the art of


Traditional Japanese hand poking method

Tebori means to carve by hand. Back in the days there were no tattoo machines, no premixed inks and no street shops in Japan. Tattooing was carried out using needles fixed to bamboos handles, dipped into ink and then inserted in the skin by hand. To be able to practice tebori skilfully, a long and difficult apprenticeship is necessary. As well as learning basic skills such as painting from memory, study ukiyoe, folklore and hygiene practice the student must become accomplished in the art of tebori. The touch required to insert the needle at the correct speed, angle and depth has to be learn to perfection before working on costumers. This is no easy process and only dedicated student succeed to master this technique. When working by tebori there is much less bleeding, inflammation and pain.

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