- Posted by CHallowell
- On November 20, 2023
We have investigated a few of the similarities of irezumi and American traditional tattooing, which we, as Americans, understand a little better. However, this understanding may be surface level, incomplete, or wrong-minded, depending on our amount of intimacy with it.
American Traditional Tattoos vs. Traditional Japanese Tattoos “Irezumi”
In fact, most Americans know little more about its own tattooing than it is visually represented by perhaps a heart and a ribbon that reads “Mom.”
Similarly, to be born Japanese does not grant them immediate access into the world of somewhat esoteric symbolism and imagery that is used in irezumi. Especially, as the generations go on, much of the older stories and traditions are lost. As the inhabitants of each of the great lands of The United States of America and Japan grow further and further away from being self-reliant, being able to procure food and shelter with their own two hands, and maintaining rich and close relationships with their kin, the further these inhabitants move from happiness, strength, and the understanding of the world in which they live. A return to traditional values, artistic motifs, and simplicity itself across the board are all attempts to rectify this weakening of the bodies and minds of the generations to come.
Many American tattooists understand irezumi is directly responsible for the stylizations of the western tattoo. In each of these ways, irezumi declared a standard, and American tattooing was smart enough and strong enough, to take heed and follow.
A bold, readable outline clearly defines the tattoo image. A multitude of pictures are not used, all are staked on a singular subject, more often than not. The immediate impact of this image is visceral. And, deep within our human nature, we know that there was bloodshed, and pain endured to realize that image. It is like gazing upon mother and child, instinct tells you there is no stronger strength, no lovelier love than this.
Still, the distinctions between irezumi and western tattooing are many. Irezumi maintains its natural whim and contour. American tattooing is lean and mean.
Irezumi calls attention to the stories, folktales, and history of the land of Japan. American tattooing is what you see is what you get testimony to the free individual.
Irezumi is a journey that can take a lifetime of discipline and hardship to achieve. A western tattoo can be had in fifteen minutes in an alcohol-induced haze that may obscure the whole experience of having it put on. Obviously, both the Japanese and American examples of tattooing and of getting tattooed are kick ass.
Irezumi is closer in harmony to the bodies it adorns. Therefore, it is larger, often spanning complete body parts, if not the whole body itself. The visual motifs are unending, as one is connected to the next by a continuous flow of black and grey ink that ultimately makes these many tattoos just one in the Japanese example.
A distinctly eastern understanding is put forth, one that tends to view things as a totality rather than a sum of its parts, one that esteems balance over singular over achievement, one that perceives meaning in nature more than it esteems the clever mind of man.
Explore Irezumi and American Traditional Tattoos With Carl Hallowell
Whether you choose the vibrant and intricate techniques of irezumi tattoos or the timeless charm of American Traditional tattoos, Carl Hallowell transforms your vision into a living canvas. As you explore the journey for irezumi or American traditional tattoos with Carl Hallowell, you’re not just entering a studio, you’re stepping into a realm where artistry meets tradition. Book your appointment today and let the ink tell your unique story, guided by the skilled hands of the best tattoo artist in Dallas Texas.