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Giappone 2010

Manekistefy interviews Kanae

Some years ago I had the chance to meet Kanae at London Tattoo Convention, we spoke a lot about woman condition in Japan and how tattooing is developing in Japanese culture. I was very happy to share common feelings about being a woman tattooer doing japanese style, that’s not so usual! Kanae loves tattooing, her tattoos are solid and reflect her strong determination. She’s developing her own style, that’s one more thing that I like about her!

Let’s talk about the origins… How did your interesting in tattoo start?

Mostly it’s from music influence. I was in a band from when I was 17 years old and I had lots of friends who’s into Japanese hard core, Punk. Some of my friends had tattoos and I naturally started interested in tattoos. I liked tattoos, because it was underground, different, and strong. I started getting tattoos a little bit later, 21 years old. it took some time to decide to actually get tattoos and set my mind to live with it rest of my life.

When did you decide to become a tattooer?

I was 27 years old. I was introduced my teacher (Makoto/Hocus Pocus Tattoo) by my best friend who also was getting tattoos by him. I started getting tattoo by him. One day he was looking for an assistant for his studio, and asked me if i wanted to get the position. He said he could see that I love tattoos and that I was different from the others. It was great enough for me to do job with something I like. iId never got a job like that before, so I did my 100% naturally. I really enjoying working at the environment. Every day was so exciting and happy. Right after I started working for him, I decided I wanna be a tattooer. It took few month to decide… Being a tattooer in Japan wasn’t easy, and I knew this was gonna be life time serious craft work. I really needed to think well, and resolve myself. But at the end, I was like “Fuck it! I will just do it!”. Since then, everyday I’m happy and I feel so lucky to be a tattooer.

Which kind of difficulties did you find in Japan about learning tattooing?

Even today, Unfortunately Tattoo is still not popular and acceptable in Japanese society. Back in the day was still same. I don’t know if I can say especially difficult from learning tattoos ‘in Japan’. Learning tattoo is difficult in anywhere. Maybe there were some difficult things regarding the society, the culture and the generation. It took some years to build my own customers. Especially because I come from a small city. Mostly I couldn’t make enough money to live, so I had to find second job to pay rent and bills. That made me difficult to find time to sleep, because I didn’t want to cut the time for drawing and tattooing. It was physically hard and some people looked down on me because I am a female tattooer. But it gave me energy to push myself harder to get better. One of my customer told me after i tattoed him: “I didn’t think women can tattoo, but actually you can”. I took it as complement. I want to be a good tattooer and I would like people to do not judge me because of sex, age, race. And I am still trying.

You have a shop in London called “Nine Tails Tattoo” since 6 years. How did London welcome you? Was it difficult to open a shop in the city?

London is a big city, and very cosmopolitan. Everyone got opportunity pretty much equally. Having a tattoo shop in London was not so difficult, if I think about the situation in Japan. At least the landlord wouldn’t refuse you because it’s a tattoo shop! Just getting license took long time and that was stressed! And everything cost a lot. But luckily I had my own customers who follow me from the previous shops where I used work. I was nervous about it at the beginning, but it all worked out! Neighbors are so welcoming, so it was totally fine. I never advertised my shop, I wanted to take my time to build up REAL customers. I’m happy that I’m on a right track so far..!

You do Japanese style tattoo, which is very complicated and has a long history. In your opinion, which are the components that create a beautiful bodysuit?

I think the background is the most important part to creat a bodysuit. Background gives it energy, flow, depth, and strength. If the background is alive, the other motives are also alive. Personally I love strong looking tattoos. Having enough amount of black, and powerful movement give the bodysuit looks badass tattoo! It is difficult… I am still trying!

In your opinion, are there differences between creating a male bodysuit and a female bodysuit?

I haven’t done any full bodysuit to someone yet. But if I get chance to do it in the future, I would do strong powerful one with some warriors or dragons or something mannish images. For women, I would do beautiful flowers, phoenix or something with nice curve flow. Personally for female, I like sleeves but no background or back piece. It’ll look more feminine and suits to natural body shape women have.

