December 8, 2021
japanese print, tattoo, ancient, antique, wood block, mythic, mystical, fairly tale, folk lore, actor, tthu, thats the hook up

Tatuesday / Japanese Prints

A collection of 19th century Japanese prints that continue to inspire modern tattooers and artists of all trades.

japanese print, tattoo, ancient, antique, wood block, mythic, mystical, fairly tale, folk lore, actor, tthu, thats the hook up

Back in 2011 the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston displayed selections of their Japanese prints from part of their archive, one of the largest outside of Japan. To date, I still have not been seen a single collection of art as impressive. Many of these images originated as the comic books graphic novels of their time and their influence on modern culture is impossible to miss.

japanese print, tattoo, ancient, antique, wood block, mythic, mystical, fairly tale, folk lore, actor, tthu, thats the hook up

Japanese wood block prints have influenced tattooers over the last 200 years and continue to do so. Though many of the images below depict actors in costume and popular folk lore, they paint a picture of a thriving tattoo community existing hundreds of years ago. Needless to say, us Westerners are still trying to catch up.

japanese print, tattoo, ancient, antique, wood block, mythic, mystical, fairly tale, folk lore, actor, tthu, thats the hook up

If you do your homework you can find many of these images reproduced on skin either in their entirety or just small elements in the work of modern tattooers and artists of all trades.

Many of the recognizable images above are from Utagawa Kuniyoshi’s illustrations of Chinese martial arts heros. Other artists worth looking into include Utagawa Kunisada I, Toyohara Kunichika and Kitagawa Utamaro.

ALPH

ALPH was once suspended in third grade for drawing on the walls in art class. Not much has changed.

View all posts by ALPH →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *