- Horimono: the Japanese word for "carving".
- Irezumi: means "insert ink".
Both words refer to the art of tattooing.
Japanese tattoo art was an offshoot of the distinctive woodblock prints, called ukiyo-e. Some of the wood carvers turned to tattooing as an adjunct to their artistic careers, others exchanged their carving-blades for tattoo needles full time as tattooing grew more popular in the 19th century. One of the most famous Japanese tattoo artists of that time, was Horiuno.
Irezumi has got its share of supporters in the West. Some travel to Japan to be tattooed by a Horishi in the Tebori way (by hand), a time-intensive, painful and very expensive undertaking. The traditional Japanese tattoo style is very detailed, what makes getting a Japanese tattoo time-consuming and expensive.