“Hagoromo Tennyo”
Kansai HORISHIGE the 5th
関西 五代目彫重 “羽衣天女”


柔軟な思考で伝統彫り物と向き合う関西 五代目彫重氏は通常、筋彫りはマシンで引き、ボカシを手彫りで行っている。けれど稀にではあるが、クライアントからの要望があればボカシも機械彫りで手掛けることがある。


Kansai Horishige the 5th who devotes himself to traditional horimono with a flexible mindset, mostly hand pokes for color and uses a machine for lines. However on rare occasions, he also does machine tattooing for color and shade at the request of his clients.

The nuki-bori (irezumi without gaku) back piece of hagoromo tennyo (heavenly maiden) seen here is an example of such machine tattooing. Compared to the rough and powerful hand poking, the subdued and calm result can be seen. The composition of the work which is based on the classics but skillfully arranged is also unique to Horishige.



Tenyo is a general term for women who live in the heavenly realm in Buddhism and is said to serve Tentei (heavenly king). The figure clothed in a heavenly robe is especially called hagoromo tennyo. Although it is sometimes confused with karyobinga which is also depicted to represent the Pure Land, karyobinga is originally a bird with a human upper body and a bird lower body that chirps beautifully in the heavenly realm.

As a side note, the backpiece irezumi without gaku is also called “danna-bori” because this style was favored by masters of a mercantile house called danna.

※See Horishige 5th’s interview here
And see more of his work on Instagram

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