The tebori style of hand poke tattooing actually tends to cause less scabbing, heal quicker, and be less traumatic to the skin than modern machines. It is true that the tebori process is slower compared to machines, but many people perceive it to be less painful and more authentic. This is just one example of how the old ways are sometimes the best ways.
Unfortunately, it appears that art is dying, and it is not often seen that artisans who create lines by hand are dedicated. While modern machines are used to create solid and clean lines, most traditional artists still make all of their tattoos by hand when it comes to black shading and coloring. Tebori, a rich tradition and history in Japan, was the method used for tattooing until the last 40 years, where small one-point flower bodysuits were done by hand.
Horishi, or carvers, are referred to as both tattooing and carving craftsmen, as the Japanese tradition of hand poke tebori tattooing is linked to the Japanese craft of woodblock carving and woodblock printing. In preparation for creating a print, the skin being tattooed, tebori means to ‘hand carve’, similar to a wood block. Many woodblock printmakers and carvers from the old Edo Japanese period were also believed to have been tattoo artists in their free time, as the skill sets required for both had significant similarities, with Kuniyoshi being a notable example of a renowned Edo era artist believed to have been a horishi.
It is possible that tebori machines, used by skilled tebori tattoo artists, offer a more saturated color look in the skin and may also provide a unique and different feel to the artwork compared to machine-made tattoos. This authenticity to the tradition is true, as the required time for hand-made tebori tattoos performed by a skilled artist can possibly allow for more exacting fine details.
The sizes and arrangements of needles are available in a diverse range, and Tebori tools can be crafted from either wood or metal. The arrangements of needles, which is another factor contributing to the speed of tebori tattooing, can be as high as 11-42 needles while causing significantly less pain. Moreover, tebori is more efficient and comfortable compared to machine tattoos, where the average needle group for coloring in is 9-13 needles.
Consultations are currently being offered for small single-point tattoos to complete bodysuits by tebori on new customers. Kindly submit an inquiry through the contact form to obtain additional details.
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The Horisumi tebori technique involves crafting everything by hand.
The pigments created by Horisumi Studio contain natural and basic ingredients, without any toxins or resins. All the colors are mixed by hand. The studio has been tattooing for over 300 years and uses black Sumi sticks imported from Japan, which are grounded daily. The tools used, such as stainless steel needles, are autoclaved after each use. Each needle is handmade for each client. The studio also uses single-use bamboo tebori sticks.