If you are into your tattoos you will most likely have heard of Shige of Yellow Blaze in Yokohama, and if you have heard of him you will have lusted after his fantastic artwork – been through his gallery and just generally admired him as a master of his craft.  So I am posting this here for those out there who may not have taken the plunge into ink and especially for those naysayers who dislike tattoos as a whole.  This is because if you can look at the work of Shige and not be convinced in the beauty of this, the boldest of all fashions, then frankly nothing ever will.

His work is bold, beautiful and enjoys breaking the “rules” of Japanese tattooing.  He tattoos with a gun and is not scared of mixing Japanese and Western themes (even tribal !).  He has a great eye for creating depth that draws your eye into a piece alongside that indefinable personality that lets you spot one of his tattoos a mile off.  If I was lucky enough to have some work from his I would probably never let it see sunlight – even to show it off, which would require significant restraint.

Now the bad news – good luck getting an appointment.  Waiting lists are closed, he is most likely not even thinking about new clients for years – there is even a waiting list to get on his cancelled appointment waiting list.

The slightly better news is that the legend himself is going to be there with his apprentice at the King of Tattoo convention this October 9th ,10th and 11th in Daikanyama this year.  This is a really rare chance to actually see him at work and the work he is capable of.  Other than that, this years convention looks like it has really improved in scope over last year so this is one to add to the calender if you are serious about your tattoos.

As for you who may have started a post on tattoos with a sceptical attitude I do hope that I have convinced you to check out his site and even if you are not the kind to ever commit, then at least I hope you can appreciate his work – it is art after all.


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  1. […] to say our preoccupation with all things Japanese drew us straight towards the booths occupied by Shige and Genko who to my mind are the best things in modern Japanese tattooing (but more on both of them […]

  2. […] London Tattoo Convention 2010 was the chance to catch up with tattoo aficionado favorite Shige of Yokohama’s Yellow Blaze tattoo studio.  On the first day of the convention […]

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