There are many types of theater art in Japan, and Kabuki is one of the most famous, along with Noh theater, whose masks are very coveted for tattoos. This is the reason why people often make the mistake that Kabuki also use masks. But the actors of Kabuki theater only use make-up. Everything in this art form is exaggerated, from the costumes to the acting. That's the reason why Kabuki actors' facial expressions are seen as quite burlesque by Westerners. Kabuki theater appeared in the 17th century, during the famous Edo era, created by a priestess. The word means the art of singing and dancing, two things involved in Kabuki. At first, it was only performed by women, religious ladies or prostitutes. But, it was soon considered as obscene, and only male actors were allowed to perform it, female roles being played by young men. Being a Kabuki actor is a hereditary role and theater troupes are often linked to families and strong organizations. The stories of the plays are based on historical events or legends involving drama, love and morals. The eye-catching and impressive make-up of the actors is called kumadori. It is the main focus of kabuki tattoos. The different colors of the line and their organization describe the type of characters portrayed. The red make-up is more popular for tattoos, and indicates a character of hero, warrior or lover. This makeup is also represented in sheets of paper. Actors used to press their face against a silk cloth after the shows to keep a memory of their make-up. It was also offered as a lucky gift. The world of Kabuki is complex, even for Japanese people, but its mystery and beauty is inspiring many ink lovers. If you are an admirer of Japanese culture, you could be seduced by these Kabuki inspired tattoos.