"Unlike the Japanese tattoo, which flowes over the contours of the body like a river over stones, the Americans cover their arms with a hodgepodge of unsightly, obvious designs - hearts, anchors, flags, and the like. I suppose an upstart country like the United States doesn´t have any folklore or tradition to draw upon, but still, there´s no excuse for a total lack of artistry. No imagination. And the shading techniques are appallingly primitive, like something from the Stone Age! The subtle shadowing that sets the Japanese tattoo apart is achieved by the use of natural pigments which are applied with immeasurable skill by a true artist manipulating a variety of needles, with each bundle of needles encased in a wooden handle. But the Americans! They use a single needle, which is shy their designs are as thin as a bowl of milk that´s been left out in the rain."
I´m intrigued. I´m not into tattoos myself, but the way it´s descriped in this book, as an art form and a part of the Japanese culture, is fascinating.
(If you are wondering about the references to the Americans, this book is set in the year 1947).