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Excellent article, but two quibbles about the following paragraph, which I've excised for now:

Japan is the only society where tattooing is known to have become a prevailing social fashion, and Japanese tattooing, which takes years to master and whose secrets are jealously guarded by its various practitioners, is rightfully called an art form.

  1. Tattooing has been always been a minority phenomenon in Japan, and there are plenty of other cultures (eg. much of Polynesia) where tattooing has played a bigger role, if anything
  2. And it's not Wikipedia's job to decide what is 'rightfully' an art form.

Jpatokal 13:33, 24 Jan 2004 (UTC)

I would add that Irezumi traditionally refers to an old Japanese practice of tattooing convicts so that their crimes could be identified by anybody. So it actually refers to prison tattos rather than tattoos in general.

Pendodecahedron 12:16, 20 Jan 2011 (UTC)

Article source[edit]

The section "tattoos in modern japan seems to be taken directly from this website: "". someone could have at least reworded it slightly. Hellfire83 23:47, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

Plagiarism on[edit]

Googling around for "Nara black" I found an AssociatedContent article which seems to lift substantial portions of its content from the "History of Japanese Tattoos" and "Japanese Tattoos in the Edo Period" sections of this page, but fails to cite the way and others do. Those sections remain largely unchanged from almost a year before the Associated Content version's August 2006 publication date, so I seriously doubt it works the other way around.

Is that kosher? If it isn't, I haven't made any edits to this article and don't have any claim to it, but maybe someone who has and does could drop a note to AC and see what should be done about it? Mockingbus 01:49, 30 September 2007 (UTC)


It is somewhat astonishing that this is an article about a traditional form of body art and yet there are no images to provide examples of the very same! I do not know how to add images to wikipedia articles, so if anyone else has the impulse to do so, I think images depicting Irezumi would be sensible!

The Koi photo is of a Brazilian man, not Japanese. Follow the source. Can someone fix? (talk) 14:31, 1 October 2014 (UTC)


As the definition of Tattoo (at least in Wikipedia) is equal to the definition of Irezumi ('bringing ink under the skin'), Irezumi is not "a form of tattooing", it IS tattooing — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:28, 3 June 2013 (UTC)

The traditional way of tattooing in Japan is a form of tattooing. This makes it tattooing. Jazz is music, and also a form of music. One does not exclude the other. You either misunderstand the word 'form' or the logic implications of it. (talk) 14:38, 1 October 2014 (UTC)

balance in the introduction[edit]

The whole introduction needs to be reworked. There is way too much emphasis on language aspects. This is the English language Wikipedia: the fact that irezumi is written in Japanese using various Chinese characters is not of great importance. Such material can be moved to a subsection. Also: "The Japanese word refers to the insertion of ink under the skin to leave a permanent, usually decorative mark" means exactly the same thing as saying "The Japanese word means tattoo".

I'm moving the language material to a separate section and putting some more substantive material in the intro.Ordinary Person (talk) 07:20, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

Lacking in detail[edit]

I have recently started learning more about Japanese Tattooing and some of the styles associated, and to be honest, I was a bit surprised at how broad this article was. It doesn't seem to cover some of the finer points of Japanese Tattoos. It was nice to see mention of the Ainu, but what about the other types? The first sentence of the article states "Irezumi is any of several forms of traditional Japanese tattooing", but doesn't seem to really follow through with defining with what those other styles are. I recently watched a short documentary on Shisei (, yet a ctrl+f of the article doesn't even mention the word. It just seems a bit too brief. Like I stated earlier, I'm still learning about the topic so I don't really feel qualified enough to be able to update the article but if someone does happen to have more knowledge on it, it might be worth expanding on the existing material substatinally.Sawta (talk) 19:59, 13 June 2015 (UTC)