In Samoa, the tradition of applying tattoo, or tatau, by hand has been unbroken for over two thousand years. Tools and techniques have changed little. The skill is often passed from father to son, each tattoo artist, or tufuga, learning the craft over many years of serving as his father's apprentice. A young artist-in-training often spent hours, and sometimes days, tapping designs into sand or barkcloth using a special tattooing comb, or au. Honoring their tradition, Samoan tattoo artists made this tool from sharpened boar's teeth fastened together with a portion of the turtle shell and to a wooden handle.

It's very important to protect yourself against infection if you decide to get a tattoo. Make sure the tattoo studio is clean and safe, and that all equipment used is disposable (in the case of needles, ink, gloves) and sterilized (everything else). Call your state, county, or local health department to find out about your state's laws on tattooing, ask for recommendations on licensed tattoo shops, or check for any complaints about a particular studio.
The usual design is comparable to a full-sleeved garment sold by many clothing companies. Why is it so? Well, it is simply because it covers the entire arm parts of the person most of the time. The tattoo design can possibly be a single design that extends from the shoulder up to the wrist part, or a group of smaller gorgeous designs that connect to one another until they reach the wrist part. This has caused the existence of half sleeve design, which only covers half of the person’s arms. These tattoos usually start from the shoulder up to the elbow. However, there are cases that the tattoo starts from the elbow up to the wrist part.
The Japanese word irezumi means "insertion of ink" and can mean tattoos using tebori, the traditional Japanese hand method, a Western-style machine or any method of tattooing using insertion of ink. The most common word used for traditional Japanese tattoo designs is horimono.[7] Japanese may use the word tattoo to mean non-Japanese styles of tattooing.
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