Horiyoshi III: Ryuki Mysterious Dragons

For fans of tattooing and oriental art, master Horiyoshi III certainly has no need for introductions.

Born in 1946 in Japan, he has been tattooing, painting, and drawing for over forty years, and is famous throughout the world for his incredible and versatile talent, as well as for his contributions to numerous international art publications which helped spread Japanese art and culture linked to tattooing, all over the world.

Today, this Master is offering his global fans a unique editorial project: Ryuki – Mysterious Dragons, a voyage which explores Japanese dragons, those amazing protagonists in the collective imagination of the Land of the Rising Sun.

Horiyoshi III has already explored the iconography of these legendary creatures, and now he has returned with fresh inspiration, offering 250 original pieces of art.

Japanese dragons are fascinating and majestic water divinities that are even able to fly without wings, and their fame is linked to a number of stories and legends from Japanese mythology and folklore. The dragons’ curvy bodies and enigmatic faces make their appearance on the pages of this book, with 250 original ink illustrations made by Horiyoshi III.

As you leaf through the book, you’ll find them emerged in streams or perched on clouds, clutching warriors or tigers, or beside sorrowful princesses: the great Irezumi master has recreated an entire universe inspired by the symbols and ancient traditions of Japanese culture, which come to life once again thanks to his unmistakable interpretations.

Ryuki comes from the fusion of two words: Ryu, which means ‘dragon’ in Japanese, and Ki, which means ‘extraordinary’.

Master Horiyoshi himself chose to join these two words and invent a new one to celebrate this mystical and celestial creature. Ryuki – Mysterious Dragons is a new volume that enhances the highly popular series The Great Books on the Art of Tattooing: as always, this fine collector’s edition was carefully created down to the smallest of details, and was conceived to satisfy the needs of professional tattooists – as a source of endless ideas and inspiration – as well as fans of oriental tattoos and aficionados of Japanese art, culture and tradition.

Ryuki – Mysterious Dragons by Horiyoshi III | Tattoo Life

Ryuki – Mysterious Dragons by Horiyoshi III | Tattoo Life

As you browse through these pages you’ll be plunged into a magical, floating world that is full of unforgettable splendour, all authenticated by the masterly strokes of one of the most charismatic and distinguished Japanese artists in the world.

For some time now, master Horiyoshi III Nakano Yoshihito has not left Japan, but he continues to do research, experiment, create, and spread his art with boundless tenacity and creative flair.

He paints, draws, and tattoos with the same energy of years past. His only tattoo apprentice is his son, Souryou Kazuyoshi, who is working very hard to carry this amazing artistic inheritance forward, into the future.


Ryuki – Mysterious Dragons by Horiyoshi III | Tattoo Life