Extract from the Book The Japanese Tattoo
The tortoise is a symbol of longevity since it is reputed to live "forever." It also carries with it sexual connotations because its extending and retracting neck resembles an uncircumcised penis. The subject shown here asked Horiyoshi III somewhat unusually, to tattoo the top of his feet. The master chose the tortoise pattern and on the right foot added the kotobuki ideogram for "Congratulations" or "Felicity." The client also requested tattooed eyebrows, ostensibly to make his face more fearsome. Cosmetically he doubtless hoped his narrow eyes would appear larger.
I highly recommend this book. Reasonable Price for very good photographs.
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