Glossary of Japanese tattooing words, terms and phrases
By Joshua Mayhem
- Irezumi (also pronounced bunshin) -- tattoo (noun or verb)
- Horimono (literally carving, engraving) -- tattoo. This is another word for traditional Japanese tattoos.
- Horishi -- a tattoo artist.
- Bokukei, bokkei -- punishment by tattooing.
- Tebori (Literally to carve by hand) -- describes the technique of tattooing by hand.
- Hanebori (literally to carve with a feather) -- a hand-tattooing tecnhique employing a feathering motion.
- Tsuki-bori (-- a hand-tattooing tecnhique emplying a thrusting motion.
- Kakushibori (literally hidden carving) -- tattooing near the armpits, the inside of the thighs and other "hidden" body areas. Also refers to the tattooing of hidden words, for example among the petals of flowers.
- Kebori -- the tattooing of fine lines or of hair on tattooed figures.
- Sujibori -- outlining, the outline of a tattoo.
- Shakki -- the sound needles make when they puncture the skin.
- Irebokuro -- from ire or ireru, which means to insert, and bokuro or hokuro, a beauty spot
- Yobori -- "Yo" (European) tattooing. The Japanese-English slang term for tattooing done with the Machine.
- Sumi -- The ink used to tattoo, traditionally mixed by the apprentice
- Hikae -- Chest panel tattoo
- Nagasode -- Arm tattoo, to the wrist
- Shichibu -- Tattoo 7/10ths of the sleeve to the forearm
- Gobu -- Tattoo 5/10ths of the sleeve to above the elbow