HORIKAZU – Lifework of the Tattoo Master  |  Tattoo in Japan

HORIKAZU – Lifework of the Tattoo Master


Purchase the book here!! 


Author & Photographer:  Martin Hladik  (Linkedin)

Text by
:  Miho Kawasaki, Fiona Graham, A. Giard, E.J.Wormer


Book about Horikazu sensei is a book intended to be a source of information for educated folk.

It is a book about work of single tattoo master, an artists who hidden in his studio in Asakusa never became famous out of his district, however who was one of the best traditional tattoo master of Japan.

His connections with underground figures of Tokyo were quite obvious and he never tried to hide it, but he does not belong to Yakuza. He tattooed them, but never became one of them. He enjoyed his freedom of being an independent artist.

Life of Horikazu sensei was work, work and again work. He was rich, but never really need his money, only to buy luxury apartments all over the Japan to relax there for a few days a year. Until his last day he was too busy to think about anything else but work.

Ones he told me:”Martin you will shoot my funeral”. It was a good juke and we laughed, but he knew already several years ago that his time is coming. Finally he died surrounded by his large family few months ago.

Before funeral ceremony, for a week clients were coming to his studio praying, meditating or just enjoying a time with him. They were coming to show their sympathy, their respect, their sorrow, because he was their master.

To buy such book, which took me about 7 years to compete, might be also great experience for beginners, however those who are more in will enjoy a great details of his tattoos as well as perfect balance of his body suits. With this book, comprising scant 500 pages with more than 460 pictures you will dive into the still hidden world of traditional Japanese tattooing.

Interviews with the Horikazu sensei, done just few days before he died and later another one with Horikazuwaka-his the oldest son, provide intimate insights into their life and the art of tattooing in Asakusa.

More highlights come with pictures of the personal, and familial life of the Horikazu sensei. You may visit his studio, and watch him tattoo his clients. The present selection of not previously published designs, which were off limit also for his son, is a true rarity! You can find a unique series of full-page pictures of Horikazu’s clients in the book, presenting their full body tattoos openly and with self-confidence.

The illustrous Sanja festival in Asakusa is displayed in images from past and presence and the photographs from Horikazu’s funeral reveal another aspect of Japanese tradition.

I believe that tattooists, tattoo fans and art lover will be satisfied by this book.

Author: Martin Hladik



“Traditional Tattoo in Japan: HORIKAZU. Lifework of the Tattoo Master from Asakusa in Tokyo” is another monster hardcover with more than 460 photos by photographer Martin Hladik who has documented the life and work Japanese tattoo master Horikazu for years until his death. Stunning images — from rows of men with full bodysuits by the master to intimate looks into his family life — populate the 492 pages along with interviews with Horikazu…..full article



This book is a comprehensive look at the the life work of Tattoo Master Horikazu, from Asakusa, Tokyo.

I will freely confess my ignorance to this Master’s tattoo work so it was a pleasure to receive this book and be able to learn about such a highly skilled artist who touched so many with his work. Don’t be mistaken, this is more than just a tattoo book, this is a biography of images and contains not only the artist’s work but also photographs from his own archives, drawings, paintings and a very touching collection of photos from the artist’s funeral service…..full article


Purchase the book here!! 
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