Last friday we featured Chris Conn, a former tattoo artist turned successful painter. Today we bring to you the art of Hiroshi Hirakawa aka Mitomo Horihiro who is a tattoo artist also garnering a lot of attention for his artwork. Horihiro tattoos out of Three Tides Tattoo which is the go-to shop in Japan with locations in Tokyo and Osaka. He can tattoo with a gun but he now even uses the traditional Japanese “tebori” method. Tebori literally means hand-carved and is a very difficult technique to master.

You’ll be able to see his amazing ink work on the links provided below, but today we are here to talk about his painting. Horihiro draws and paints in ukiyo-e style which is a traditional Japanese style that flourished from the 17th to 19th centuries usually done as woodblock prints and paintings. Our very own Adam has featured several ukiyo-e paintings and artists in his “Painted: Old Art, New Skin” series, the most famous one of course being Katsushika Hokusai.

It’s great to see a modern artist do traditional style art so well, but Horihiro incorporates western themes at times giving it a fresh spin. A great example of this is the biker themed bath towel I ordered a while ago as seen in the gallery. He is often in the states doing guest spots at various tattoo shops around the country, but recently he did his first art exhibition in San Francisco over at Analog Tattoo. Horihiro had several limited edition prints available at the show which you can still order at the Analog Tattoo online store. Make sure you grab one fast because there are only 10 prints made of each design and most are sold out like the piece I bought titled “The Ninja” which is the photo you see in this post. The print quality is impeccable and I love seeing the detail of his art up close. It’s definitely one of my favorite pieces in my collection not only because it’s a style not being used often, but also because it’s a beautiful representation of my Japanese roots.


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