Yakuza Tattoos Bangkok


Yakuza tattoos have become a modern staple in the tattoo world

This wasn’t always the case considering the history and origin of these amazing designs

What were once punitive marks worn by gangsters, criminals, and untouchables in the Japanese society, these designs have now become a force to be reckoned with throughout the modern world


History Behind the Yakuza

The word yakuza literally translates to “good for nothing”

It is believed to have originated from a worthless hand in an old card game similar to blackjack

The cards ya-ku-za (8-9-3) ending up being the worst possible hand you could be dealt in this game

The Yakuza took this word and gave it their own meaning

To them it symbolized the bad hand they had been dealt in life, being part of the lower caste members in Japanese society

Japan had a tremendously strict caste system which was heavily enforced by the shogunate

The Yakuza were considered the undesirable and untouchables of Japanese society

These unfortunates did the grunt work or the jobs that no one else was willing to do

During the mid Edo period (1600-1868), two social classes emerged and it is believed that this is where the Yakuza originated from

The tekiya were ranked as the lowest of the low of Japans social groups

They stole, scammed, and peddled illicit goods

The bakuto were those who ran or participated in the running of illegal gambling enterprises and loan sharking businesses

It was during this period in Japanese history that tattoos were considered a form of punishment

At this time, only criminals and outlaws had tattoos

The government used tattoos to mark criminals

They would be placed on highly visible areas of the body such as the forehead or the limbs

In doing so, the individual would be ostracized by society, and no business would be willing to hire them

Eventually the Yakuza rebelled against this practiced form of punishment and embraced the tattoos, turning them into a revolutionary act and art form

The Yakuza groups grew in proportion, similar to modern mafia families

They banded together and were viewed as “Robin Hoods” for their many charitable acts

They ran gangs for survival and protection, not with the intent to further criminal activities or to harm people

They existed underground and tattooed themselves by choice not by punishment and learned to live in a society that thought them distasteful


The Origin of Yakuza Tattoos

Irezumi is the Japanese word for tattoo

It literally means “inserting ink”

This process is performed by hand, using wooden handles with metal needles attached using a silk thread

This method requires using special ink derived for the indigo plant

This ink is called “Nara” or “Zumi” ink

This type of ink oxidizes under the skin and changes to a blueish, green color

Generally, this ink was homemade from recipes that had been passed down for generations and was very limited in its color range

The inspiration for the irezumi style tattoo came from woodblock printing art

Oftentimes, the woodblock artist would be the tattoo artist as well

Using the same woodblock tools and techniques to etch and gouge designs into the skin, similar to the way that they worked with wood

This was a very painful, time consuming process

The bigger the tattoo and the more pain inflicted to complete the design meant that the Yakuza member had a higher commitment to the organization

This was a very ritualistic process and very often people gathered to watch a member get tattooed

The Yakuza hid their tattoos from the general public and only showed them to other members


Yakuza Tattoo Styles and Meanings

Yakuza tattoos can be colorful or complicated blackwork designs

The inspiration for these large and colorful tattoos was based on the woodblock art prints from hundreds of years ago

These designs are very meaningful and tailored to the specific person and their life story

Generally, these tattoos cover large portions of the body if not the entire body

If a design covers the entire body from shoulders to the legs it is called a bodysuit

A “hikae” design covers only the shoulders and arms

These designs symbolize a strong message of power and are an intricate part of the Japanese culture and art

These tattoos have deep meaning and specific symbols have important significance in the Yakuza culture

Here are few design options and the meaning behind them



The most popular of the Yakuza design elements

These magical creatures have great unexplained power

Are rulers of the sky and generally placed near the upper part of the body

Japanese dragons have three claws and represent great strength and patience

They are magnificent creatures who rule over air as well as the sea and have the ability to control water

They symbolize the never-ending fight between heaven and earth and also represent endurance as this battle has no true winner or loser


Koi Fish

The Koi fish is closely connected to the dragon as they are believed to be one and the same and have transformative abilities

Ancient legends told of the koi swimming up the Yellow River in China

Traveling through rapids and over waterfalls to reach its destination at Dragon’s Gate

It is believed that the koi then turned into a dragon after passing through the Dragon’s Gate

Because of this legend they are known as a symbol of perseverance, overcoming great obstacles, tackling the next challenge, and accomplishing life’s goals



Tigers are considered rulers of the earth

A dragon fighting a tiger represents the fight between good and evil

The tiger is a symbol of strength and perseverance and provides guidance in the afterlife

If there is a dragon and a tiger in the same design, the dragon will usually be above the tiger with the tiger facing upwards looking to the sky from the underworld

Tiger designs are typically placed on the lower part of the body



The phoenix symbolizes rebirth and triumph over extreme struggles

Flames represent spiritual cleansing

In Buddhism, fire is believed to purify negative energy

The phoenix also represents resurrection, life after death, and immortality as it was consumed by flames and reborn from the ashes

This mythical creature embodies adversity and trial by fire which transforms and renews the eternal spirit


Why ALL DAY Tattoo is Bangkok’s best choice for your yakuza tattoo?

Tattooing is not just our livelihood, it is our passion!

Once you step inside and experience the vibe for yourself, you will see how passionate we are about tattooing and everything that goes along with it from start to finish

At the end of your journey with us you will no longer be a client but part of the ALL DAY tattoo family!

We are easily accessible, in the heart of Bangkok located in the Sukhumvit area

Our top notch hygiene standards and procedures are why we are one of the only fully licensed tattoo studios in Bangkok

We have a team of fluent English speaking managers and artists who have years of experience and can assist you with bringing your tattoo design dreams to fruition

We have many clients that have expressed how shocked they are that their design looked more amazing than they could have even imagined

Let us add you to our list of satisfied clients who are now part of our ALL DAY family!



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Yakuza Tattoos Bangkok ultima modifica: 2021-12-23T17:50:21+07:00 da admin_76