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Bushido: The Legacy of Japanese Tattoo Paperback – November 1, 2000


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Bushido: The Legacy of Japanese Tattoo + The Japanese Tattoo + The Mammoth Book of Tattoos
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Schiffer Publishing; 1St Edition edition (November 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764312014
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764312014
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 8.4 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #107,462 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Takahiro Kitamura, who tattoos as Horitaka, currently resides and works in California. Katie Kitamura is pursuing a doctoral degree at the University of London. Jai Tanju is a photographer in San Jose, California.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Best tattoo book I've ever seen.
"bucknutty"
It gives you a good background of the history of the Japanese tattoo and brings you into the modern day of tattooing in Japan.
Steven
The detail in Horiyoshi III's designs and the craftmanship displayed through Jai Tanju's photographs is superb.
Aahz

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 10, 2001
Format: Paperback
Since this book is about the great Horiyoshi III and his family clan, it's a must-have for any serious fan of Japanese tattooing. Beautiful photographs and very informative texts.
If you're looking for something about Japanese tattooing itself (history, background, etc.) then I'd rather recommend Donald Richie's "Japanese Tattoo". Though the most in-depth book available, but rather demanding to read, is Wilem Van Gulik's "Irezumi - The Pattern of Dermatography in Japan". The latter is only recommended for advanced Irezumi enthusiasts.
If you're interested in beautiful photographs of Japanese tattoos, then I can also recommend Sandi Fellman's "Japanese Tattoo".
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Aahz on March 11, 2001
Format: Paperback
This beautifully illustrated book will teach you all you've ever wanted to know about the history and culture of Japanese Tattooing. Takahiro Kitamura (aka Horitaki) has been a student of Horiyoshi III for some time and his devotion to the man and the topic are obvious.
With chapters covering the history and development of tattoos and their related art in Japan going back several centuries, exploring the tatoo master/client and master/apprentice relationships, contrasting American and Japanese tattoo, and explaining the nature of Japanese tattoo 'families', the book gives an exceedingly thorough overview.
Most of the more than 200 photos were taken exclusively for this book and can not be seen elsewhere. The detail in Horiyoshi III's designs and the craftmanship displayed through Jai Tanju's photographs is superb.
Whether you just want to see examples of a true tattoo master's work or want to come to a better understanding of the history and culture of Japanese tattooing, this is a book you must have.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Rae Schwarz on September 25, 2002
Format: Paperback
I never thougth I would find a book that got me more excited about traditional Japanese tattooing than Sandi Fellman's oversize Polaroids collected in THE JAPANESE TATTOO. However, BUSHIDO has changed all that, and I am overly excited once again. This volume is a showcase of modern Japanese tattoo artist Horiyoshi III, as recorded and written by client and student Takahiro Kitamura. Kitamura is able to describe the unique position that tattooing occupies, somewhere between traditional and modern techniques, as well as balancing between Japanese and Western stylings, and ancient and post-modern belief systems underlying it all.
The photography is by Katie Kitamura, wife of the author. Her pictures are reproduced mostly in full-color plates, focusing on the overall aesthetic along with lots of the details. The models are both men and women, of varying ages and stages of coverage. Full portraits are complimented with more closely cropped photos, enlarging complexly-patterned details, subtle shading and expressive faces. A lexicon of body areas with the traditional Japanese names for the style of body coverage along with names for the styles of fill and background is a unique highlight.
A rare and difficult find, worth every effort it takes to get this one into your tattoo book collection.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By koinz99 on January 3, 2011
Format: Paperback
First, this is indeed a beautiful book, as the photos are of Horiyoshi 3's beautiful work. It showcases full body work and the close-ups on the details. I really like the part when the different types of bodysuits are illustrated, and then the types are shown alongside examples of Horiyoshi's work. This is indeed a great reference for anyone looking for more than a sleeve or a small tattoo, and one can reference where they could have such tattoos replaced. There are also pictures of Horiyoshi at work, and he introduces the techniques, tools, and many other interesting things. One can also see the future Horiyoshi IV!

My main gripe is the history part of the tattoo. This is a great in- depth introduction to tebori and its techniques, and information about the Horiyoshi family, etc., but I warn you- do not take the Bushido musings too seriously. I collect books on Japanese tattoo- for the history more than pictures- and this is the first book that vehemently declares how irezumi spawned from the samurai and their way of life. In Japan's caste system, the samurai were the highest caste, and thus many were the aristocracy that formed the government. Tattoos in Japan were at first mainly for marking criminals, but they blossomed into a form of rebellion against the samurai caste and the oppresive feudal government. Also, samurai, as the top caste and thus the upholders of society, usually were not tattooed. They were to set an example to the lower castes, and they followed the strict Confucian belief against marking the body, anyway.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Steven on February 24, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is one of the best books on Japanese tattoos I have bought so far. The text is very informative and really keeps your interest. It gives you a good background of the history of the Japanese tattoo and brings you into the modern day of tattooing in Japan.
The photography in this book is outstanding. It records the work of the master Hiriyoshi III. The detail of Hiriyoshi III's work is incredible, and the photos really do it justice in this book. I own several books on Japanese tattoos and this is by far the best. I only wish it was done in a hard cover.
This book gives you a well written insiders view into the world of Japanese tatooing and provides a wonderful collection of work by Hiriyoshi III who is by far one of the best tattoo masters in the world today.
Whether your interested in Japanese tattoos or tattoos in general this book is a must have.
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