Which are your favorite subjects in Japanese tattoo?

It’s definitely Dragons! Dragon is my biggest passion. It’s so strong but not scary way, Such a common subject for tattoo, difficult to draw, so much challenge for me to do it right. I want to do simple subject really cool. Dragon is definitely the one!

Which are the artists that influenced you the most?

My teacher Makoto, Kishi (56 tattoo), Hideo Uchiyama, Horiyoshi 2nd, Horitoku 1st, Filip Lue, Mick, Luke Atkinson, Horitoshi 1st, Asakusa Horiyasu, Yokosuka Horihide, Ed Hardy.
There are so many great tattooers… But my teacher always told me: “see what your master learn from”: like nature, old Ukiyoe. Of course learning from tattooers is very important, but what did they learn from? Learn from their roots. What those legends learnt from? I believe that’s gonna make big different for your possibility in the future.

How do you feel to be a woman doing Japanese Style?

I love it! I used to be a tomboy, so it all make sense to be interested in such a strong powerful tattoos. it’s a difficult challenge and it never end. It gives me the reason to live my life!

Nowadays, do you see differences between Japan and England in being a tattooed woman?

Oh yes, Big time! in England, people love tattooed woman! (at least as far as I know). In Japanese culture, most of the people don’t like stand out from the others. Comfortable to be average… Most Japanese men don’t like tattooed women, so naturally women try to be ordinal looking girl. Kawaii stuff. Also lots of people worry about how the parents will think about tattooed women when they get married. It could be a big problem. Japan looks like very advanced country, but some things are very conservative.
Instagram: @kanae_tattooer

Female figure in Japanese folklore @parione 9 gallery, Roma by Manekistefy

Dopo il successo di Dusseldorf, il format della mostra curata da Manekistefy rientra nei confini nazionali.
Il 15 Settembre, infatti, ci sarà l’inaugurazione della mostra intitolata “Female figures in Japanese folklore” presso il Parione 9 di Roma dove potrete ammirare una serie di originali, dipinte dalla Nostra Manekistefy, contenenti le figure femminali della tradizione e del folklore giapponese secondo l’immaginario e lo stile pittorico unico di Manekistefy.
Nella cultura occidentale l’idea della donna orientale è spesso, se non sempre, legata alla figura della Geisha. Nella tradizione giapponese invece essa può incarnare distinte personalità: eroina, guerriera, maga, strega o divinità. Tutti questi aspetti sono ben visibili nel corpus delle opere esposte, come ad esempio la Kannon Bosatsu, dea della grazia e della compassione e Benzaiten, protettrice delle arti.
Le radici della raffigurazione femminile in Giappone sono molto antiche e strettamente legate alle religioni dello shintoismo e del buddhismo. Essa
simboleggia l’anello di congiunzione tra l’uomo e la natura e trasmette all’universo forza e passione.
Female figure in japanese folklore conclude così un percorso iniziato a gennaio 2017 con la mostra personale Dragons di Crez, che analizzava un’immagine in particolare dello horimono: il drago. Crez e Manekistefy, compagni nel lavoro e nella vita, entrambi dell’Adreanlink Tattooing di Marghera, focalizzano il loro lavoro e la loro ricerca nella diffusione e nella conoscenza del mondo orientale.

Una tappa fondamentale e obbligatoria per tutti gli amanti della cultura giapponese.
Quindi se siete di Roma o se siete nei paraggi non perdetevi questa occasione!

Crez interviews Horimomo

I’ve met Horimomo some years ago in Tokyo and I loved his works at the first sight. He is a very humble person, with a great talent and lots of dedication. Horimomo lives and works in Tokyo, but he is a globetrotter. We’ve seen each other in New York, London, and Catania just to name a few places, but the list goes on and on. Make sure to follow his Instagram profile @horimomo to keep an eye close on this amazing artist and craftman.

When and how did you get started in tattooing?
I started the apprenticeship from the person I was getting tattooed at that time, in the year 2000.

