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Tattoo in Japan

List of tattoo artists in this book:

Horiyasu, Horitoku, Daimon Bori, Horiyoshi III, Horikazu, Horicho + Crew, Horikazukawa, Horimyo, Maika, Horinami, Bonten II, Horikita, Horizaru, Rei, Hata, Maruyama, Horihide, Horikoi, Horigyn, Horitake, Makoto, Horihiro, Ritsu, Ai, Horinao, Hiro, Madoka, Shla, Natsu, Kozuru, Ton, Ryoki.

The opulently illustrated volume "Tattoo in Japan" is an impressive book about the high art of tattooing in Japan. Not solely for fans of tattoos, it's equally appealing for people who are interested in Japanese culture and art. This book will likewise delight graphic artists, fashion designers and visual artists.

The art of creating long-lasting body decorations has an age-old tradition in Japan. Many parallels can be drawn between this traditional genre and classical ink paintings and woodcuts by Japanese masters. The grand master of an art is known in Japan as a "sensei": this book contains works by many of the finest and most prestigious master tattooists. These virtuosos provide inspiration and serve as role models for a younger generation of tattoo artists in their Asian homeland and abroad.

Included are rare and beautifully documented works by traditional masters with their delicate and impressive full body suit tattoos, the style of which has changed very little since the Edo Period, when this art form first became popular. The art works are splendidly depicted in intimate photojournalism, where they provide silent testimony to months spent under the needles of these unparalleled masters, who explore the possibilities of their métier on and in their clients’ skin.

Tattoo aficionados will be familiar with the names of artists such as Horitoku, Horiyoshi III and Horiyasu, but this comprehensive book also features the diverse styles that are prominent in contemporary tattooing. The spectrum ranges from old school, to neo-traditional and contemporary

The volume's generously large format provides ample space for impressive photographs which artfully capture the diversity and lively creativity of Japan's contemporary tattoo scene. The visual interest is further enhanced by a successful mix of studio shots and photographs taken onsite. This lavishly illustrated book prioritizes excellent printing and the best color reproductions. Join us on a visual journey and indulge your senses in incredible imagery and colors.

The book is divided into four chapters: Tokyo, Chubu (the region between Tokyo and Kyoto, with Nagoya as its capital city), Kyoto and Osaka. Tattooists in each metropolis have their own distinct styles and trends, spanning a wide spectrum from classically conservative to totally eccentric and extreme.

Readers who are eager to delve more deeply into the subject will appreciate the numerous, well-researched texts about the history and background of tattooing. Rounding out the volume are interviews with grand masters, who offer exciting insights into their lives and work, as well as into the tattoo scene in general.

In the back of the book you will find useful advices ”how” and ”where” to get a tattoo in Japan.

"Tattoo in Japan" is a very special book that could only have been created thanks to a unique combination of much love, intense dedication and the utmost efforts by all its contributors. We sincerely hope you'll feel and share our enthusiasm.

Photography: Martin Hladik
John Harte
Geoff Johnson
Toshihiro Oshima
ISBN 978-3-934020-64-1
Large Format 24,5 x 31,5 cm
336 pages
texts in G, E
more than 250 photographs
hardcover thread bound
Price 98,00 Euro


This book is by far the best book I have ever looked at on the topic. It might be a little pricey but its so worth it. I have many books on Japanese tattooing and this one blows them all out of the water. Do not hesitate to buy. When I got this book in the mail I was so surprised, it is huge, heavy and beautiful. This is a must have for anyone interested in Japanese tattooing. (customer review of "Jamie Wattum")
Review for "Tattoo in Japan" at



The photobook Tattoo in Japan is a truly impressive masterpiece that will delight all tattoo fans. The spectrum of superlatively photographed tattoos ranges from old school to neo-traditional and contemporary styles. Exciting, authentic interviews with several masters round out the book and make it into a jewel for every collection.”
Tattoo Spirit (Germany)



”Les Edition Reuss en Allemagne ont mis le paquet avec ’Tattoo in Japan’. Un très gros bel ouvrage sur le tatouage japonais. Grand format, 250 images couleurs de quatre photographes, et quatre régions explorée (Kanto, Chubu, Kyoto, Osaka). Bref de quoi admirer des fulls bodies signés des maîtres traditionnels nippons comme de la nouvelle vague. Indespensable pour tous les fans de l’Irezumi.”
TATOUAGE Magazin (France)



”One of the most striking aspects of this book is the spectrum that it presents of Japanese tattooing - it’s so vast! As you digest the sharp contrasts between the traditional and the contemporary schools of thought, you glean a sense of how diverse the ideals behind getting tattooed are and the vast cultural differences between the historical tattoo and the Western-influenced that is a mainstay of street shops. This behemoth is possibly one of the defining publications to focus upon Japanese tattooing in the past few years and it a beautiful documentation of teh land’s deep-rooted passion for body art.”
SKIN DEEP (England)



The grand masters of an art is known in Japan as a ”sensei”: this book contains works by many of the finest and most prestigious master tattooists. These virtuosos provide inspiration and serve as role models for a younger generation of tattoo artists in their Asian homeland and abroad. ’Tattoo in Japan’ is a very special book that could only have been created thanks to a unique combinations of much love, intense dedication and the utmost efforts by all its contributors. We sincerely hope you’ll feel and share our enthusiasm.”



