Horikazu II, the oldest son of Asakusa Horikazu – prolific horishi, Japanese traditional tattoo master who died in 2011.
Horikazu II, known earlier as Horikazuwaka, did not inherited only father’s name but he took also over whole father’s business. Number of clients’ body suites has not been finished and it became a task of new business owner.
Earlier name ”Waka” which used to distinguish the son from his father became obscurant by time. Waka sensei, how he used to be called by father’s clients grew to middle age and appreciated the change of his name.
“Finally, I work in my father’s studio, but I never thought it will happen. My father probably wanted me to be tattooer and continue his business, but he never said that and he never taught me either.”
Horikazu II knew that he wants to be tattooist from very young age. Every day he spent the most of time in father’s tattoo studio, helping him as his assistant.
“Father told me to look at him and steal his art, his skill, to mature.”
Horikazu II does mostly backpieces or whole body suites. It is common that it took more then 10 years to finish it. After taking over the father‘s business he mostly worked on father’s clients however within few years he gained several new clients and designed their backpieces from the scratch.
Horikazu II does his outlines with a machine, saying that it remain sharp, however shading and colors are executed by hands. He believes the effort is worth it. “The beauty of Japanese tattooing is that the colors and vibrancy improved as time goes on. It doesn’t degrade, but simply become more beautiful as time passes” he mentioned in book Tattoo in Japan.