Japanese Full Body Tattoos

Thinking about a full body tattoo from Japan? Learn about the origins of the appalling for some and interesting for others trend of Japanese full body tattoos.

The history of the art of tattooing dates back to over two thousand years. In the initial years the practice of tattooing was used as a means of punishment for the transgressors of law. This would tag the individuals who would be identified as outcasts of society. In fact Japan was the last country to abolish the practice of punitive tattooing.

Over time this practice had produced a group of outcasts with marks of tattoos showing their violation of law. Such individuals then started resorting to full body tattoos in order to hide their shame. For this purpose the tattoo artists derived a range of decorative tattoos which would be stamped all over the body.

With time the practice of full body tattooing grew in popularity as the trend began to reach the larger cities in Japan. During the Tokugawa period which is dated between 1603 and 1868 the Japanese public increasingly opted for full body tattoos as a reaction to extremely strict sumptuary laws. The practice of tattooing was continuously being condemned by the Japanese authorities but to no avail. Even today it is forbidden to make a public display of your tattoo in Japan by law.

Yakuza full body tattoos

The practice of full body tattoos is associated with the Japanese yakuza. This group is more commonly known as the Japanese mafia. The yakuza came about as a result of the disintegration that the once highly regulated society of Japan experienced at one point in time. The practice of full body tattooing has many influences ranging from the samurai and bushido influences to the dark side of the Tokugawa rule and of course the connection that it had with gambling.

The Shinto festival is a popular convention held in the Asukusa district of Japan each year. The show provides a platform to display full body tattoo designs for members of the yakuza living in the area. The more noble section of society considers the practice of full body tattooing to be a barbaric tradition. Indeed the very first tribes to settle in Japan such as the Ainu and Wa people were known for this practice.

Today a full body tattoo can cost you as much as $20,000 and on top of it they hurt like anything. What’s more is that you get yourself established as a total outcast in Japanese society!

This age old art of Japan has seldom been practiced by those outside of the culture. The practice is rapidly declining today as there are very few individuals that would dare to get themselves tattooed. The number of people learning the art has also declined which is contributing towards the extinction of the art form.

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