Horimono (彫り物, 彫物, literally carving, engraving), also known as chōkoku (彫刻, "sculpture"), are the engraved images in the blade of a Japanese sword, which may include katana or tantō blades.[1] The artist is called a chōkokushi (彫刻師), or a horimonoshi (彫物師, "engraver"). There are a variety of designs, which include kozumi (claws), kusa kurikara (草倶利伽羅) (Arabesque style), Munenagabori (created in Munenaga), rendai (lotus pedastal), fruit, dragons, and many others.

Horimono can also refer to the practice of traditional tattooing in Japanese culture; while "irezumi" usually refers to any tattooing (and often has negative connotations in Japan), "horimono" is usually used to describe full-body tattoos done in the traditional style.[2] In some cases, these tattoos can cover the whole body, including the arms and legs.


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