We all know what amazing country Japan is, and maybe everyone has seen at least one traditional japanese tattoo.
Well, what many don't know, is that even in this amazing culture, strengthened from centuries of tradition and history, tattoos got a deep, intensive, meaning and a name, which is Irezumi. From centuries, Irezumis got a social function into japanese culture, cause they were, and still are, the mark to recognize a criminal, and believe me or not, there's still places where you'll never get hired if you got tattoos. In Japan, Irezumis were associated to Yakuza gang members, to tell their accomplishments while working for the mob family, usually representing assassinations made for them. But fortunately, being an assassin, it's not a requirement to take a Irezumi on your body, because even in this amazing culture, the creatures, the figures and the other symbols have a deep meaning token from history and legends. One last thing, about the Japanese tattoos culture, it's the process which takes us to the tattoo done, which is very painful, in order to purify the spirit of the client. We got many techniques, like Tebori, Hanebori and Tsuki-bori.
I suggest you to give a look to the official site of Master tattooist Horiyoshi III, because i believe he's one of the living legends in the world of Irezumis.