Wabori, Traditional Yakuza Tattoo

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A little while back I came home from some assignment and waiting for me in the pile of mail needing attended to was this book, ‘Wabori, Traditional Japanese Tattoo’ by Manami Okazaki, and published by Kingyo books. What a sumptuous book it is.

I had given permission for some of my images of Shoko Tendo, author, and daughter of a now deceased yakuza boss, to be used. I had first photographed Shoko Tendo, and her entire body full of tattoos on an editorial assignment for The Guardian, with journalist Justin McCurry, then shot again for Marie Claire Magazine. They proved to be a popular set of images, although I can never decide which part of the sentence ‘naked girl with yakuza tattoos’ draws in the attention…

Today I got an email from the publisher Manami-san and she tells me that the book has almost sold out now. Printed in a run of 3,000 Manami now only holds the last 10 or so copies that she had. Great news to hear of a photo book selling so well, and congratulations to Manami-san for producing a book which, even to non-tattooed folks, is a fascinating read, and with some beautiful images, both contemporary and historical. If anyone is interested in getting hold of a copy of the book, drop me a line, I can put you in touch with Manami-san, or try online.

Here’s the cover, and two of the spreads from my section in the book…Hope you enjoy it.

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