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The Tattoos of the Japanese Yakuza

For the serious tattoo fan only.

Everyone wants one now

The Japanese have one of the most long-standing tattoo traditions ever, despite tattoos not always being accepted within the culture. One subset of the culture that has thoroughly embraced tattooing is the Yakuza, the criminal underworld.

This Japanese style is no joke. While getting one piece of ink is time consuming and painful, imagine one giant piece on 90% of your body.

From a rich history to modern takes, check out some of our favorite Yakuza style tattoos, known as "horimono."

Source: Instagram @kaorin893


Taken from the powerful gang, horimono syle tattoos show the status of a person. Like with other cultures, certain marks could tell which clan you belonged to.


Japanese style tattoos are incredibly popular in the West. While you don't get to see full body pieces often, some fans do a limb or back piece. Popular imagery is koi fish, dragons, and waves.

Child's Pose

This woman decided on a more delicate style. She's got beautiful feathers that pop and curve.

One Big Bang

Making kids cry can be fun...

You think you're cool?

There are spots on your body where the pain level goes to 10, but imagining doing that in all the extra sensitive parts?!