How long did it take to get the first proper results?
After about two years of apprenticeship, in 2002, I became a professional tattoo artist.

Do you consider painting a part of your learning process?
Yes, I do. Same as the other tattoo artists, I’d draw what customers request and other times I’d draw what I like to paint.

Before you’ve started tattooing were you involved in any subculture?(punk , dark, metal, rock and roll, rap…)
I like music, but I wasn’t involved in any musical environment.

If you have to pick three tattoo artists that inspire your work who would you mention and why?
It’s so hard to pick three, but: Horikyo, Bunshin-Horitoshi, and Yozin. They are great artists and amazing human beings, always so nice to other people

From when you started, how has the business evolved in your country?
I don’t know about the tattoo business in Japan in general. For myself, it’s about the same since I started.

Machines (rotary or coil),Tebori (hand tools) or both? What’s your choice? And why?
I use a machine for outlining, shading and coloring are tebori. Until the year 2007, I was doing tebori for outlining. But for outlining machines can make it faster and clean so I switched it.

Can you list a top five of your favorite visual artists of all eras? What is attractive of their work in your opinion?
Toyokuni III, Kuniyoshi, and Kyosai: I use their artworks as a reference. And then: Salvador Dali and M.C. Escher, because I just simply like them.

How do you feel about the “ban” of tattooing in Japan?
Historically, ban of tattooing has been there so it’s not just started now. This is just the way it is.

What’s the most challenging subject for you and why?
All and every subjects is challenging for me.

Thanks for answering!

Horihide Rest in Peace, in memory of the master

Hideo Kakimoto aka Horihide, died 21st of April 2017 at the age of 88.

He was one of the most prolific and talented traditional tattoo artist of Japan.

He’s style is recognizable from miles away and have inspired tattooers from around the world.

He was a strong person, very determinated, very professional, he had worked on his paintings and tattoos ‘til the end, an example for all of us.

I was lucky to meet him and get tattooed by him, the following interview was done by me , Shion & Rico some years ago, the word of Sensei Horihide inspire my life as well as the life of many fellow tattooers, he will be missed, hope his example of dedication will keep inspiring this generation of tattooers.

Ciao Sensei, you are my hero.

Where and when have you been born ?
I was born on January 1st of 1929, in Tsurumaki town, Setagaya area in Tokyo, as second son of Seitaro(father) and Teru(mother). My father worked in the Imperial Household, forestry agency at the time, my brother was a student of Nihon University and my younger brother was a little kid.

Tell us something regarding the environment where you grew up, your area, the war , and what happen to you when you were kid, try to focus on what drive your interest in tattooing.
When I was a child I lived in Tokyo, and moved to Yokosuka when I was on elementary school. I started to get interest in tattooing when I was 20 years old, after the War.
I started tattooing around 1951, I was 22 years old.

Did you have a master or do you learn by yourself ?
I was influenced by 2nd Horiuno and 2nd Horigoro but I learned by myself.

Did you have contact with other tattooers at the beginning of your career?
I had contact with 2nd Horigoro and 3rd Horigoro from Tsukishima in Tokyo when they came to Yokosoka to tattoo on foreign people. they both already died. and also Horitoyo from Yokohama who started to use tattoo machine at the same time I did, with whom I had a close friendship and learned together. He also died  already.

Who tattooed you and when? What did you get on you?
I have  dragons both arms, shichibu(7/10) of length, by Yaneguma san from Nabeya Yokocho in Tokyo. and my back peace is Omandala ( a Buddhism prayer surrounded by a dragon) by Yokohama Horigin. He’s already dead.

How was being a tattooer in the end of the 40′s in Japan?

Around 1950, because of Korean war, there was United Nations force and also was many sailors in town because of that there was maybe 10 tattooist coming here at the time. That was a difficult time with not so much work so that was a good chance to work. I’m very thankful for that.

Have you got contact in that period with tattooers from overseas?

I had a little contact with Pinky Yun, when he used to work in Yokosuka. I heard he’s now working in America.

