We wanted to share a few of our favorite Japanese tattoo artists and follow it up with a history behind this beautiful style of tattoo. However, the popularity of Japanese style tattoos has grown around the world because of the bold lines, imagery, and meanings behind them. Japanese style tattoos are quite versatile and can incorporate designs that can work for anyone. Tattoo designs in Japan are greatly influenced by woodblock prints (or ukiyoe) that were found in novels. Tattoo artists in Japan were considered to be highly skilled and had to undergo a rigorous apprenticeship where they lived with the master for upwards of 5 years. For a period of time tattoos were taboo in Japan and became associated with criminals and social outcasts.
Traditional Japanese tattoo design elements are typically paired together- such as the dragon and phoenix or lions and flowers. Kanji characters are also usually incorporated into the designs with meanings that are of great meaning to the wearer.
Need an artist or shop recommendation?Give us a description of the tattoo you're looking for and we'll try to match you up with a great local artist or shop! We would like to thank Horimyo for taking the time to talk to us and for allowing us to film his very personal work.
If you would like to know more about Horimyo, see more of his work, or even talk to him about possibly creating a tattoo for you the next time you’re in Tokyo, please check out his official website.
1K Films is a full production independent video company working in both the US & Japan. I spent a few days looking through my travel archives while preparing for this Artist Profile on Mick Tattoo, aka Mick from Zurich, (or, for you Game of Thrones fans)- aka Mick: the King of Dragons! I’m no famous tattooer, just an average one with a side project  of documenting tattoo artists of the modern era, who suddenly found himself traveling the world and meeting the heroes of my craft. The next morning we spent hours in a quiet corner of his favorite eatery conducting the interview, taking notes and brainstorming ideas. Fluent in five languages, Mick has a piercing intellect beneath his zen-like demeanor and it was his generous, open, humble, yet direct responses to my probing questions that started to solidify my deeper admiration for him- not just as an artist but as a human being. You can see more of Mick’s AMAZING tattoos and learn about his career from a Swiss scenographic Painter at an opera house, to world renowned tattoo master! To learn more about some of the TOP Japanese Tattoo Artists, pick up the Japanese Bundle and save nearly 40%! We know there are many more quality Japanese tattoo artists out there but we wanted to bring a few to your attention.
Starting with graffiti, he moved on to designing tattoos in 1999 and then opened Inkside Tattooing in Vicenza.


His American Traditional style influenced his Japanese tattooing style and it’s history from there. Being tattooed was a very secretive practice and those that were getting them generally belonged to criminal factions such as the Yakuza. There are some very popular Japanese tattoos including the koi fish, dragons, cherry blossoms, and samurais.
As one of the most popular symbols for the Japanese, one can understand why they would become a popular tattoo. They bloom in harsh conditions and often show when the snow first starts to melt and only last for a few days before they fall and land in the snow. In short, the code of Bushido represents living life to the fullest, being ready to die in service, and being strong and loyal. From dragons to flowers there are a great number of Japanese images that can comprise a fantastic, meaningful tattoo. Figurines recovered from tombs would have marks and lines to indicate social rank as well as protect them from evil spirits. Part of this apprenticeship was to develop a complete understanding of the meanings of the traditional tattoo designs. Towards the end of the 17th century, this stigma began to lift and decorative tattooing began to emerge. Kanji, which are one of three scripts that make up the Japanese language are actually Chinese characters that were introduced to Japan in 500 A.D. While most tattoo artists today use tattoo machines, all of Horimyo’s art work is applied by his own hands. Tattoos have become very popular and it’s nice to see other people that have the same interest. When looking back on the history of this little adventure called Tattoo Artist magazine, I still don’t know how the whole thing came together. I’d seen a few tattoos of his by this time and had already heard stories about Mick from artists whom I considered great, people like Marcus Pacheco, Grime, Jason Kundell and a few others, but Mick had never done a featured article in the states; I wanted TAM to be the first! It was a quaint little space deep in the heart of Spiegelgasse in Zurich, Switzerland- a 10 x 10 block area of worn cobblestone streets, living spaces, shops, fountains, restaurants and curios shops, all conveniently situation just outside its bustling train station. These dragons are not merely copies of the same ol’ dragon formulae, taken verbatim from his large and impressive reference library- not at all. Traditional Japanese tattooing (also known as irezumi) was and is still somewhat an underground practice. The koi symbolize courage, success, perseverance, good fortune, and prosperity amongst other things.


They represent life itself as the Cherry Blossom is beautiful, strong, and can be fragile all at the same time. In modern day Japan, displaying one’s tattoos is still generally disapproved of, but this is beginning to change with the latest generation of Japanese youngsters.
These symbols each carry their own meaning, such as love, wealth, sadness, loyalty or beauty. In recent years, many younger Japanese people have begun embracing tattoos as fashion statements, like people do in many western countries.
He also took time to tell us about why he strongly believes in traditional Japanese tattoo and the power of art made by hand. With directions, it took me nearly an hour to weave my way through the maze of walkways and alleys to find his place, a first floor studio apartment with a tiny business card taped to the call box.
It’s the same answer every great tattooer gives- the LOVE of tattooing & the driven passion to WORK HARD! His roots in Japanese tattooing go back a long time but Lupo was a natural talent and is still creating beautiful pieces today. Visit Nick at Cardinal Tattoo in Fort Wayne, IN if you’re looking for some amazing Japanese tattooing.
The legend behind the koi derives from the Dragon Gate legend in which the koi swam up stream to the Dragon Gate and jumped over it. If opting for one of these characters it is imperative that you and your artist research the meaning and verify that the one you chose means what you wish to convey.
However, there remains a group of traditional Japanese tattoo artists who look at body art as something more than fashion – something spiritual and deeply personal. I packed my interview gear, cameras and clothes and headed off on my first of many trips to Europe, first to Milan and then the Swiss alps.
How could they not, we might ask, being friends with Horiyoshi III and that Shu Ha Ri philosophy of breaking with tradition; or his long relationships with Filip Leu, lal Hardy, Luke Atkinson and any number of other great European masters.
He is truly a talent and that’s why he is one of our favorite Japanese tattoo artists.
While Mick worked in one hour appointments on multiple clients that day, I looked through volume after volume of his enormous collection of three-ring binder portfolios, eleven in total!
It’s true our audience is broader now, no longer limited to merely artists, but TAM, for me, has always been about finding and sharing the hidden theme of HOW TATTOOS HAVE THE POWER TO CHANGE OUR LIVES, FOR THE GOOD!



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Comments to «Best japanese tattoo artist in las vegas 2014»

  1. WwWwWwWwW writes:
    Angels, dragonflies, and different page and thought.
  2. Rejissor writes:
    Nicely-updated parties on this difficulty, unfortunately.