The Tattooed Women of Japans Ainu People
Nowadays Tattoos on women are pretty much commonplace and we love to see ink on everyone, but strap yourself in to the Social Pariah timemachine as we introduce you to the women of Japans Ainu people.The original hardcore ! The indigenous people of northern Japan called themselves "Ainu" in their language, meaning "People" of their land and one of their traditions was facial tattooing.This practice was exclusive to females as was the profession of Tattooist.According to mythological accounts,they believed that tattooing came from the "Ancestral Mother" of the Ainu Okikurumi Machi, the younger sister of the creator god, Okikurumi. The tattoos took the form of distinctive lip tattoos as well as geometric designs on their hand and arms. And if you think it's painful getting a tattoo now ,spare a thought for these ladies who were often held down if the pain was to great as the ritual was believed to help prepare a girl for childbirth. The process was pretty brutal and created using a knife and soot to mark the skin. After making incisions to the desired area, the blood is then wiped away with a cloth drenched in hot ash wood From the bottom of a kettle, soot is then collected and rubbed into the incisions, while the tattooist sings or hums a poem and recites a spell to permanently mark the skin. After the mouth tattooing, the lips would feel like burning embers and when the tattoo client became thirsty a piece of cotton grass was dipped in water and placed against the lips for the client to suck on.Food and sleep would be near impossible due to the pain and swelling. Recent DNA evidence suggests that the Ainu are the direct descendents of the ancient Jomon people who inhabited Japan as early as 12,000 years ago and that the tradition carried on from there with the last tattooed Ainu woman dying in 1998. So next time you're wincing when your tattooist tells you they just need to put the white in to finish off your session,remember these ladies had it a lot worse.And whatever your thoughts on their tradition we at Social Pariah salute them as we believe that all tattooed women are beautiful.