Tattoo designs take flight in 2013
# 6. Samurai Tattoos, including Demons and Hannya Masks
The samurai warrior is the penultimate symbol and epitome of masculine courage, honour and justice within Japanese tattooing, and the samurai represents the highest masculine ideals within Japanese culture. The samurai adhered to a strict code of conduct called ‘Bushido’, meaning ‘the way of the warrior’. Bushido was based on the Zen Buddhist principles of Rectitude, Courage, Benevolence, Respect, Trust, Honour and Loyalty until death. Other ideals to which the samurai aspired were self-discipline, frugality, self-sacrifice and nobility.
The most well-known of the Oni demon masks in Japanese theatre, the Hannya mask has two sharp horns protruding from the temples, and bulging eyes staring from beneath a glowering forehead. The mouth is a gaping hole with grotesquely exaggerated canine teeth protruding from the mouth like the fangs of a wild animal. With its range of fierce emotions and expressions, the Hannya mask is a favourite tattoo image with enthusiasts of traditional Japanese tattooing.
Turn the page for #5