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Oriental Irezumi and Occidental Tattooing in Contemporary Japan

>Oriental Irezumi and Occidental Tattooing in Contemporary Japan. by Helena Burton [email protected] Oxford University. Introduction. Recently throughout the Western World, there has been an increase in the popularity of body modifications. It is common for young people to pierce their ears, noses, eyebrows etc. and to tattoo themselves, and in Europe and America this practice has often been referred to as neo-tribal or modern-primitive. It is easy to see where these terms arose from in cultures with no indigenous history of tattooing and piercing. The first tattoos arrived in the West on the arms of sailors from Polynesia and even ... read more

7th-grade play piercing!

My first play piercing was around Thanksgiving of my 7th grade year... that would have been a while ago... My uncle had taken me to the Hard Rock Café, and I had bought a couple of buttons, and they were in my pocket when I was getting ready for my shower. This is when naïve stupid me said, "Hey, this could go through my nipple." A minute later I had a Hard Rock Café button in my left nipple. Needless to say, it only stayed in a few minutes, but from that moment I was hooked. I know, it was ... read more


I titled this BME experience as "ritualistic", although some of you may disagree; I considered the following accounts as ritualistic due to the frequency of the acts and the devotion in which I had given them as a necessary part of my life. My first peek into the world of BM came by way (as I'm sure many of you will agree) of teen angst, thoughts of self destruction etc. I had a very atypical start in life, Extremely grim and violent, in and out of psychiatric facilities and by my mid teens I had began to take my anger ... read more

the coming of christianity

I am from Sarawak, Malaysia on the island of Borneo. My dad's ethnic group is known as the Kelabit from the Bario highlands. Like most ethnic tribes the kelabit people have practiced body modification for ages but sadly the practice has died out. In the old days the womenfolk had their legs tattooed from ankle to thigh. It was considered beautiful and indeed i still think my grandmother's legs are quite beautiful. Apparently the tattoos were a mark of distinction and a woman was considered unmarriageable if she did not have her legs tattooed. I asked my grandmother about her ... read more

The Diverse Use Of Sharp Objects

Where to begin? I have always been an artist, expressing myself in a diverse variety of ways. As a child I would do works of art using the typical tools... Crayons.. Water Paints.. things of that juvenille nature. As I grew, As did my artistic experience. Constantly learning new techniques, and always excited to practice them, My art evolved rather quickly. My latest artistic discovery, or craving if you will, is that of the body modification sort. Piercings, Tattoos, Cuts, anything that can decorate the planes of your flesh. So as I sit in my room thinking to myself how ... read more

Give me some more pain!

Body Modification has always interested me for as long as I can remember. It has aways fascinated me that person could go through so much pain but still look like they had found a complete peace inside. It seemed to be a type of religion to me. Something spiritual I wanted to find inside myself. I still remember asking my parents at a very young age if I could get my nose pierced. There response would be no and that they would never give me permission for me to get anything done. It would be up to me to go ... read more

"our bond"

OK, So me and my friends have this secret organization in which the name will remain annonymous and so will the people. It first started out in the 8th grade. There was four of us, and we wanted to start our own "group". But we wanted to do something to make it a life long commitment. So "ben" came up with the idea of branding something onto our bodies. This was when we were around the age of 18, we had a little logo, so ben with his artistic talents decided to use a soddering gun (sp) to do this. ... read more

My First Play Piercing

I had gone to a private party in a warehouse owned by friends of a friend and put on by a local piercer who, at the time, I'd only met once before. The night was run as an order of several participatory 'events' between consenting adults. It started with play piercings, and worked it's way through and up to several different things, including cheek spearing, energy pulls, group pulls, suspensions, cuttings, etc. It was thrown as a way to thank those that had helped to create a sense of community amongst those with interest in piercing, tattooing, body modifications, and ... read more

First suspension.

First, let me start by saying I've always been intrigued by suspensions. I've viewed various Photographs and movies that dealt with the act. I did a lot of research on the subject, and I've witnessed in person, people being suspended. Since around the age of 15 I've always told friends "yeah, one day I'm gonna do a public suspension!" No one believed me! I joked around about it with my mom, who always replied, "You're a sick child." My dad was always the anti-body-mod. Well, one day, a bleak and boring October day, I was at a fetish show watching ... read more

The Satasfaction of pain

When I was 12, I got very suicidal. My best friend having killed himself ... everything seemed to go wrong. Through my anger towards this I used to cut my arms, every night before I went to bed. I can't seriously remember if this was for attention or not. As I got into this pattern of doing it everynight at the same time, I thought, eventually I would lose so much blood I would just die. Obviously that never happened. Every night, as per any home done mod' the pain just dropped. Until that day when the pain wasn't even ... read more

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