Some severed heads (namakubi)

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Some recent severed heads I’ve tattooed
In Japan, decapitation was a common punishment, sometimes for minor offences. Samurai were often allowed to decapitate soldiers who had fled from battle, as it was considered cowardly. Decapitation was historically performed as the second step in seppuku (ritual suicide by disembowelment). After the victim had sliced his own abdomen open, another warrior would strike his head off from behind with a katana to hasten death and to reduce the suffering. The blow was expected to be precise enough to leave intact a small strip of skin at the front of the neck—to spare invited and honored guests the indelicacy of witnessing a severed head rolling about, or towards them; such an occurrence would have been considered inelegant and in bad taste. The sword was expected to be used upon the slightest sign that the practitioner might yield to pain and cry out—avoiding dishonor to him and to all partaking in the privilege of observing an honorable demise. As skill was involved, only the most trusted warrior was honored by taking part. In the late Sengoku period, decapitation was performed as soon as the person chosen to carry out seppuku had made the slightest wound to his abdomen.
Decapitation (without seppuku) was also considered a very severe and degrading form of punishment. One of the most brutal decapitations was that of Sugitani Zenjubō (ja) (杉谷善住坊), who attempted to assassinate Oda Nobunaga, a prominent daimyō, in 1570. After being caught, Zenjubō was buried alive in the ground with only his head out, and the head was slowly sawn off with a bamboo saw by passers-by for several days (punishment by sawing; nokogiribiki (ja) (鋸挽き).[36] These unusual punishments were abolished in the early Meiji era. This horrific scene is described in the last page of James Clavell’s book Shogun.

Leg sleeve in progress……

This leg sleeve is based on a Kuniyoshi print depicting sea creatures from the sea kingdom  attacking a pearl diver who has stolen a magical pearl  .more photos to follow 

    
  
 
This is in progress, I love doing worked based on these old prints , which all Japanese tattooing stems from .In Japanese mythology, the tide jewels– individually, the kanju (干珠?, lit. “(tide-)ebbing jewel”) and manju (満珠?, lit. “(tide-)flowing jewel”)– were magical gems that the Sea God used to control the tides. Classical Japanese history texts record an ancient myth that the ocean kami Watatsumi 海神 “sea god” or Ryūjin 龍神 “dragon god” presented the kanju and manju to his demigod son-in-law Hoori, and a later legend that Empress Jingū used the tide jewels to conquer Korea. Tide jewels interrelate Japanese dragons and wani sea-monsters, Indonesian mythology, the nyoi-ju 如意珠 “cintamani; wish-fulfilling jewel” in Japanese Buddhism.