Irezumi is a Japanese word that refers to the insertion of ink under the skin to leave a permanent, usually decorative mark; a form of tattooing (from wikipedia).
Image source Blue Ruin1 flickr (here) and Firsttimeuser tumblr (here)
Above is a Press photo from 1937 that has been trimmed down from a larger photograph sometime during its life. On the back is typed the following: “Tattoo / Tattooing. Because they believe that tattooing makes them beautiful many Japanese women endure the painful process without an opiate. They spend hundreds of dollars in this manner. Roto 9/26/37.”
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