Join us on 14, 15 and 16 April 2023 at the Gods Of Ink tattoo convention at the Messe Forum Frankfurt in Frankfurt, Germany, for an exclusive exhibition of photographs by Akimitsu Takagi.


Organised by Miki Vialleto (publisher of Tattoo Life magazine), this first edition of the Gods of Ink convention is not to be missed, with an exhibition of photographs of Japanese tattooing in the 1950s.

A writer and tattoo enthusiast, Akimitsu Takagi was at the start of his career as a crime writer in Japan when he began documenting this milieu. Totally underground, he came into contact with it when he was writing his first novel: Shisei Satsujin Jiken (1948). As an amateur photographer, he immortalised the greatest tattoo artists in activity, the tattooed and their tattoos. Using his medium-format camera, he created a precious archive of tattooing in Tokyo in the 1950s.

This unique record of irezumi/horimono culture will be on show at Messe Forum Frankfurt. It is the first exhibition of its kind in Germany.

Silver prints for the exhibition

The photographs will be presented in the form of silver prints. These high-quality prints are made on baryta paper by a French printer: Pierlui ‘Pilou’ Gianneti. With 40 years’ experience behind him, Pilou is one of the last French masters of black and white photography. His impeccable technique contributes to the quality of these prints.  It restores the richness of the greys and the finesse of the nuances to the black and white shots. These works will be available for sale during the convention.

You can find the prints for sale in the online shop.

the tattoo writer on sale during the convention

It will also be possible to buy the book the tattoo writer . This is the name of the collection of photographs published here for the first time. Published in 2022, the first edition (700 copies) had been out of print for several months. This book on Japanese tattooing in the 1950s has just been reprinted in March. This second edition (pre-order the book now) is exactly the same as the first. The book brings together 134 previously unpublished black and white photographs. They are accompanied by three texts, including one written by Akimitsu Takagi’s daughter. In “My Father and Tattooing”, Akiko Takagi recounts her father’s relationship with tattooing. The book is bilingual in English and French.

A convention, a series of events

An exhibition of photographs of tattooing in Tokyo in the 1950s joins the procession of events on offer. Also on the programme at the Gods of Ink convention is an exhibition by American artist Mike Dorsey. The drawing genius will be showing his (very) large-format works inspired by Japanese culture and ukiyo-e images.

The crème de la crème of the world’s tattoo scene meet at Gods of Ink

On 14, 15 and 16 April 2023, the world’s finest tattoo artists will be meeting at the Gods of Ink convention. A host of Japanese tattoo artists will be on hand for this tattoo mecca. Among them: Horimitsu (Tokyo), Mitomo Horihiro (Tokyo), Hide Ichibay, Shige, Horikashi, Rico, Shion, Horikichi and Yugo Sekine will be making the trip from Japan. Among the Western specialists in the genre are tattoo artists Filip Leu, Luke Atkinson, Alex Reinke, Henrik Grysbjerg, Henning Jorgensen, Bill Canales, Florencio Rojas, Fabio Gargiulo and others.

See you there!