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「住之江」

  昔には刑罰として、そして現代には任侠が入れるもの、と刺青(入れ墨)にはネガティブなイメージを持ってしまいがちです。
しかし中国の「魏志倭人伝」に「男子無大小皆黥面文身。自古以來、其使詣中國、皆自稱大夫。夏后少康之子封於會稽、斷髮文身以避蛟龍之害。」とある頃から幾度か禁止されながらも現代まで続いている事を考慮すると日本人にとっては否定できない伝統芸術だと考えられます。
実際、タトゥーは海外ではただのファッションで、日本独自の倫理観や道徳は意味を成さないので、日本の刺青の芸術性は海外から高く評価されています。
 当然、一度入れると除去する事は出来ませんから一生背負って生きて行く事になります。
しかし、あの世にまで身にまとって行けるなんて美しいと思いませんか?



JAPANESE TATTOO

There are a lot of Japanese who tend to have a negative image of tattoos, because they were initially used as punishment, and now it has come to be associated with outlaws living on the fringes of society. We have a description of Japan given from a Chinese traveler in Gishi Wajinden(“Records of Wei: An Account of the Wa’”; part of the Records of the Three Kingdoms dating from the 3rd century), the oldest record mentioning Japan. In the chronicle we find that there already existed the custom in Japan of tattooing to ward off evil spirits. Tattoos were from time to time subject to prohibition edicts, but the custom continues to the present day. Japanese tattoos are traditional works of art. Whereas tattoos are fashionable overseas, they don’t come laden with ethical and moral meanings such as Japanese ones. In any case, the Japanese tattoos seem to be highly evaluated abroad.

Fine quality Japanese tattoos can be extremely difficult to remove, so tattooees should be prepared to carry them for the rest of their lives. It is often said that when we die, we cannot take anything with us, but wouldn’t it be beautiful to wear a tattoo in heaven?

                                      Translation by Eiko Aoki