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Horimono - Tattoo Irezumi Tebori


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At the end of the 18th century, Japanese tattooing became sufficiently complex to be called Horimono. And it will have its definitive form in the Bunka and Bunsei Era (1804-1829). 

In those days, tattoos they take on a look quite similar to what we know today as traditional Japanese tattooing.

They are already quite extensive and cover a large part of the body, looking like a piece of clothing due to the visual effect produced by the detailed drawings that leave almost no skin untattooed on the body. 

At first they were most common among firefighters, construction workers, gambling professionals, palanquin carriers, boatmen and messengers. 

At this time, Japan is living under a feudal military dictatorship and citizens are beginning to develop a strong class consciousness. 

Tattooing is a way of expressing personality and feeling pride for city people, who were not peasants and were not in the military. 

These elaborate kimono-like tattoos serve as an answer to the sumptuous garments of the elite. 

The word horimono The term was born from the rejection of the tattooists to the term irezumiThe tattooing of the criminal tattoo, then used for criminal tattooing, in an attempt to separate one artistic practice from another so brutal. 

The aesthetics and motifs used in Japanese tattooing go hand in hand with engravings. Ukiyo-e, so fashionable at the time and hence the expression horimonowhich means "carved object"composed of the verb horu (to carve, engrave) together with the term monkey (object, thing). 

The links below will help you to better understand the term Horimono and the historical moment in question:
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