“Gen Shogo”
芳柳 “阮小五”




Gen Shogo known as Tanmei Jiro, one of the heros in “Suikoden” excelled in swiming and led the navy of Ryozanpaku with his brothers. Here you can see the courageous figure of Gen Shogo pulling the general of the enemy ship into the water and fighting.

The bold sukashi-bori (transparent gaku) like ripples on the left side creates depth and skillfully expresses the fact that this is a scene under the water. Niju-bori (irezumi in irezumi) of the leopard that adorns Gen Shogo’s body should also be noted. This is a masterpiece of both boldness and precision by Houryu, a leading Japanese traditional tattooer.



Gen Shogo originally lived as a fisherman with his brothers in a poor village, and he was given the nickname “Tanmei Jiro” (short life second brother) because of his rough character which was said to shorten the lives of those involved with him.

But at the same time, he always put his companions first and was full of chivalry. After being welcomed as one of the chieftains of Ryozanpaku, he played a key role in the navy to overthrow the corrupt power and left many achievements.

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

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