in Japanese style tattoos.

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