In the EDO period (1603 to 1868) criminals were tattooed by authorities in a practice known as Bokkei. This made it hard for them to re-enter society and find work.
Of the many Gangs, Cartels and organized crime houses of the world, Yakuza members have this old world charm to them.
Their rules, the way they conduct business, their tattoos, their personal lives is all so otherworldly.
I studied the tattoos on bodies of these Yakuza gang leaders and made my own composition.
The meaning of Yakuza tattoos are usually related to imagery and symbolism in Japanese art, culture and religion. This represents Honour, strength and good luck.
The meaning of a Yakuza art piece is personal and not literal, here we can see the Samurai attacking the Dragon in a fierce battle as the Oni mask looks on. The Koi fish swivels around, marking good luck.