TATTOOS IN JAPANESE PRINTS
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TATTOOS IN JAPANESE PRINTS

Tales of Tattooed Heroes
May 31, 2019 - August 18, 2019 
Asian Art Museum
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The colorful dragon you saw writhing on the arm of your barista this morning. The bold lion surrounded by peonies inked on the torso of that guy at the gym. Maybe the snake circling your own ankle. Did you know tattoos like these can be traced back to a famous series of 19th-century Japanese woodblock prints, which was itself inspired by a popular 14th-century Chinese martial-arts novel? Tattoos in Japanese Prints recounts how large-scale, densely composed pictorial tattoos — what we now recognize as a distinctly Japanese style — emerged in 19th-century Japan in tandem with woodblock prints depicting tattooed heroes of history and myth.

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