Jeremy Swan of Broken Art Tattoo.
In its strive to adopt Western civilizations, the Imperial Meiji government banned tattooing as something considered a barbaric relict of the past. The funny thing was that the Japanese irezumi artists now got new clients - the sailors from the foreign ships anchoring in Japanese harbors. Thus Japanese tattoo art was spread to the West.
Honorable Ink Tattoos and Body Piercings
In 1827 the ukiyo-e artist published the first 6 designs of the . The Suikoden were something like ancient Robin Hoods - honorable bandits. The story is based on a classic Chinese novel - , that dates from the 13th and 14th century. The novel was first translated into Japanese in 1757 by Okajima Kanzanion. At the turn of the 18th to the 19th century the story was published with illustrations by . The novel of the 108 honorable bandits was very popular in Japan and caused a kind of craze among Japanese townspeople.
During the Edo period - 1603-1868 - Japanese tattoo art became a part of - the floating world culture. Prostitutes - - of the pleasure quarters used tattoos to increase their attractiveness for customers. Body tattoos were used by laborers and .