Suikoden tattoos are inspired by a classic Chinese folk story entitled Water Margin (Translatedas Suikoden in Japanese). The story tells of 108 hero-outlaws and their exploits against oppressive and corrupt rulers, in a similar style to Robin Hood. Interestingly the popularity of Suikoden in Japan actually aided the rise of tattooing. In the story a number of the hero-outlaws wear extensive Irezumi style tattoos which were depicted in a number of illustrations by artist Utagawa Kuniyoshi in 1827. Kuniyoshi's illustrations not only promoted the beautiful Irezumi of the story but the style of the artists work became one of the biggest influences on the artistic style and look of Japanese tattooing!!