FASCINATION WITH INK: Mr Hideyuki Haga with his truck, which is decorated with the same design as the tattoo on his back, in Saitama, Japan, in September. "When this painting was done, I think I was about as excited as when my tattoo was done. The tattoo is now part of myself. I definitely feel proud of it," says the 44-year-old truck driver. In Japan, there is a growing tribe that proudly defies tattoo taboo.
SHARED INTEREST: Tattoo fan Mari Okasaka and her son Tenji Okasaka, 24, at their home in Saitama Prefecture in Japan. She says: "Some people get tattoos for deep reasons, but I do it because they're cute - the same way I might buy a nice blouse." The 48-year-old got her first tattoo at 28 while her son is working towards having his whole body covered in ink and colour.
BODY OF ART: Author Hiroki Takamura, 62, at a gathering of the Irezumi Aikokai (Tattoo Lovers Association) in Tokyo this year. The former school administrator says: "At my past job, tattoos were not allowed, so I applied foundation... It took over 30 minutes every morning to cover my tattoos."