Due to westernization, the tattoo culture has received a lot of acclamation from the youth of Japan. However, due to the cultural stigma, it becomes difficult to find a tattoo shop in Japan. You must know in advance about the best Japanese tattoo artists and where their studios are, so you can quickly get one.
Most of the tattoo studios in Japan are near the busiest tourist spots or the U.S military spots. The tattoo culture is considered a sin in many Japanese places because of its connection with Yazuka and criminals. Many individuals get barred from certain establishments because of the tattoo they have inked on their bodies.
However, getting a tattoo is not illegal in Japan, especially when getting one from the best Japanese tattoo artists. You have to follow specific rules, like the design of the tattoo must have a theme or a symbol for the cultural representation. The most important one is the design should be given to an individual by the tattoo artist.
You can get a Japanese tattoo without disrespecting the culture by selecting a design that does not represent the religious aspect of Japanese people and neglecting the designs explicitly reserved for the Japanese warriors and soldiers.
Get Inked By The Best Japanese Tattoo Artists
Read along to know where to head for your next body tattoo. All the artists below are mentioned with their Instagram handles to learn more about them before you visit their studios.
#1 Horiyoshi 3 @horiyoshi_3
Known for his intense full-body designs, Yoshihito Nakano is one of Japan’s best Japanese tattoo artists. Yoshihito’s inspiration behind becoming a tattooist came when he saw a Japanese yakuza covered in tattoos from top to bottom. After this, he went to get a tattoo from the son of legendary artist Yoshitsugu Muramatsu where he became his student.
Yoshihito Nakano was granted the honorary title Hori by his master in 1971, after which he established his tattoo studio in 2000. The artist is famous for carving traditional Japanese designs and motifs, including dragons, peonies, she-angels, etc.
#2 Horikitsune @holyfoxtattoos
It is not essential to be born in Japan to be labeled as one of the best Japanese tattoo artists. Alex Reinke is a European born in Germany and is the only one in his region to become a famous Japanese artist. The European went to the legendary Horiyoshi III to learn the complexity of body art ‘Tebori’ and become a master.
As Alex often says, Japanese tattoo art has a mystery behind it with great connections to humankind. When a Japanese decides to get a full-body tattoo, often known as Horimono in Japanese culture, it mirrors their character and personality, which the Tattooist reflects.
#3 Horiyen @jessyentattoo
The following Japanese tattoo artist on our list has experience of almost 16 years in this industry. Jess Yen is the creator of My Tattoo Family and is an expert in traditional and modern tattoo-making methods. The tattoo artist is best known for his work in oriental bodysuits and portraits, color and black-gray.
Jess Yen is awarded the master of new oriental style, which is rich in both materialistic and realistic elements. The tattoo studio by Jess is occupied all the year with clients, with bookings done in advance for up to two years. The artist has been awarded multiple National and International awards for his contributions to the success of the art, and he looks forward to contributing more in the field.
#4 Shige Iwasaki @shige_yellowblaze
Next on our list of the best Japanese tattoo artists is Shigenori Iwasaki. The tattoo artist is popularly known as Shige and is one of the first tattoo artists to take on Japanese tattoo styles. The artist owns a tattoo studio in Yokohama that goes by the name of Yellow Blaze Tattoo Studio.
Shige Iwasaki is a self-learner and considers Horiyoshi III and the Leu Family his most significant inspiration source. Being a self-learner, the artist did not know much bout the Japanese tattoo culture, for which he received a lot of criticism in the early days. Currently, a person has to wait for almost two years in the waiting line to get tattooed by the great Shige.
#5 Henning Jorgensen @henning_royaltattoo
Henning was merely a thirteen-year-old kid when he started to develop an interest in the world of body art and tattoos. He started learning about tattoos at the age of 18 by starting at the Red Light district. The tattoo artist has received several accolades for his talent in body ink and is awarded the Tattooist of the Year award three times.
Henning’s Japanese body artwork is displayed in many tattoo magazines, and he is regarded as one of the greatest tattoo artists in Japanese culture. The artist owns a tattoo studio known as Royal Tattoo that he found in 1983, which is full of huge lines of customers throughout the years.
#6 Studio Muscat @studiomuscat
The last on our list of the best Japanese Tattoo artists is a female tattooist Asao, a super chilla and down to earth in nature. Asao owns a studio in Shibuya wish she started after she was fired from the fashion industry as a pattern maker. The artist wanted to explore something different yet similar to her work, so she chose to tattoo.
Asao’s clients are female musicians and women as they feel secure and less threatened in her studio. The tattoo artist knows all forms of the art, but she practices tribal art a lot more than others. Being Japanese, she knows a lot about the traditional stuff and culture that helps her design ethnic, cultural motifs.
These are the six best Japanese tattoo artists famous for their knowledge of body ink in Japanese culture and traditional motifs. So next time, if you are looking to get a Japanese tattoo, make sure to check out their Instagram handles for some inspiration, and if you plan to get tatted from them, you know when to book an appointment.