Tattooing has been practiced worldwide. The Ainu, the indigenous people of Japan, traditionally wore facial tattoos. Today one can find Berbers of Tamazgha and Maori of New Zealand with facial tattoos. Tattooing was widespread among Polynesian peoples and among certain tribal groups in the Philippines, Borneo, Mentawai Islands, Africa, North America, South America, Mesoamerica, Europe, Japan, Cambodia, New Zealand and Micronesia. Despite some taboos surrounding tattooing, the art continues to be popular in many parts of the world.
The origin of the word "tattoo" cannot be confirmed for certain but a borrowing from the Polynesian most likely Tongan, Samoan or Tahitian word tatau, "correct or workmanlike." It also signifies the correct quadrangular figures in reference to the fact that Samoan tattoo designs do not include circular lines, although other Polynesian tattoo motifs do. The first syllable "ta", meaning "hand", is repeated twice as an onomatopoeic reference to the repetitive nature of the action, and the final syllable "U" translates to "color". The instrument used to pierce the skin in Polynesian tattooing is called a hahau, the syllable "ha" meaning to "strike or pierce".
The OED gives the etymology of tattoo as "In 18th c. tattaow, tattow. From Polynesian (Tahitian, Samoan, Tongan, etc.) tatau. In Marquesan, tatu." Englishmen mispronounced the word tatau and borrowed it into popular usage as tattoo. Sailors on the voyage later introduced both the word and reintroduced the concept of tattooing to Europe.
In Japanese the most common word used for traditional designs is, "Horimono".
The traditional Japanese hand method is called, "Tebori".
The word, "Irezumi," simply means, "insertion of ink," and could mean tattoos using Tebori, or Western style machine, (or for that matter, any method of tattooing using insertion of ink).
Japanese may use the word, "Tattoo," to mean non-Japanese styles of tattooing.
Tattoo enthusiasts may refer to tattoos as, "Tats," "Ink," "Art," or, "Work," and to tattooists as, "Artists". The latter usage is gaining greater support, with mainstream art galleries holding exhibitions of both traditional and custom tattoo designs. Copyrighted tattoo designs that are mass-produced to tattoo artists are known as flash, a notable instance of industrial design. Flash sheets are prominently displayed in many tattoo parlors for the purpose of providing both inspiration and ready-made tattoo images to customers. For more information visit http://www.crazy-tattoo-designs.com tattoo designs