10 Gorgeous Tattoos Inspired By Japanese Kabuki Theater

jentheripper in Tattoo Ideas

The culture of Japan will never cease to inspire tattoo art. Let's take some time to explore Kabuki tattoos.

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.

Fabulous Kabuki actor piece by Eilo Martin!
Fabulous Kabuki actor piece by Eilo Martin!
The work of Horitoyo.
The work of Horitoyo.
Fun piece by Ichibay.
Fun piece by Ichibay.
This sleeve by Judd Ripley includes the different traditional make-up of kabuki on sheets.
This sleeve by Judd Ripley includes the different traditional make-up of kabuki on sheets.
Again, make-up sheets (and not masks!) by Kostas Tzikalagias.
Again, make-up sheets (and not masks!) by Kostas Tzikalagias.

Recent from Tattoo Ideas

By Matty McTatty.
By Matty McTatty.
Great kabuki tattoo on the hand by Mike DeVries.
Great kabuki tattoo on the hand by Mike DeVries.
Another one by Mike DeVries.
Another one by Mike DeVries.
Kabuki face made at Requiem Tattoo.
Kabuki face made at Requiem Tattoo.

jentheripper

@JenTheRipper

Writer for art related medias. Fell in love with tattoo while researching for another passion, crime history. Travelling, admiring, sharing.

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