JAPANESE TATTOOING NOW, Memory and Transition: Classic Horimono tebori to the new One Point style
by Mike McCabe

Whereas most Japanese tattoo books talk about how Asian style tattooing influenced Western tattooing, Mike McCabe's book JAPANESE TATTOOING NOW takes a look at how Western styles have had an effect on the aesthetics and practice of tattooing as it exists in modern Japan. For anyone profiling the evolution of tattooing in Japan or looking for a tattoo artist working in Japan, this book will guide you thoroughly.

As a tattooist himself, McCabe was attracted to the styles and art form of Japanese tattooing and has worked for many years to establish and maintain connections to artists working in Japan. He was able to interview many masters of the formal traditional hand tattooing, known as tebori. One of the greatest influences that Western tattooing has had on the modern Japanese form was the expansion of the color palette and it's interesting to hear the tattoo sensei speak of having good greens, yellows and purple for the first time. McCabe acknowledges Horihide, Horiyoshi III, Horitoshi I, Horiyasu, Horikoi and Horiuno in his foreword for allowing him to observe and question them about their tattooing, and for sharing their experiences and information.

Along with these historical masters, McCabe also profiles modern Japanese tattoo artist. These young men and women draw their influences heavily from Western tattooing and pop culture. They look the same as their Western counterparts, with facial piercings, knit caps and hooded sweatshirts worn over sleeves of Harley Davidson logos, flames, graffiti and tribal designs. The phrase "One Point" tattooing refers to getting a tattooing on just one part of the body, essentially the Japanese name for getting a Western-style, single image tattoo. There is a strong fad for Rock-a-billy style and music in Japan and the young people who follow this trend also go for 50s-style American tattoos: they wear pinup girls, snarling panther heads, dice and the classic dagger-n-heart. Just as you find artists in the US who say they specialize in Japanese-style tattooing, in Japan you find artists who specialize in American-style tattooing.

This book is loaded with color images. There are historical reproductions for art references, illustrations by tattoo artists, and tons of pictures of recently-done tattoos. There are images of full body suits in progress and after completion as well as dozens of pictures of ÒOne PointÓ tattoos. Many of the One Point tattoos show a wonderful fusion of Japanese and American styles, with design styles and color sensibilities borrowing freely from both schools. For many of the artist profiles, there are also reproductions of the artistÕs or tattoo shopÕs business cards, letting interested readers contact the tattoo artists.

Check out this body art!

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