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Tebori Tattoo Definition and Pictures

Definition: Tebori

Japanese-style tattoos have definitely become more popular in the US — all you have to do is look at the Don Ed Hardy prints to see that. But tebori, the traditional Japanese art of hand-created tattoos, is still a lesser known (though perhaps more respected) art. Tebori tattoos as we know them have a history dating back to at least the 18th century, and the various techniques used for creating them are complex and require years of apprenticeship.

Because it's a traditional art and not a sign of teenage rebellion, the attitudes surrounding these types of tattoos are more serious and personally reflective. Tebori tattoos also tend to be "bodysuit" style, so people who get them have usually worked with a tebori master or commissioned a design for their ink. Working with a tattoo master allows you to have a piece of art permanently engraved on your body, and indeed, tebori loosely translates to "hand carving." The wearer of the piece literally becomes a human sculpture. It's a refreshing view on body art, and many tebori tattoos, like these works from master tattoo artist Horimyo, are stunning in their beauty and scale.

Image Source: Getty
Join The Conversation
postmodernsleaze postmodernsleaze 7 years
I was looking through a book of this type of tattooing a couple of months ago... some of them are very extensive and look painful to go through! It appeared as if some of them filled every nook & cranny of the body (draw your own conclusions).
nikkisoda nikkisoda 7 years
I have my whole back in this style of tattoo. My tattoo artist studied in Japan. Anonymous, I am well aware of the history behind it.
NinaG NinaG 7 years
I second that. That one on the girl's back is absolutely stunning!
Knight-Who-Says-Ni Knight-Who-Says-Ni 7 years
I love the one on the far left - beautiful!
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