“Tiger & Dragon”
町田 彫剣 “龍虎”



When classifying Japanese irezumi, it is divided into Kanto-bori and Kansai-bori. Roughly explaining, generally in Kanto-bori, the mikiri (band of gaku) is thin and the hikae (chest part of gaku) finishes above the nipple, while in Kansai-bori, the mikiri is thicker and the hikae reaches below the nipple. Please note that this does not apply to the classical school which has protected the traditional style made before the Taisho Era.

町田 彫剣氏はこの関東彫りの名手である。見切りの幅は指一本ほどの繊細さながら、躍動感溢れる描き方により轟々と音を立てるかのような力強さを獲得している。浮世絵や仏画などに倣って研鑽を積んだ描画力を活かした主題のみの抜き彫りにも端正な魅力があるが、やはり額彫りこそが彫剣氏の真骨頂なのであると強調したい。

Machida Horiken is an accomplished tattooer of Kanto-bori. Although the width of the mikiri is as delicate as the width of a finger, the dynamic way it is drawn gives it imposing strength. His nuki-bori without gaku by utilizing his drawing ability, which he learned from ukiyo-e and Buddhist paintings, has a neat charm, however the gaku-bori is the true appeal of Horiken.


In East Asia, the tiger reigns as the king of all beasts, and in some regions it is worshiped as the god of mountains. Since ancient times, it has been believed to be on a par with the dragon in China, and the composition of a dragon creating clouds and a tiger generating winds facing each other has been said to express yang and yin, or heaven and earth. In Japan, their majestic appearances were favored by warlords and Zen monks, and many paintings were created especially by the Kano and Rimpa schools.

※町田 彫剣氏のインタビュー記事はこちら
※See Machida Horiken’s interview here
And see more of his work on Instagram

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