Where to get the best Japanese tattoo in Sydney?

W hen you decide on getting something as intricate as a Japanese style tattoo, you want an expert doing it. With detailed lines and delicately designed backgrounds, it doesn’t just take a great tattoo artist but someone who understands the processes and meanings behind the art. At Lighthouse Tattoo we specialise in Japanese style tattoos, with tattoo artists who have dedicated decades to learning this craft.

A brief history of Japanese tattoo

The traditional Japanese tattoo, referred to as Wabori, was a practice seen as rebellious for its illegality. Tattoos have a lot of stigma relating to them in Japanese culture, with a history of them being used to brand criminals and the perception of them uncivilised. Despite this the craft survived into the present day, offering a unique art style. The imagery for these pieces comes from Ukiyo-e, which depicted scenes portraying scenes of nature, ghosts, stories of war, erotic imagery and animals.

What makes Japanese tattoos so intricate

If you have ever seen a Ukiyo-e, you will notice that not only does the foreground have lots of details but so does the background. The images presented in them are often bold in order to differentiate them from their backgrounds. Furthermore, these backgrounds are usually only done in black and grey. This means the backgrounds of a Japanese traditional tattoo must be done first. If this background is done without an accurate understanding of the space the main elements of the foreground will reside within, your design will not stand out. Another consideration is whether you have a prior piece of Japanese traditional art, as if you are planning to join these pieces into a whole bodysuit then you will require consistent background elements to join them.

Japanese style tattoo

Symbolism and meaning

As mentioned prior, traditional Japanese tattoos usually present a scene of nature, ghosts, stories of war, erotica and animals. There are also images that have symbolism attached to them. For example the Fu Dog, a mythical creature, is often depicted in Japanese culture for their special protective powers. This has translated into their use in art as they are believed to bestow the same protective quality on those who bear their image. That doesn’t mean all images need to retain the traditional meaning of the figures depicted. The Hanya is one of the most popular images to be represented in traditional Japanese tattoos. They are chosen for their stylistic design and are often removed from their representation of a woman transitioning into resentment and bitterness.

Why should I choose Lighthouse

One of the questions we often get asked is whether a client is restricted by the traditional style of Japanese art when choosing a tattoo. To this, we answer that we can do both the traditional look of these Japanese tattoos and we can also go for more modern styles to get your desired tattoo. We also offer the traditional way of tattooing Japanese tattoos, Tebori. This is where the inside details of a tattoo are done by a needle attached to a bamboo stick. This is done by one of our co-founders, Nathan Puata, on request and depending on the suitability of the piece.

Ready to get a tattoo by the best Japanese tattoo specialists in Sydney? Book in for a consultation at our Botany or City locations today! Our consultations last 20-30 minutes and are free of charge. Click here to book your consultation or click here if you want to see our artist’s work and find the one that fits you.

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