In the 19th century whole stories and dramas were described by tattoos. Since 1885 is the full body tattoo known on dark ground, after pictures of genre painters. All motives passed over seamless in each other and were manifold. Popular subjects were for example robber shapes, monsters and other creatures, fighting heros, spirits stories and demons stories, as well as Buddhist prayer formulas. The combinations of the motives were defeated by traditional rules.
The Buddhist god “Kanon” was always represented on a riding dragon, if she was not duplicated alone. The motives of the flora were also defeated by certain models. So the chrysanthemums belong to the “lion-dog” and falling cherry blossoms or autumn foliage were seen as a symbol of the death.
After the opening to the west, Japanese tattoos soon reached a status symbol. From 1860 on Hori Choy worked in Tokyo, the Prince of Wales was one of his popular customers. His student Sutherland MacDonald counted as the “Michelangelo” of the tattoo producers. He knows around 20 colour tones and shadings and was the first tattoo artist, who produced popular paintings on the back of his customers. To his customers belong Edward the 8th, czar Nikolaus and the sultan of Johore. Soon, also tattoo producer in the west received Japanese models, which they adapted to the western taste. Until today Japanese models are very famous.
One distinguishes between sting tattoos, colour tattoos and scar tattoos.
Sting- and colour tattoos are made with thorns, needles, knives or a type of a comb and the colour stuff consisting of soot and oil is knocked into the skin, so that the pattern shines through dark blue.
Scar tattoos on the … were scratched with sharp knives into the skin. The healing processes were slowed down trough interspersed ash, charcoal and other materials, so that thick scars were created. If these cuts are in a specific order, it developed geometric patterns and creations.
At the Eskimos in Siberia and North America one can find the seam tattoo. During thus procedure treads with soot were stitched under the skin. Sting or colure tattoos were usually practised by white peoples and scar tattoos were need by the blacks.
The early Pioneers of the tattoo producers knew only two colours, red and black Indian ink or even more primitive lamp soot and shoe polish, which were brought under the skin with bandages of needles.
Today non poisonous plant colours are used.
Professional tattoo artists could distinguish between 100 colour tones, but composition and shading of these colours were often their secret.
Today there are also special tattooing machines with many needles.
In 1880 this machines were presented for the first time in New York.
For a tattoo itself, the corresponding skin party is shaved first of all, and then it becomes disinfected and finally spread with an analgesic ointment. The motive is drawn on tissue paper and is put on to the corresponding part of the body. According to the skin type and placing of the tattoo, the producer works in different skin depths and with different types of needles. For complicated or very fine patterns, only one needle is used. Otherwise a bundle of up to 12 needles is used. The needle tips are immersed into the colour, the machine switches on and moves over the skin and receives colour again and again.
The needles themselves contain no colour. The colour runs down the needle and is knocked through the stings into the skin, which closes immediately. First the contours are pricked with black ink and then the colours are filled in with bundles of needles. After each colour the skin is cleaned, superfluous colours are removed and the pattern and the colour composition are controlled. The filling of a colour into a complicated design, often takes more time than the filling with colour of the contours.
At the end, an antiseptic ointment is put on the skin party and a bandage is also applied.
The following complaints look like a healing graze and are overcome at the latest two weeks.
In former times a lot more dangers of serious illnesses like a syphilis infection or a tuberculosis infection existed, today is it aids. That’s the reason why the use of high frequency cleaning devices and sterilization machines is indispensable in the studios.
Tattoos normally remain for a lifetime. However there is a possibility to remove them, through skin transplantations or recently also through treatments with special lasers.