Yuki (JPN), model, Tokyo

Yuki_002

‘I used to have a regular office job, but last year I became a freelance model. Around the time my irezumi-bodysuit was finished I got an offer for a modeling job, something I’d been thinking about doing for a while, so the timing was perfect.’

Yuki_003

‘The first session on the piece adorning me must have been when I was 20 years old and the whole piece took about 5 years to finish. From a young age, I was drawn to the tattoo style of irezumi and I always wanted to have it myself but I couldn’t find the right artist, until a friend introduced me to someone whose artistic views were aligned with mine. I was able to make an appointment to discuss what I I had in mind for my tattoo and from there I, quite literally, placed my body in his hands multiple times over the next 5 years. Every time I came in for a new session, I had forgotten the pain I felt the time before. But it did hurt every single time, I never really got used to it.’

Yuki_006

Yuki_004

‘I don’t really care about people’s opinion. People who like it, will tell me. People who don’t, usually don’t talk to me anyway, so i don’t get bothered with what they think about me. Or my tattoos. I do usually hide them in public. I don’t want to offend people who don’t like it, so I keep them covered until I’m surrounded by people who do have an interest and can understand the art or appreciate the beauty of it. Of course, irezumi is still connected with the history of the Japanese maffia, but they’re not exclusively Yakuza anymore, because people think it’s cool or beautiful. For some it might be hard to see the beauty of it, but so be it. Some are just not openminded enough to accept out-of-the-box thinking. They rather stick to mainstream. I’ve already accepted that that’s the way things go, but it has never made me feel different about the art I carry around. My irezumi-tattoos are a piece of me, as a person. I’ll never cover them up with other tattoos or have them removed: irezumi is something that sticks with you until you die.’

Yuki_005

‘Me, I just want to share myself with the world, I want to show my body, my piece of art to as many people as possible. I’m so happy with my finished bodysuit, it would be a shame not to share it.’

Yuki_007

Yuki_001