JAPANESE TATTOO MEANING #2
The etymology of the word “Tebori” in tattooing.It is said to have originated from the similarity of the movement of Tebori to an engraving woodblocks for ukiyo-e prints.
Also, Ukiyo-e woodcarver called Hori-shi in Japanese uses Yagou which is indivisual title. And they puts the word Hori on the first of Yagou.
Japanese tattooist referenced from them.
The tool used for tattooing by Tebori called Sashibo or Nomi(hereafter sashibo). The literal translation of Sashibo is a poking stick and Nomi is a chisel.
There was no tattoo equipments back in the days.
So Japanese tattoo artists created their own tools through trial and error.
Sashibo is a stick with a bundle of needles wrapped around the end of it with thread or tape.
Although it looks simple but there is many logics in it. The thickness and shape of the stick. And the knowledge of how to bundle the needles are basically secret each tattoo artist/family.
Tattooing with an incorrect needle assembly, stick shape, and skin tension. It will cause unnecessary damage to the skin.
Also, the ink will not remain on the skin long enough, doesn’t smooth/solid and an overall dull appearance.
While stretching the skin with one hand and tattooing with other hand.
The artist uses the bundle of needles at the tip of Sashibo to hand poke ink into the skin.
Sashibo and Tebori needles are made from different material.
The details and secrets as to how the instruments are made varies in each tattoo family.
Although the process looks more gruesome then a machine.
However, Tebori is less painful and does less damage to the skin then a tattoo machine.
The colors are strong and deep and do not fade as much as machine works do over time. The color even gets smoother with each passing year.
image credit: Antonio Leo