府中 彫剛 “史進”


力強い迫力と細緻な描き込みが共存する、九紋龍史進を題材とした府中 彫剛氏による傑作。技巧の粋を凝らしたバックピースの迫力はもちろんのこと、前面の型破りな構成にも目を見張る。



This is a masterpiece by Fuchu Horigou on the subject of Kumonryu Shishin, in which strength and delicacy coexist beautifully. In addition to the powerful back piece which shows Horigou’s mastery of a skill, the un conventional composition of the front is also remarkable.

This style of gaku (background) which leaves the belly open and extends all the way to the inner thighs may look bizarre, but you can rarely see this style in old photographs from the Taisho (1912-1926) and Meiji periods (1868-1912). In this work, the client’s idea was to create a geometric tattoo of koji-tsunagi which is considered to be an auspicious traditional pattern, giving the work a unique impression.

The sleeves, chests and Sanskrit character are the work of another artist.



Shishin is one of the 108 great heroes of “Suiko-Den” (The Water Margin), and is known by the nickname “Kumonryu” because he wore nine dragons tattooed on his body. The Suiko-Den story exploded in popularity among the people in the late Edo priod (1603-1868), and since famous ukiyo-e artists drew pictures of it, it became a widespread subject for irezumi.

In addition to being a fearlessly beautiful man, Shishin was also an excellent martial artist and a chivalrous outlaw, which made him especially popular with Edo people. For your information, the white carps with black spots seen here are variety called Kumonryu that actually exisits.

※府中 彫剛氏のインタビュー記事はこちら
※See Fuchu Horigou’s interview here
And see more of his work on Instagram

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