FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - February 4, 2014


Leslie Unger - - 213-830-5690


Special Preview Reception on March 7 to Feature Live Tattooing

Los Angeles – The Japanese American National Museum is pleased to present Perseverance: Japanese Tattoo Tradition in a Modern World from March 8, 2014 to September 14, 2014. Perseverance explores the artistry of traditional Japanese tattoos along with its rich history and influence on modern tattoo practices in this groundbreaking photographic exhibition.

As Japanese tattoos have moved into the mainstream, the artistry and legacy of Japanese tattooing remain both enigmatic and misunderstood. Often copied by practitioners and aficionados in the West without regard to its rich history, symbolism, or tradition, the art form is commonly reduced to a visual or exotic caricature. Conversely, mainstream Japanese culture still dismisses the subject itself as underground, associating it more with some of its clientele than with the artists practicing it. Both of these mindsets ignore the vast artistry and rich history of the practice.

Although tattooing is largely seen as an underground activity in Japan, Japanese tattoo artists have pursued their passions, applied their skills, and have risen to become internationally acclaimed artists. Through the endurance and dedication of these tattoo artists, Japanese tattooing has also persevered and is now internationally renowned for its artistry, lineage, historical symbolism, and skill.

Curated by Takahiro Kitamura and photographed and designed by Kip Fulbeck, Perseverance is a groundbreaking exhibition and the first of its kind. Perseverance will explore Japanese tattooing as an art form by acknowledging its roots in ukiyo-e prints. This exhibition will also examine current practices and offshoots of Japanese tattooing in the U.S. and Japan.

Perseverance features the work of seven internationally acclaimed tattoo artists, Horitaka, Horitomo, Chris Horishiki Brand, Miyazo, Shige, Junii and Yokohama Horiken, along with tattoo works by selected others. Through the display of a variety of photographs, including life-sized pictures of full body tattoos, and sculptured objects, these artists will cover a broad spectrum of the current world of Japanese tattooing.

A special private preview event is on Friday, March 7, 2014, and will include live tebori—traditional Japanese tattooing by hand. A public opening on Saturday, March 8, 2014 will also include live tebori, as well as lectures by the artists featured in the exhibition.

Public programs will accompany Perseverance during the run of the exhibition.

For more information about the exhibition, visit


About the Japanese American National Museum
The Japanese American National Museum is dedicated to fostering greater understanding and appreciation for America’s ethnic and cultural diversity by preserving and telling the stories of Americans of Japanese ancestry. Since its incorporation in 1985, the National Museum has grown into an internationally recognized institution, presenting award-winning exhibitions, groundbreaking traveling exhibits, educational public programs, innovative video documentaries, and cutting-edge curriculum guides.

General Information
The Japanese American National Museum is located at 100 North Central Avenue in historic Little Tokyo in downtown Los Angeles. For more information, call 213.625.0414, or visit Museum hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Thursday from 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Admission is $9.00 for adults, $5.00 for seniors; $5.00 for students and children; FREE for Museum members and children under age five. Admission is FREE to everyone on Thursdays from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and every third Thursday of the month from 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Closed Mondays, 4th of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.

Images available upon request.
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