CookiesThis site uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. Read our privacy policy to learn more
Cross Cultural Connections: Neo Japanese Tattoos

Cross Cultural Connections: Neo Japanese Tattoos

Tattoo Ideas2 min Read

In this collection of awesome tattoo ideas, we check out the Neo Japanese tattoo style; a blend of many different aesthetics and cultures.

This selection of pieces is sure to give you some awesome inspiration for your tattoo idea! Why? Because Neo Japanese tattoos are like an amalgamation of all the best things!! It's a Japanese base mixed with tons of different aspects of pop culture, past art history movements, and the ideas of each particular artist. In this collection you'll notice that each tattooist brings something different to their Neo Japanese pieces...different colors, techniques, and even humorous additions like Ukiyo-e cell phones and sombrero's. Looking for something totally different and unique? Look no further. These tattoo ideas will certainly spark your interest.

Neo Japanese tattoos are called that because they are Neo, which, from the Greek "Neos" means "new" can actually use the word Neo to describe many things. But this time we're using it to describe a trend that we just seriously adore: tattoo artists taking ancient Irezumi iconography and merging it with contemporary culture. So, folklore, legendary creatures, yokai and more become enhanced with pieces of our modern world. The feature image, a painting by Mike Dorsey, is a perfect example. Blending a traditional Ukiyo-e geisha type character with surrealism, graphic art, even color theory...but most importantly...the iPhone! She's holding a slim pocket computer cellular phone! Mike Dorsey is actually kind of a genius at this particular aesthetic. Sometimes gruesome, sometimes hilarious, but always absolutely creative, it's touches like the cell phone that make his art something supremely special.

You may already know it but Japanese tattoos are heavily based on Ukiyo-e creations. "Ukiyo-e is a genre of Japanese art which flourished from the 17th through 19th centuries. Its artists produced woodblock prints and paintings of such subjects as female beauties; kabuki actors and sumo wrestlers; scenes from history and folk tales; travel scenes and landscapes; flora and fauna; and erotica." Ages ago, traditional Irezumi tattoo artists took these Pictures of the Floating World and transferred them to skin, creating an important cultural art form that is deeply ingrained within the heritage of the Japanese.

As time passes, art forms, ideas, and aesthetics are shared creating brand new art movements like Neo Japanese tattoos! This is basically a visual embodiment of cross cultural influence. And it works both ways! And also...not just with tattoos. If you go to Japan you'll notice that there are many American and European influences. There's KFC in Tokyo for goodness sake!, Juicy Couture, Mickey Mouse. There are tons of things that we adore in the US that are either directly from, or inspired by, Japan. And we couldn't be happier.

The more we share ideas, values, art, techniques, and the like, the more we all grow as people. It's important to culture tolerance and compassion for others, and one way to do that is to educate yourself and others on different places and their ways! If you enjoy these Neo Japanese tattoos, then definitely check out more things along these lines! Who doesn't love searching the internet for cool or weird things until hours fly by? We're pretty sure that's a global pastime...

Written byTattoodo

A curated collection of counter culture. Featuring the world's top artists. Show us yours.

Find tattoo artists and tattoo shops in top cities