Tebori is a traditional method of hand tattooing which arose in the late 18th and early 19th century in Japan. The word Tebori comes from the word “te” meaning “hand” and “hori”, meaning “to carve or sculpt.” The shaft of the tebori tool rests on the thumb of the left hand and the needles are inserted by forward movement of the right arm. Unlike many other forms of hand-tattooing in Asia such as tatau or moko, no assistants are required for tebori.
Hori-Hiro has been continuing this tradition for over 20 years since becoming a tattoo artist. Before tattooing, Hori-Hiro worked as a motorbike mechanic. He now runs a small tattoo studio in Fukushima, a rural part of Japan approximately 2 hours up north from Tokyo by train. Hiro uses both the Japanese tebori technique as well as the western-style machine. However, he prefers the traditional Japanese style, and continues in order to keep this tradition alive. It is said that with tebori, the artist is able to create subtle gradations of tone that are difficult to achieve with a machine. Tebori takes much longer to perform and requires the hori-shi (tattoo artist) to be experienced in this technique, but the results are amazing.
This video shot by Marc Pinto and directed by Steven Guzman for Primitive Tatto, shows the tebori technique and some of Hori-Hiro’s work.
You can also check out his website for more info. 1F 5-13-7 Saikon Koriyama Fukushima 963-8862 Japan Tel: 024-991-8558［10:00〜19:00］
〒963-8862 福島県郡山市菜根5-13-7 1F Tel: 024-991-8558［10:00〜19:00］
Video shot by Marc Pinto for Primitive Tattoo in Perth AUS & Singapore.
Directed and Edited by Steven Guzman.
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