Irezumi Japanese Tattooing (Ichiro Morita, 1966)


Limited Edition of 1966, the first photo book about Japanese Tattooing. The author is photographer, Ichiro Morita, with an introductory Essay by Donald Richie. Japanese and English.

This book was re-evaluated from the viewpoint of customs, psychology, art from the tattoo of Japan, pursuing the art of tattoo. The commentary stated the meaning of tattoo, what kind of people were tattooing at that time, etc. It is one book deepening about Japanese tattoo further.


Tattoos of the Floating World: Ukiyo-e Motifs in the Japanese Tattoo (Katie Kitamura and Takahiro Kitamura, 2003)


This unique book by tattoo artist Takahiro Kitamura (Horitaka, a pupil of Horiyoshi III) discusses the art of the Japanese tattoo in the context of Ukiyo-e, concentrating on the parallel histories of the woodblock print and the tattoo. Through high quality illustrations it shows that the Japanese tattoo is highly reliant on and linked to the woodblock print and that it deserves a position among the other art forms. A range of typical ukiyo-e motifs in the Japanese tattoo are discussed and illustrated by the original Japanese prints, and sketches, drawings and tattoos by tattoo master Horiyoshi III. The book ends with a special essay by Don Ed Hardy.