Guest Blog: Horiyoshi III's Unfinished Business
08:21 AM
horiyoshi backpiece.jpgJohn Mack is back with another story about his experience getting tattooed by Horiyoshi III over the course of nine years. The image above was taken after one of his earlier sessions. Check out his previous posts:  Part IPart II, Part III, and Part IV.

As I mention at the end of every post, Horiyoshi III's practice is now limited to finishing existing tattoos. Once it became apparent that the master will be retiring, his clients have come out of the woodwork.

Every time I go to Japan, one or two people show up and display an incomplete tattoo, asking to get on the schedule to have it finished. Most stopped at completion of sujibori, the outline.  I have never seen any of them refused, as long as they make their appointments three to four months in advance.

"They just keep on coming," said Horiyoshi when I asked about it.  "I've tattooed about 7000 people, and there would have not been time to start so many had everyone completed their tattoos." There are lots of unfinished Horiyoshi III tattoos out there.

I nervously asked whether I would be able to finish. "You're fine, John-san,"  he reassured me.  He and I both know what finished means, and I'm going for it.

Horiyoshi's practice is now limited to finishing existing clients' tattoos.  As I have repeatedly witnessed, all new clients are politely referred elsewhere.

Really beautiful, bold design, thanks for the post.
By the way, any idea why Horitaka and Horiyoshi are no longer affiliated?

I understand the curiosity but I'd prefer people not comment on Horitaka and Horiyoshi.

I have done interviews with both (will publish them in the Spring), which will explain things in their own words.

Thanks, look forward to the posts.

It's a little bizarre to me how long people will wait to finish tattoos. I mean funding, travel, etc. All are absolutely valid. But I know a lot of people who have outlines and then just seem to lose interest for months or years at a time. How does it not drive them crazy.

No comment regarding Horiyoshi III and Horitaka.

I drive projects to completion, so i don't fully understand either.

Indeed, how does it not drive them crazy? Well said, Anna.

connect with us

Marisa Kakoulas
Miguel Collins
Craig Dershowitz
Brian Grosz
Sean Risley
Patrick Sullivan
Needles and Sins powered by Moveable Type.

Site designed and programmed by Striplab.

NS logo designed by Viktor Koen.