This paper seeks to demonstrate that the contemporary practices of Japanese traditional tattooing are a living continuation of its practices in the past Edo period and post war era through the 80’s
It does this by focusing on the motivation for getting these tattoos and their function as a talisman or other self-empowering device and the social position of both the practice of tattooing and the people who get tattoos.
It is mainly based on independent field research in Japan, including interviews with traditional tattoo masters and their clients but also on scholarly and documentary material concerning Japanese tattooing, scholarly material on tattooing in general, and on Japanese culture.
It covers most aspects of Japanese tattooing including history, cultural aspects, technical and practical aspects, Psychological theory and individual aspects. It also includes a few photographs and images.
The writer also hopes it is an enjoyable read.