A traditional Japanese backpiece, executed entirely by hand. The colors and shading are amazingly subtle, and don't quite come across in a picture. I couldn't ask this gentleman any questions as he did not speak any English. He had travelled to the convention with a Japanese tattoo master to be part of their exhibition of traditional hand-tattooed pieces.

Japanese tattoos draw their history from woodblock prints, and were historically worn by bandits, fire fighters, and rickshaw runners. Most times the client will tell the artist the subject or overall theme they want, and then the artist designs the tattoo without any further artistic input from the client.

copyright 1994 Rae Schwarz
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all images in this presentation are © 1994 Rachel Schwarz.
all images shown in this section were taken at the 1994 NTA
convention held in South San Francisco, CA, USA
web version copyright 1998-2008