“Fujin & Raijin”
彫桃 “風神雷神”




This is a masterpiece of karasu-bori (black and grey irezumi) in which you can fully enjoy the mastery of Horimomo who pursues the beauty of bokashi (shade) by hand poking. He creates a smooth gradation by changing the way he pokes needles depending on the texture of the skin and the density of the ink he wants to express. It is particularly difficult to hand poke usu-bokashi (light shade) evenly because the unevenness is conspicuous, but this work clearly shows how excellent his technique is.

This kora-bori (carapace style) of “Fujin & Raijin” (wind and thunder gods) will be completed by adding white color in key places. The lettering tattoo on the upper part and sleeve tattoos are done by other artists.



Fujin & Raijin are best known for the folding screen painting drawn by Tawaraya Sotatsu in 17th century, but you can see they were already recognized as conterparts in the images of “Senju-Kannon Nijuhachi Bushu Zo”, which were painted widely from the Heian (794-1185) to Kamakura (1185-1333) periods. The origin of the depiction of them with a bag and drums in not known, but those figures are already well-established in China around the 6th century.

Fujin & Raijin are literally concepts in which natural phenomena such as wind, rain, and lightning are deified. They have the power to protect Buddhism, discourage evil and encourage good, then also regulate the weather. For this reason, they are indispensable deities for agriculture, and has long been an object of worship for its ability to ward off evil and bring about a good harvest.

※See Horimomo’s interview here
And see more of his work on Instagram

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