”Every once in a while a book arrives at the office for review that literally recharges your batteries and reignites your enthusiasm for the wonderful world of tattoo that we live in. ’Tattoo in Japan’ is just such a books. At first I thought the price tag sounded a little on the expensive side, but having taken a really good look at the book, I can assure you it is well worth the money!
The introduction to the book offers an overview of the current tattoo scene in Japan, along with a brief history of the art. It contrasts the traditional ‘tebori’ artists, with their historical lineage and quite, out-of-the-way studios, to the more modern street shops, who take their influence from Western sub-cultures and musical movements like punk and rock & roll. The intro runs nicely into a section of reviews of about half a dozen of the major artists working in Japan at the moment, from both the traditional and modern genre. And then comes the real meat in the sandwich...a huge selection of tattoo photos, all of them fanstastic, full page masterpieces.
Some of the tattoos featured may be familiar to some of you as they have been published in other European magazines but much of the work is fresh and hasn’t been presented in beautifully rich, sturated colours and the book is printed on really good quality paper which helps to make the images come to life.
Although ‘Tattoo in Japan’ is predominately a photographic book, there are several sections of text, focusing on specific aspects, areas and artists along the way. These sections, although brief are informative, well written and thoughtfully laid out, adding to the enjoyment of the book as a whole. One chapter pays particular attention to the ‘Chubu’ area between Tokyo and Kyoto where many of the rising stars of the modern Western-style movement are based including Sabado and Genko, two of the major influences in the development of the Western influenced tattoo in Japan today. In contrast there is an in-depth interview with Horikoi, a traditional tebori tattooist who is also responsible for co-hosting the annual tattoo summit held in Toyohashi.
In case you haven’t realised it yet, I reall loved ‘Tattoo in Japan’. It really is a must-have for anyone who loves the Japanese style of tattooing, although be may need to reinforce your book shelf as it is a large book with over 300 pages, 40mm thick and weighing in at three kilos!
Total Tattoo (United Kingdom)



“Several kilograms of Japanese tattoo art in hardcover! Tattoo in Japan is a genuinely monumental volume with plenty of content! All of its photos are of first-rate quality. They combine to make this very heavy photobook extremely valuable. Introductory texts, explanations of various motifs in Japanese tattooing, and prose portraits of individual masters tattooists are brief, but interesting to read.”
Tätowiermagazin (Germany)



“Nowhere else is tattooing performed as artfully and as radically as it is Japan, and seldom have these living pictures in the skin been as professionally and as stylishly photographed as they are in this book.”
VOGUE (Germany)



“Anyone with an interest in tattooing simply cannot do without this newly published volume. With the release of this lavish 320-page tome, Edition Reuss has published a volume which reports with the utmost professionalism about the visual canon of the art of Japanese tattooing. Tattoo in Japan naturally features outstanding color photos which document the sensational imagination of these Asian tattoo artists.”
Informationsdienst KUNST (Germany)



“This photobook is a fascinating and intensively colorful stroll through the world of Japanese body decoration, which ranges from classically conservative to eccentrically extreme styles. Alongside extensive descriptions of the special features and motifs of Japanese tattoos, the photos of large-format, full-body suits are particularly impressive.”
MÄNNER (Germany)



“A fantasy world on the body! This unique, elaborately designed, large-format photobook publicizes Japan’s exceedingly lively tattoo scene. In one of its interviews, the tebori master Horitoku laments that fashionable tattoo patterns are replacing traditional motifs. Brilliant photographs with an almost magical effect cover the book’s large-format pages and show just how eccentric these tattoos can be – imaginative, shrill, satirical, proliferating over the entire body and ‘clothing’ it.”
Reutlinger Anzeiger (Germany)



“Almost everyone in our editorial office is tattooed from head to toe. That’s why we were so delighted when this photobook arrived. Four chapters introduce the various tattoo styles in the cities of Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka and in the Chubu region. That’s rather cool because it enables readers to trace the evolution, chapter by chapter, from the traditional tattoo art to today’s Western-oriented work. You’ll even find an index of Japan’s best tattooists at the back of the book. We’ve already scheduled an appointment – and we’re on our way to Tokyo!”
LOOP (Germany)



Tattoo in Japan is a lavishly illustrated book which invites its readers to deeply immerse themselves in the world of Far Eastern body decoration. Generously proportioned color photos show the fascinating wealth of details of these artworks in the skin, which have long since evolved from traditional emblems of yakuza gangsters to must-have accessories for members of the hip scene. The spectrum of tattoos presented here is corresponding broad: it ranges from classical motifs to the latest modern styles with manga allusions.”
Front (Germany)



“The skin as picture screen. The artworks in the opulent photobook Tattoo in Japan exert a nearly irresistible fascination. Edition Reuss, renowned for its unconventional photobooks, now documents and lavishly portrays the art of Japanese tattooing in 250 photos and on more than 300 pages. Well-researched accompanying texts and interviews elucidate the specialized background.”
Hersfelder Zeitung (Germany)



“This really gets under your skin! A new photobook celebrates Japan’s impressive tattoo artistry. But this volume has nothing whatsoever in common with measly little ‘tramp stamps’ on the lower back and buttocks. This opulent photobook presents the vast diversity of the Japanese tattoo scene in 250 impressive motifs ranging from venerable tebori traditionalists to the newest and most fashionable street-shop art. Texts and interviews offer the reader a treasury of information about the various artists and their styles.”
MAXIM (Germany)