Japanese traditional tattoo patterns to be placed on arm
To be called a ‘tattoo sleeve’ the tattooed arm must be ONLY arranged as the Gaku-Bori – it must have Mikiri of any kind.
All tattoo sleeves traditionally include a chest panel called ‘Hikae’ which can be done in slightly different ways and have different size.
SHOULDERS AND ARMS
The verb ‘Hikae’ can mean “to restrain oneself” and this classic layout does just that. Hikae cover the shoulders and arms, making it possible to easily hide the tattoos with a v-neck shirt. There are 3 common types of hikae: ‘light’, which takes approximately 1/3 of a chest surface, ‘shallow’ which does not extend over the chest muscle and ‘deep’ which extends over the chest and sometimes surrounds the nipples.
Gaku-bori tattoo sleeve showing 'shallow' Hikae.
Also called 'short sleeve'. Go-bu – tattooed area started from chest panel (Hikae) and ended slightly above an elbow. The same way like a sleeve of a t-shirt.
Go-bu, short sleeve tattoo. Can be done with different types of Hikae.
Shichi-bu or Hati-bu (7/10 sleeve) – tattooed area started from chest panel(Hikae) and ended below an elbow. Approximately half way between elbow and wrist.
SHICHIBUSODE: THE SEVEN- TENTH SLEEVE
In irezumi, ‘shichitbusode’ refers to sleeves that stop below the elbow, as if a long sleeve is pulled up. The term is also used in clothing.
Shichi-bu, 3/4 sleeve tattoo. Can be done with different types of Hikae.
Kubu (nagasode) – tattooed area started from chest panel (Hikae) and goes all the way down to a wrist.
-NAGASODE- LONG SLEEVES
The term ‘nagasode’, which means “long sleeves,” is also used to refer to shirts. Nagasode irezumi covers the entire arm and ends at the wrist. There are two lengths of sleeve: kubu and tobu. Kubu ends before the wristbone, while tobu goes beyond the wristbone, stopping right before the hand.
Nagasode, Full sleeve tattoo. Can be done with different types of Hikae.
Not a Sleeve
So called tattoos like ‘lower arm sleeve’ or ‘forearm sleeve’ can not be 'framed' since anatomically have no options for Mikiri. Such tattoos technically can be done, but we respect Japanese tattoo traditions and don't do them in our studio.
In our studio, we don't make these kind of tattoos.