Japanese Irezumi Style Tattooing in Dallas


Scott Cooksey has dedicated 25 years of his tattooing career here in the North Dallas/DFW area to the Japanese Irezumi style of tattooing. Focusing on accuracy in design, layout, and theme, Scott strives to keep the imagery as accurate and authentic as possible. Tattooing timeless imagery that will last a lifetime in all sizes from a single image, half-sleeve, full-leg, full-sleeve, or chest to a backpiece or full bodysuit.

Traditional Irezumi Style Tattoos

Applying Irezumi on all types of clients, male and female, and all tones of skin is common practice. Traditional Japanese tattoos are for people from all walks of life and professions from the blue-collar oil field workers of west Texas to police, fire, first responders, teachers and doctors. Using only the highest quality tattoo inks, needles, machines, and supplies, Scott works quickly and efficiently. The client leaves satisfied that one’s received a large amount of exceptional work for your hard-earned money.

Our Approach to Traditional Japanese Tattoos in Dallas

Scott’s approach to the Irezumi style tattooing is simple- Hes starts with an in-person consultation with the client. At the consultation you can expect guidance on the main theme you’ve chose as well as a discussion about placement and color choice. You can also expect to discuss the hourly rate of the work, deposit information, aftercare guidance and appointment setting. If the client doesn’t already have the main subject matter, Scott can make suggestions based on what you want your tattoo to mean to you. This subject matter often includes Mythological creatures like dragons, kirins, baku, phoenix, hannya, Koi (carp), samurai, snakes, tiger, spider, namakubi, yokia, tigers, snakes, shi shi (foo dog), oni, Raijin, Fudo and other protector deities. These are common imagery of the Irezumi tattoo style. In many cases clients want certain imagery just because they like the look of it rather than it having a deep meaning. There’s no rules to that. Once the main idea is decided then Scott proceeds to suggest the surrounding imagery of the main imagery chosen. This includes an array of traditional Japanese flowers that can accompany the main figures and options such as flowers like the peony, cherry blossoms, plumb blossom, chrysanthemum, as well as maple leaves, good luck charms, etc. And of course, it has to all be tied together with the traditional Japanese style background. This includes “wind bars”, clouds, “finger” waves, rocks, flames and any natural or supernatural elements. The background imagery is the common thread that ties the whole design and story together to give it that classic and authentic appearance. There are some guidelines and rules into compositions of large Irezumi work. Some flowers go with some imagery, certain flowers of certain seasons will go with just some imagery. The color of a maple leaf will signify what season it is. Cherry blossoms will also signify what season it could be. Endless possibilities. An Irezumi masterpiece is deeply powerful. Every tattoo done in the Irezumi fashion tells a story about the adorner.

History of Japanese Irezumi Style Tattoos

Traditional Japanese tattooing, aka Irezumi, originated during the Edo period (1603-1868). Woodblock prints from the Edo period played a significant role in the creation and design of the Irezumi tattoo. The woodblock prints of the Edo period in Japan had become increasingly popular back then and opened up more creative doors for tattooers or “horishi” to produce more thought-out and creative tattoo imagery. Woodblock carvers, kite makers, and painters were among the first to tattoo this classic imagery. The great Japanese artists Hokusai and Kuniyoshi’s works have been highly influential in modern Irezumi tattooing. Clients desiring darker and frightful imagery often used Hokusai and Kuniyoshi imagery and influence in depicting the attractive more dark and mythological style in their art. Many different classes and craftsmen from the Edo period and beyond had tattoos of certain imagery representing roles they played in society. For example, firefighters had a very risky job. They would get full body suits as a spiritually protective good luck suit to shield them from the dangers of fighting fires. Common imagery seen with these firefighters’ tattoos often featured scenes with dragons and water symbolizing their battle against fire.

Choosing a Japanese Tattoo Artist

Japanese tattooing has gained significant popularity over the last 20 years and is more popular than ever. There are plenty of artists that do Japanese tattooing, but consider that they all have a certain degree of skill and a certain degree of accuracy in the craft. If one does a basic Google search you will find some Japanese imagery, but if you dig hard enough, you’ll realize that much of these images are not composed correctly and have a non-authentic look. If you’re looking for proper tattooing in the Japanese Irezumi motif one must include the word “Irezumi” in your search. When searching for an Irezumi artist that suits you best, the proof is in their portfolio pictures. Social media popularity means nothing in choosing a properly qualified artist for the job. Look for pictures of healed tattoos that have been settled into the skin. Any tattooer can post a new picture of a fresh tattoo that looks incredible, but that doesn’t mean that it will heal exactly looking the way that it does fresh. What you’re looking for in a traditional Japanese tattoo is accuracy of the design and theme, solid and clean black lines, smooth and well-thought-out shading and coloring balance and background composition. The coloring should not be uneven, splotchy, or scratchy. Color and black shading should heal nice and smooth and have the opaque appearance of melted crayons.

