This book is a comprehensive look at the the life work of traditional Japanese tattoo master. Book, published in October 2012, is another monster hardcover with more than 460 photos by Czech photographer Martin Hladik who based in Tokyo has documented the life and work Japanese tattoo master Horikazu for years until his death.
“The book about Horikazu sensei is intended to be a source of information for educated folk.
It is a book about work of a single tattoo master, an artists who hidden in his studio in Asakusa had never become famous out of his district, however who was one of the best traditional tattoo masters of Japan.
His connections with underground figures of Tokyo were quite obvious and he had never tried to hide it, yet he had never belonged to Yakuza (traditional organized crime syndicates in Japan). He had tattooed them, but never become one of them. He enjoyed his freedom of being an independent artist.
The life of Horikazu sensei was work, work and again work. He was rich, but he never had enough opportunities to spend his money, except apartments in holiday resorts all over Japan to refresh his mind and relax there for few days a year. Until his last day, he was too busy to think about anything else but work.
Once he told me:”Martin you will shoot my funeral”. It was a good joke and we laughed then, but still it sounded like if he already knew his time was coming. A couple of years later, at the end of 2011, he passed away surrounded by his large family. I was invited to photograph his funeral. Before that, his body was exhibited in his studio for about a week and clients were coming to pray. They were coming to show their sympathy, their respect, their sorrow, because he was their master. It was my honor to witness and document such a dignified ritual and atmosphere.
Even for those tattoo artists who are at the beginning of their career it going to be a great experience to buy such book, for those who are more experienced they will enjoy great details of his tattoos as well as perfect balance of his body-suits. The book took me about 7 years to complete. With this book, comprising scant 500 pages with more than 460 pictures you will dive into the still hidden world of traditional Japanese tattooing.
Interviews with Horikazu sensei, done just few days before he died and later another one with Horikazuwaka, his oldest son, provide intimate insights into their life and the art of tattooing in Asakusa.
More highlights come with pictures of the personal, and familial life of Horikazu sensei. You may visit his studio, and watch him tattoo his clients. The present selection of not previously published designs, which were off limit also for his son, is a true rarity! You can find a unique series of full-page pictures of Horikazu’s clients in the book, presenting their full body tattoos openly and with self-confidence.
The illustrous Sanja festival in Asakusa is displayed in images from past and presence and the photographs from Horikazu’s funeral reveal another aspect of Japanese tradition.
I believe that tattooists, tattoo fans and art lover will be satisfied by this book.
Author: Martin Hladik
“Traditional Tattoo in Japan: HORIKAZU. Lifework of the Tattoo Master from Asakusa in Tokyo” is another monster hardcover with more than 460 photos by photographer Martin Hladik who has documented the life and work Japanese tattoo master Horikazu for years until his death. Stunning images — from rows of men with full bodysuits by the master to intimate looks into his family life — populate the 492 pages along with interviews with Horikazu…..full article
This book is a comprehensive look at the the life work of Tattoo Master Horikazu, from Asakusa, Tokyo.
I will freely confess my ignorance to this Master’s tattoo work so it was a pleasure to receive this book and be able to learn about such a highly skilled artist who touched so many with his work. Don’t be mistaken, this is more than just a tattoo book, this is a biography of images and contains not only the artist’s work but also photographs from his own archives, drawings, paintings and a very touching collection of photos from the artist’s funeral service…..full article