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JAPAN

“Irezumi” from “ireru” that means “to insert” and “sumi” that means “black ink” or “horimono” from “horu” that means “subscribe” and “mono” that means “something”; in Japan they were originally the symbol of a punishment that was used to brand criminals, slaves or prisoners of war. Thanks to its development the Japanese culture has begun to be inspired by the decorations of kimonos and from the suits of the samurais to create more complex tattoos. The Irezumi covers the most part of the surface of the body to exclusion of hands, feet and head. The traditional Japanese tattoos represent mostly dragons, cherry blossom, blossom of peony, chrysanthemum and lotus, stylization of mythological figures, holy animals as the snake and lion; ideograms; Buddhist quotes, apotropaic masks of Japanese theatre. Sometimes these elements are combined together as the lion and the peony, the dragon and the chrysanthemum, the masks and the snakes, etc…