You grew up a style that is recognizable from everyone-else , which are the print artists and the painters that influence you the most?

As tattooists, 2nd Horiuno and 2nd Horigoro. I always used Hokusai and Kuniyoshi artworks as a source of study.

How do you approach to the study of Japanese tattooing? Do you draw with reference in front of you, do you prefer use reality as a reference….. try to explain your way of learning.

I studied the work of the previous generation of tattoists and reproduced Hokusai and Kuniyoshi artworks, I also add my own arrangement and redraw them few times till i reach to a point that I felt satisfied. I think the more we draw, more we learn.

How many bodysuit you think you did during this 60 years?

Backpiece and sleeves with background about 500 people, maybe 10% of that are “munewary”, and 6 or 7 people have full body suits.

Have you got any preference on the subjects, there’s something you like to do more than other, there’s something you don’t like to do?

I like titles that are easy to recognize even for ordinary people, for example popular titles of Kabuki plays.

Do you have apprentices?

they all independent now, but when they were around me they were apprentices.

Are you still tattooing and painting?

Yes, I still tattoo , and I’ve been painting all of this time as well.

Your ideas are a reference to a lot of tattooers world wide, people interested in the real roots of Japanese tattooing, why do you think you work make a so strong impact on other tattooers and customers, what is the point of force in your works?

I think if keep drawing everyday using Kuniyoshi and Hokusai, little by little everyone can develop his own style.

What do you think about modern tattooing in japan?

I started at first doing just tattoos (not traditional Japanese motifs), and at the time Japanese people really didn’t look at them. I think even though nowadays after get a few small tattoos, Japanese costumers end up moving towards traditional Japanese direction. Traditional Horimono have a very different taste from modern tattooing.

“Spring is in the air” per Manekistefy

Aria di primavera in quel di via Beccaria e con l’arrivo delle prime giornate di sole anche lo spirito artistico di Manekistefy ritrova nuova enfasi ed ecco quindi che sono arrivate queste fantastiche creazioni targate dalla nostra tatuatrice preferita!

Due toppe raffiguranti un simpatico Oni e un Daruma di cui abbiamo prodotto anche la spilla per gli amanti dei gadget da collezione.

Le nostre toppe, prodotte seguendo standard qualitativi premium, sono tutte fustellate (come la spilla),  interamente ricamate e non stampate digitalmente.

Siccome all’Adrenalink il motto è “go big or go home” ecco che Manekistefy ha tirato fuori dal cilindro anche delle meravigliose stampe da collezione raffiguranti alcuni dei soggetti più classici dell’iconografia tradizionale giapponese. Inoltre ha disegnato anche una tennyo (dim. 35×70) in edizione super limitata che potrete trovare esclusivamente alla convention di Bologna (31/03, 01-02/04) e prossimamente nel nostro sito e-commerce.

Per qualsiasi info potete passare a trovarci qui nello studio via Beccaria,4 Marghera (VE), scrivere a o continuare a seguire il nostro blog sempre aggiornato con le ultime novità!

Stay tuned and check out our social pages!

Teaser di presentazione della mostra di HOKUSAI, HIROSHIGE e UTAMARO

In occasione del centocinquantesimo anno di relazioni diplomatiche tra Italia e Giappone, il 22 Settembre verrà inaugurata a Palazzo Reale a MILANO una mostra da non perdere assolutamente con protagonisti i più famosi e straordinari Illustratori Giapponesi: Hokusai, Hiroshige e Utamaro.
Noi siamo orgogliosi di far parte di questo importante progetto iniziando la promozione della mostra con l’ intervista a Massimiliano Crez Freguja.
La mostra si prolungherà fino al 29 Gennaio 2017.
Seguiteci per sapere tutto sulla grande esibizione e su tutto quello che succederà prima del suo inizio #followthewave



Prima di diventare proprietario e boss del mercato del pesce, Rori Hakucho Chojun era un ladro molto astuto assieme a suo fratello, Sekaji Choc. Quest’ultimo era un traghettatore spesso accompagnato da Chojun: a metà del viaggio, quando i passeggeri non erano più in grado di scendere, i fratelli improvvisamente aumentavano il costo del biglietto; così  facendo riuscivano a ottenere più soldi di quelli previsti dai viaggiatori.

