tattooing is heavily practiced as a beautiful art form and with the greatest skills level is Japan. Interestingly, the practice of labeling criminals using tattoos was also practiced in many other countries, notable in neighboring areas as we collectively known as China today. Members of outcast groups were also marked with stigmatizing tattoos.
One of the most popular outlaw characters in the novel is Shishin or the 'Nine Tattooed Dragon' who bore extensive full-body tattoos. Soon Japanese from all social levels started to tattoo ornate designs (irezumi) on their bodies that depict heroic figures, gods, mythical creatures and other traditional and popular images. Presently in modern day Japan the art of tattooing is still slightly stigmatized though it remains a highly regarded art form