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Offering World Class Traditional
Japanese Tattooing to the Dallas Area

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Horisho
Carl Hallowell

Hello, and Welcome! I am Carl, your humble servant and guide to the esoteric art of Japanese Traditional Tattooing. My study and practice has now hit 25 years of experience, as of 2020. My goal is to provide the most authentic Japanese tattooing to the Dallas Fort Worth area from my Deep Ellum and Waxahachie private studio locations. And to do it in a way that brings the best client experience forward, intertwining good relationships and good work that will both last a lifetime.

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Japanese Traditional Tattooing

The art of the Japanese traditional tattoo, also known as irezumi, or horimono, has been practiced since the 1800’s in Japan. It is an exquisite form that is extreme and elaborate. It covers vast expanses of the body, if not the complete body, creating full bodysuit tattoos, backpiece tattoos, and sleeve tattoos. It is designed to fit the body, and enhances the body as it works and moves with it. The look is nothing short of iconic- the way the Japanese tattoo lays out on the body and terminates at strong borders, the way the colored foreground image leaps off the sumi black background toward the viewer, the scene that is set, as springtime cherry blossoms scatter in the wind or autumn maple leaves are tossed about by waves…

Japanese Tattoo Gallery

Please enjoy a selection of my traditional Japanese tattoo work.

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Tebori

The Japanese tattoo predates the invention of the tattoo machine, which was invented by Samuel O’Reilly in 1891. The method of application for the early Japanese tattoos was “hand carving”, or tebori. This tradition continues to this very day, although it is an endangered art. The Japanese, holding a similar reverence for the modern as well as the traditional, were open to trying the western tattoo machine when it was introduced to Japan, probably around the 1970’s. The result of this experimentation led to many traditional Japanese Masters, or “horishi”, adopting the tattoo machine for their outlining of tattoos, as it was discovered that a higher level of detail and refinement could be introduced to their work through its use. However, it was decided upon quite unanimously that the machine could never match the quality, intensity, or character or tebori, when it came to the shading and the coloring of irezumi. This led many horishi to using a split approach- outlining by machine, and coloring by tebori. I am proud and honored to continue this split approach tradition today, one of only a small handful of American tattooists to do so.

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Omotenashi

Omotenashi is a Japanese service ideal that is translated as “hospitality”. Its goal is to serve the customer even beyond his hopes and expectations, anticipating his needs and creating a superlative customer experience. A trip to Japan will provide you an opportunity to enjoy this high level of service time and time again. My dedication to customer service may be based more on Texas’ own tradition of hospitality! But I think that the root of my love for my customers is respect. And the root of this respect was taught to me by tattooing itself. The respect for the past masters of tattooing and one’s tattooing elders in the present. The respect for the sacred traditional tattoo images, passed down through the generations. And the respect for the suffering and dedication it takes to receive a tattoo, which seems a more and more incredible feat, the more you experience it for yourself. Respecting the customer, you care for him, his experience, his memories you leave him with, the marks you put upon him. It is an honor and a responsibility to be entrusted with the great task of tattooing a person. The relationship between artist and customer always shows in the skin. The love, the soul, and the respect all shine through. The tattoo is not just a picture on the skin but a complete experience, from the personal connection, to the sharing of a journey, to the mutual admiration- and finally, to a great tattoo! I believe that my choice to work in an appointment only private studio facilitates this high level of service and grand experience to the fullest.