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Horiyoshi III

is the celebrated Japanese master tattoo artist

who specialises in creating full body tattoos or suits known as


Born in 1946 and birth named Yoshihito Nakano-

the artist styles himself as

Horiyoshi III

in honour of his late mentor, Horiyoshi I.


In studio

master tattoo artist of ‘Irezumi’

Horiyoshi III

horiyoshi III, portrait, master and his craft, japantimes

(image from japan times)

Using traditional Japanese tattoo imagery of

– fauna (particularly tigers, snakes, exotic birds, koi fish)

– mythological beasts (Asian dragon, Fu-Dog, the Phoenix)

– flora (lotus, peony, chrysanthemum, cherry blossom)

– Kabuki iconography from classical Japanese theater,

Horiyoshi III designs intricate/ornate ‘Irezumi’ (full body tattoo)

a painful and lengthy process, numbering several years.

Yet, the result is certainly awe-inspiring.

Full body as canvas

by legendary tattoo master, Horiyoshi III

(images from actionrecon.com):

horiyoshi-III, body suits, actionrecon.com

Traditionally, a central area is left un-inked

dividing frontal tattoo images

horiyoshi-III, body suits

(images from tattooinjapan.com):

For Horiyoshi III, the instruments of his art are simple:

ink and pen, body as canvas-

the completed work:   complex, detailed.

In 2009

Steve Yuk, a client of Horiyoshi III

proposed establishing a fashion line of

menswear and womenswear

based on the elegant work of the master tattoo artist.

The following year

the Horiyoshi III clothing label was launched.

Handmade silk carves, signature shirts, cashmere knitwear,

edgy denimwear, statement jackets

are featured in Horiyoshi III collections:

a melding of exquisite Japanese tattoo imagery

on expertly crafted urban/modern inspired clothing design.

Horiyoshi III

fashion label

contemporary clothing:   of the moment

classic imagery:   of ancient traditions

Menswear fashion

(images from lyst.com):

Snake print t-shirt


(image from polyvore.com):

Warrior design

horiyoshi iii, warrior_dragon, polyvore.com

(images from lyst.com):

Slate grey shirt,  3/4 length sleeve

dragon scale motif


Black t-shirt

mythological Phoenix


Black hoodie

dragon print on sleeves


For him and her

(image from mr.porter.com):

Silk scarves

horiyoshi iii, scarves, mr.porter.com

Womenswear fashion

(image from styleheroine.com):


black, cropped, roll neck jumper

mythological motif sleeves, scrolled pattern

HORIYOSHI iii, ladies cropped rolled neck jumper, styleheroine.com

(image from lavozdaily.com):

Large scarf with butterfly motif

Knit leggings

Horiyoshi III,  a / w 2012 , womenswear


(images from lyst.com):

Jersey dress

black, phoenix imagery


Silk, merino wool knitwear



cardigan in coral hues, asymmetric hem



With each collection, a limited number of each design piece is produced,

which promotes a sense of exclusivity and intrigue.

The line has a dedicated following

and is the favourite of many fashion forward celebrities including

Johnny Depp and Tilda Swinton.

The Horiyoshi III label is a perfect composite of

east meets west / fashion meets art.