Durante un combattimento contro Koku Sempu Ricki, il quale aveva causato dei problemi vicino alle barche da pesca, Rori Hakucho Chojun incontrò per la prima volta i banditi Ryosanpak. Durante la zuffa, i combattenti caddero in acqua e Chojun vinse perché Ricki non sapeva nuotare. Il diverbio si decise una volta arrivati alla battigia.

Il proprietario del mercato del pesce si decideva in base alle abilità di nuotatore, le quali furono parimenti accennatate nell’iscrizione sulla stampa di Kuniyoshi: “lui è eccezionalmente coraggioso, ha il corpo più bianco della neve ed è capace di galleggiare nell’acqua; inoltre è capace di stare sott’acqua 7 notti e 7 giorni senza difficoltà.”

Stampa di Kuniyoshi:

In questa stampa (capitolo 118), Chojun ha forzato le sbarre del cancello sott’acqua di Yukin, vicino al castello di Koshu, dove i nemici della banda Ryosanpaku trovarono rifugio. Tuttavia, il nemico ha anticipato l’arrivo di Chojun e i soldati, stando in piedi sul muro del castello, gli lanciarono una pioggia di frecce. Chojun, con il corpo muscoloso e tatuato, occhi feroci e spada stretta fra i denti, fronteggia il suo nemico a testa alta.
Successivamente, però, morì a causa delle numerose ferite subite.
I tatuaggi che frequentemente appaiono sul corpo di Chojun non sono accennati nel Shuihuzhuan, che narra, invece, solo del suo corpo bianco come la neve e la seta.
Questo bellissimo ritratto di Chojun doveva essere molto popolare durante la vita di Kuniyoshi dato che questi stampò fogli finché la matrice non fu totalmente logorata. Nell’edizione successiva vennero usati numerosi colori.

L’edizione di Ibaya, datata attorno al 1845, si differenzia leggermente da quella di Kagaya: i colori sono più rigidi e il muro della parte superiore, solitamente grigio, nella versione Kagaya è blu.
La “cartuccia” contenete la firma di Kuniyoshi è rossa nella versione di Kagaya e icambia anche il trattamento delle onde. Infine, il piede destro di Chojun brilla chiaramente attraverso l’acqua nell’edizione di Kagaya; questo non risulta nella stampa di Ibaya.

Disegno e Traduzione di Manekistefy

Shiryu & Yushi ospiti a Febbraio

Anche quest’anno parteciperemo alla Milano tattoo Convention e porteremo con noi Shiryu e Yushi uno da Niigata in Giappone l’altro da Seoul in Corea.

Si fermeranno qualche giorno in più qui a Marghera, per chi volesse prendere un appuntamento contattateci in studio, fate presto, i posti sono limitati.


Darumagoya today

Pomeriggio coi pennelli assieme a Rico, Shion, Yuji…
Era già accaduto 3anni fa, ma adesso siamo migliorati tutti e cinque, quindi ancora più divertente!!!!



Yokosuka Horihide


Horihide é una leggenda vivente nel mondo del tatuaggio giapponese. È il tatuatore più vecchio ancora in vita qui in Giappone, iniziò a tatuare nel 1946, da ben 63 anni          svolge il suo mestiere con passione e dedizione incredibili. Oggi abbiamo passato un bel pomeriggio assieme a lui ed a Eru di wizard tattoo supply che ci ha fatto da interpreti.Ogni volta che veniamo a trovare Horihide mi sento fortunato di poter condividere con lui la passionne per lo Horimono e per l`arte nipponica in generale. Il mio lavoro è in buona parte frutto dello studio della sua tecnica. È un onore per noi essere amici di un uomo così semplice e così straordinario.



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