Japanese Tattoos: Shige

Many people from around the world visit Tahiti to attend Tattoonesia, an event that showcases and appreciates tattoos. Skilled global artists attend to display their abilities. Shigenori Iwasaki, better known as “Shige,” from Japan, is seen here showcasing his skills. Born in Hiroshima in 1970, Shige was a mechanic for Harley‐Davidson in Yokohama, and taught himself how to tattoo in 1995. He has been dubbed the founder of the “new school” of Japanese tattooing. Instead of becoming an apprentice in Japan, Shige decided to find his own style another way.


His work is mainly based on traditional and cultural Japanese material, but Shige and his family have traveled the world exploring the different tattoo cultures and influences. He uses extra-large compositions, modeled shading and intense colors to make every tattoo his own. Even with his international influence, Shige still crafts his own needles and studies the craft and history of Japanese tattooing.