Do you feel a strong affinity for traditional Japanese tattoos? Aim for a Japanese body tattoo idea and watch your skin embellished with oriental designs.
Traditional Japanese tattoos date back centuries when the art form was honored and celebrated by men and women in society.
But did you know that the many oriental tokens you see around are actually part of a bigger picture? The practice of traditional Japanese tattooing, also known as Irezumi, is all about creating healthy tattoo art in the form of body suits.
Simply put, body tattoos are the complete canvas of a composite design spread all over the body. A body tattoo is made up of a number of elements that contribute to the overall theme and are often distinguished by their placement on the body. The back, sleeves, and legs are some of the crucial sites that often take part in a bodysuit tattoo. But what made people so eager to get tattoos from head to toe?
In the Edo period, body suits gained a lot of prominence, with more and more people associating body art with symbolic protection. Japanese people belonging to the middle and working classes adopted full dress to adorn themselves and show off their status and wealth. This practice from ancient times is still alive for modern people who attempt to honor Japanese culture and its traditions through body art. Excited to see what a full body tattoo could look like? Keep reading to find fascinating artifacts from Japan’s history.
Japanese body tattoos with a slit
One of the most popular jumpsuits, the Munewari, is a very detailed design that goes from the shoulder to the legs covering the arms, chest, back and legs. The unique identifier of this style of jumpsuit is the slit that runs through the middle of the chest and down to the end. Here, the artist adheres to the styles adopted by Japanese tattoo artists with conflicting mythical creatures on both sides of the design.
This captures the length the design can extend to. Here the artist stands up to the thighs and wins a half-body if not a complete. Unlike the previous one, this Munewari costume is further accented in black ink with a foo dog and dragon tattoos. However, the continuity of the background in these two designs is an essential feature of a suit tattoo on men.
half sleeve japanese style bodysuit tattoo
This is another Japanese culture inspiration if you aren’t ready to sign up for a full costume already. Originally called “Hikae”, these tattoos cover the chest plates and extend to the arms. A Hikae can be either deep, covering around the nipple, or limited shallow above the affected area.
This “deep” Hikae aptly displays the contrasting game with black and brown undertones and with two different dragons hinting at duality. The half-sleeved design, called “Gobu”, also enhances the appearance of ripped physique with almost no effort. A Hikae is a great choice for men with firm pectoral muscles to show off their chest game.
Traditional Japanese Tattoo Bodysuit Front
Another special combination inspired by Japanese pop culture, this design is called a “Donburi”. A Donburi typically spans the entire chest and front of the body and reaches further down the sleeves for a full upper body outline. This one features a raging design with a Hannya mask and other traditional elements like cherry blossom and foo dog. What makes the design more appealing is the use of colors and shading which create a striking visual.
Likewise, this Donburi features a vivid scene centered on battling creatures against the backdrop of thunderous black skies. The full cover, usually referred to as “Nagasode”, helps to fit the image better, maintaining the continuity of the theme.
Bold Japanese Body Tattoo with Hannya Mask
If you talk about Japanese tattoos, you will see that the Hannya mask is everywhere. Mainly because it tells the story of different emotions. Originally used as a theatrical prop, the mask has been used to represent a number of emotions on stage. If looked at directly, it looks like a dangerous demon, but if tiled, the mask shows a sad face.
So, getting a Hannya mask tattooed on the front of your suit is a great choice if you are someone who wants to represent the many facets of your character. Here the bold mask and images of women allude to theatrical practice that often involved women. This tattoo is made even more appealing due to the black and red contrast running through the entire design.
Japanese style tattoo body suit background
As we said, a combination is highly dependent on its background. Traditionally, the Japanese tattoo for men begins with the setting of the backdrop, known as the Mikiri, and gradually proceeds to the main elements. But what to ink the back with if you lead with a very detailed front?
The most common backdrops are those of wind or waves challenging the vacant space on your skin. The oriental curves and the inclusion of bright flowers bring out the nature theme and help tie the costume without much hassle and keep your body art clutter-free.
Unique Japanese Tattoo Designs on the Back
Speaking of patterns on your back, it’s important to know the usefulness of the larger canvas on your body. A Japanese combination involving the back is known as Senaka and usually starts below the neck and can extend to the buttocks and thighs.
Here, the artist moves away from the common elements that we see in Irezumi and relies on the scenic beauty of Japan to build this style. The mountaintop, waves and floral setting highlight the importance of nature in Japanese culture.
Traditional Japanese Tattoo Body Costumes
There are many ways to build a Senaka, but the best choice is definitely to have a traditional theme in mind. For example, this tattoo design shows a Japanese warrior in a full bodysuit from ancient times. Colors and details are beautifully etched to create the complete warrior look.
You can use this theme and add opponents against the warrior and use the canvas to the fullest!
Japanese Half Body Tattoo Designs
The beauty of traditional Japanese tattoos is that you don’t have to sit with it all at once. Irezumi’s goal is to tell a culture story about bodies. And it’s supposed to be very long until you’re about to get a finished combination. This is why you might see sleeve tattoos or shoulder tattoos that are designed on a common theme.
Another way to go step by step with this style is brilliantly shown here. Often the themes capture the duality of life and the world as a whole, and the person here has embodied the half containing a Hannya mask and a foo dog. The left side is generally reserved for the female counterpart and is evocative of it by the positioning of the dog. Although it may take longer to tattoo a full costume, this half-style is a great way to honor Japanese tattoos.
female japanese body tattoo
Japanese history explains the many women who had adopted the practice of getting a body suit tattoo. However, traditional artists followed a different method when inking a woman. Mainly engraved as a Senaka, the main piece was inked first and without the background to avoid overloading the entire back. This method generated more feminine designs that looked gorgeous on a woman.
However, it could be easily modified according to their preferences. This tattoo design features a body suit on a woman in just as much detail as it does on a man. The background envelops the serpent and the mask, without having to compromise with the femininity of the idea. You can try this bodysuit with an Oni mask or koi fish for a unique take on this historic tattoo style.
Japanese Yakuza full body tattoo
Although a full suit looks absolutely menacing, the story tells a different story of the infamous Japanese mafia called Yakuza. Members of this association had popularized the practice of wearing full body suits from the neck to the ankles. A Yakuza tattoo will therefore include ink on all parts of the body except the genitals, armpits, neck, hands and feet.
Now known as “Shoushinbori”, these full body tattoos can contain any element you choose. Here, the artist uses a Hannya mask and chrysanthemums as the main piece, but that’s usually up to the wearer to decide. Until you’ve mastered the theme, include as many hints as you want!
Japanese jumpsuits are as cool as it gets! Filled with a fair share of history and culture, these tattoos carry the Japanese way of life in every design. However, everything has a cost and this one is no exception. The cost of a bodysuit is high and will increase if you like subtleties. But it’s worth every penny when done by tattoo artists with a great skill set. So what are you waiting for? Get started with Irezumi with the suggestions from the list below:
- Body tattoo with Oni mask
- Japanese bodysuit with snakes and dragon
- Blackwork Body Tattoos
- Body Tattoos with Japanese Samurai
- Neo-Traditional Body Tattoos
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Disclaimer: Curated and re-published here. We do not claim anything as we translated and re-published using google translator. All images and Tattoo Design ideas shared only for information purpose.