A Study of The Sensei

Published on: 14 July, 2010


Whether you’re a devotee of Japanese tattooing or not, the prodigious talent of Horiyoshi III is bountiful enough to humble and enchant any tattoo aficionado.


As the most recognised and revered horishi of modern times, Horiyoshi III boasts the kind of portfolio that the stickiest of sticky tattoo dreams are made of; you’ll struggle to unearth a more captivating and painstakingly detailed bodysuit than one that has been forged in the master’s Yokohama residence.


I discovered this sublime video via another tattoo forum (thank you, Nico) and its exquisite imagery combined with a wonderful collection of quotes from the sensei are a joy to behold. It’s a rare opportunity to observe the manner in which he works: the speed at which he applies the last few lines of a peony flower - sans stencil - is staggering, as is the physical nature of the tebori technique, which is also clearly demonstrated.


If you can take five minutes out of your day for this, then you’ll be enriched and rewarded for the time invested. It’s utterly magical and encapsulates so many of the reasons that Japanese art retains a timeless quality.




Thanks to Nowness.com for this amazing video.