Kabuki Tattoos Bangkok
For those who love color in their tattoo a Kabuki tattoo certainly takes some beating.
Here’s the lowdown on what this style of Japanese tattoo art is all about.
We will include choices of Kabuki tattoo and why the ALL DAY Tattoo studio in Sukhumvit, central Bangkok is the place to go if you are after a complex, yet highly attractive tattoo, one that needs delivering in flamboyant Japanese style.
What is Kabuki?
Kabuki is a classic Japanese theatrical art.
It is seen as theatre for the common people and is renowned for its excellent dramatization when it comes to human emotions in everyday life.
It can be interpreted as “The art of singing and dancing” and is related to the word “Kabuka” – This means “To be out of the ordinary”.
And, out of the ordinary it certainly is.
Those who have had the pleasure of witnessing a Kabuki dance-drama production will find words such as “bizarre and “avant-garde” spring to mind.
Not least because every single actor, whether playing the part of a male or female character is always a male.
This stems from the fact that although it was a woman who first performed Kabuki in 1603, the plays became more and more risque.
So much so that they were highly popular in the Red Light districts of the time.
Brothel owners saw this type of ‘show’ as a highly effective way to promote ladies of the house and to ensure potential clients viewed them in a different and more alluring light.
As the popularity of such shows grew so did the concern of the authorities.
This led to the banning of women performing in Kabuki plays during the Edo period (1629-1673).
It is rumoured that the thinking behind this was to protect female modesty and virtue. However, many would argue that this law was put in place to stop the unrest being caused over male audiences fighting for the attention of the most attractive actresses!
Stunning costumes, superb facial make-up
But, rest assured girls, Japanese women are quite content to let the guys and their cross-dressing companions carry on the tradition unhindered.
This could have something to do with the fact that the elaborate Kabuki costumes can be quite heavy.
In some cases over 20kg in weight.
They also include intricate layers and folds that have to be constantly in place during a performance.
This is necessary to allow the actors to move around the stage freely.
Another issue is the length of a Kabuki performance.
These frequently run at between 4 and 6 hours!
The costumes and make-up worn by the actors are simply out of this world in terms of color, design and style.
This is a major reason as to why Kabuki tattoo depictions are so popular.
As an aside: Kabuki actors do not wear masks – Their faces are heavily made up with astonishingly applied, thickly plastered make-up.
Mask wearing is left to those who ply their trade in “Noh” performances – Noh masks are another ideal choice in terms of a colourful, stand-out tattoo design, but let’s concentrate on Kabuki tattoos for the moment!
Kabuki tattoos – What are your choices?
Where do we start? Colors are certainly not the issue – Having a Kabuki tattoo guarantees color and detail – Here are 2 choices for you to consider:
Full Kabuki Character
You have the choice of going for a full Kabuki character adorned in an individual costume that is representative of one of the cast’s characters.
As well as flowing gowns of intricate design, short swords and stylish hair design, you can have their face defined as you wish.
This is thanks to the highly colorful make-up used.
These types of intricate tattoos are generally inked on the larger side – Think:
- Side of the body from armpit to thigh
- A full frontal tattoo from neck to waist
- A full back tattoo
The alternative is to go for a smaller, yet still highly intricate design – These can be placed on:
- The upper arm
- A quadrant of the back
- Leg (from knee to ankle)
Face of a Kabuki Character
This is an extremely popular choice and it is easy to see why – It is tattoo art at its brightest – The colors and intricate detail of a Kabuki character’s make-up afford a permanent explosion of color.
Here are some of the more popular make-up colors Kabuki performers wear.
This should help you understand that color combination in terms of design is entirely yours to choose.
This is the thick base coat that is first applied to the face of a Kabuki actor.
It completely covers the whole face to give a dramatic onstage look.
You can choose between different shades of white (in Kabuki performances these shades are applied dependent upon age, class and character gender).
Red & Black lines
Red & Black lines are then applied to outline the eyes and mouth.
Both features are shaped differently and are dependent upon whether it is a female or male character being played.
Want a supernatural hero or villain inking?
Supernatural heroes and villains are quite common in Kabuki plays.
If you want the face of either, this should be carried out in ‘Kumadori’ style.
Kumadori consists of dramatic lines and shapes which are lavishly applied in different colors.
Each color represents different qualities – most commonly:
- Dark Red – for Anger, Passion or Cruelty
- Dark Blue – for Sadness or Depression
- Pink – represents Youth or Cheerfulness
- Light Blue or Green – represents Calm
- Purple – Nobility
- Brown – Selfishness
- Black – for Fear
In all, there are around 100 different mask-like styles of Kumadori make-up – So, you should not be short of choice!
The added plus here is that you can have the face designed and colored exactly as you wish.
Take a look at different Kabuki faces when fully made up and pick or choose elements as you wish.
Many of those searching for a relevant Kabuki tattoo go for designs that show:
- Love & Passion
- A talisman for good luck & to ward off evil spirits
- Wisdom – To prevent the wearer from jumping into romantic relationships with two-feet or head first!
- A reminder of mistakes made or unfortunate past events – This Kabuki design will serve as a reminder of lessons learned and the fact you have come out the other side a stronger person
- Jealousy, resentment & anger – For those who really do carry a grudge, a Kabuki tattoo can be depicted to show just how unforgiving the wearer is.
Japanese tattooing is an art within itself – The ALL DAY Tattoo studio has artists that fit the bill!
Anyone living in, or visiting Bangkok who is looking for a Kabuki tattoo should make the ALL DAY Tattoo studio in downtown Sukhumvit their first port of call.
Not only are we the #1 fully licensed tattoo studio in the capital, our team also has experience of living and working in Japan in order to master their understanding of the complex, yet beautiful art of true Japanese tattoo art.
Our fluent English speaking team of managers and artists will ensure that the complex Kabuki design you are looking for is the one you will get, but for anyone in need of guidance or inspiration the ALL DAY Tattoo studio is the perfect place to find it.
The fact that we only ever use one-use, highest quality needles, industry best standard USA-imported inks, and have rigid hygiene standards in place means your tattoo experience will be second to none.
We pride ourselves on customer satisfaction and take aftercare advice very seriously.
If you are looking for a Kabuki (or any other Japanese style) tattoo, there really is only one place to go when in Bangkok – The ALL DAY Tattoo studio in Sukhumvit.
To find out more, please contact our friendly, fluent English speaking team using the most convenient method below.