Horiyoshi III is pretty small man, however he is huge as an artist. He always surprises me with amount of his art output and unquestionable his open friendly attitude and ability to communicate in English is a part of his success in foreign countries.
He has been two times invited to FCCJ (Foreign Correspondent Club of Japan) to demonstrate his traditional tattoo style and talk about tattoo art, foreign tattoo magazines featured him quite often and several books has been done showing his tattoo designs, his ghosts and other tattoo motives.
Horiyoshi III became so famous abroad that most of recent young clients tattooed by him were from oversea. He is a living icon and symbol of tattooing in Japan and oversea as well. Actually, opposite is true; he is more recognized in oversea’s countries then in Japan. In current stage, opinium of people is not very favorable towards to tattoo here in Japan.
Tattoo is still too much connected with underground society, with Yakuza ( Japanese mafia ) and among common people traditionally looked tattoos create unpleasure feelings, they are scarred by those who wear traditional tattoo and they actually have a reason for that.
However beside this aspect, tattoo is not only a symbol of Yakuza any more in Japan. It transformed to stand alone art even though opinium of most Japanese has not changed yet and will not change any soon.
Horiyoshi III, this unique tattoo master and artist demonstrate his drawing abilities by his recent exhibition and by cooperating with organizers of King of Tattoo convention he opened his exhibition in a big style.
Opening party, where so many other Japanese and foreign tattooers came to greet him (including Horikoi and many others) was a nice chance to meet great masters of the “tattoo family”.
It continues here.