Nowadays in the west and even common in modern Japan, tattoo machines are used to produce the Irezumi tattoo rather than the historic tradition of the Tabori application. In the past, Japanese tattooing has primarily been done with the a needle-bearing tool and in application called Tabori. This method has a great look to it when it’s been applied properly. Tabori takes years and years of experience under a master to apply a clean looking and solid tattoo with this method. Although he deeply respects the application of the Tabori tattoo Scott strictly uses modern tattoo machines. Modern tattoo machines apply more clean, consistent, and solid line work as well as being able to pack color more smooth and more opaque. Not to mention modern tattoo machines get the job done much quicker than the classic and unfortunately outdated Tabori. There are many excellent Tabori artist still practicing the craft around the world. These people have decades and decades of experience under the guise of their master.

If you’re thinking about getting a traditional Japanese tattoo in Dallas, contact Lone Star Tattoo for a consultation.

Tattoo Reviews & Testimonials

As a first timer getting tattoo gives mixed feeling regarding needle and how it should look with the size of tattoo and tattoo modifications to look good, Nick did an amazing job with his suggestions and very precious about design and after care for keeping it with hygiene. Even provided phone number for any queries ☺️😊Thank you Nick for wonderful art work.
Leah, Cassie and Jacqueline were wonderfulGreat vibe, excellent artists.Made us feel comfort from start to finish.Texted tattoo photo ideas and came out so good.It's off Preston and George Bush turnpike. Small parking lot.They accommodated even walkins from what we saw.Highly recommended!
Luanu'u M.
I went with my mom for her tattoo appointment with Josefhine. She was great and worked with my mom to create the tattoo she'd been envisioning.
Working with Scott was a wonderful experience. From the start of the process he was enthusiastic, and he always made me feel excited for my next session. At each session I never felt pressured to talk and he would let me sit and focus on the experience. If I did want to talk, he was always open to listening. On top of his technical abilities, he has the incredible talent to take the ideas that are given to him and make them better. I never would have imagined my tattoo becoming as beautiful as it did. For anyone that is looking for someone to do their next tattoo I can’t recommend Scott enough.
John W.
Amazing artists, amazing shop, amazing customer service. I came here with a larger yet apprehensive goal to get a sleeve done, however after such a comforting and collaborative briefing with owner Scott Cooksey I was put right at ease and knew I was in the right place. Upon my initial email inquiry, I was greeted with open arms about my request for such a large piece. I was given options on artist as well as guided in the right direction for my best course of action between artwork and scheduling. Ultimately I landed with Scott to achieve the Irezumi (traditional Japanese) piece I wanted. Scott was not only open to any and all ideas, but especially helped guide me in the artistic direction that fit my preferences best. Throughout the entire process it's been an incredible experience, from the friendly greetings at the front door to the (painful) yet fun sessions with Scott, I feel like I've developed a personal bond with Lonestar and will continue to come here for any and all future pieces. 100/10 rating, definitely book here for your next tattoo.
Sean M.
I had the industrial piercing done. Jack was great!
Cecilia A.
I’ve been tattooed by several artists here and each time it’s the same standard of quality and service. Went today and got tattooed by Josefine and my wife by Cassie. Both were amazing to work with. Highly recommended.
Kyle K.
Was very nervous about getting my 1st tattoo. The whole staff was wonderful.Cooper Glenn, who did my tattoo, was fantastic, did a great job, very personable and talented. Recommend him to everyone. Tell him I sent you!
Diane M.
Friendly environment, good for first timers and old timers , good prices great work good parking save neighborhood, recommend nic gotten 4 tattoos from him so far
Susana L.
All amazing artists! I’ve seen Cassie almost 7 times now and her work is just GREAT. Very good black work. She’s done the entire part of my lower leg sleeve! So crispy!Ari and Leah have great work too. I saw their work and books in the shop and will gladly see them soon as well.
Casey G.
Best experience and work I’ve had with Scott!
Chase M.
Amazing environment, incredible art. Ari (so sorry if my spelling is wrong) did a great job on my friend's tattoo and was a pleasure to work with.
Emily C.
Great shop. Cool, talented artists. Very welcoming. Good vibes.
Christy G.
07/23/2023 was when i was at the shop. i had the pleasure of working with Josephine. absolutely a stunning soul! i got a few different tattoos. i walked in with ideas, and she filled the rest of the pieces. she knew the placement, the style, the font, the line size, and everything. 110/10 recommend!! absolute blessing to have tattoos on my body for the rest of my life living through the experience with Josefhine!All my love, and to the rest of the people who may have the same pleasure as me, i pray you enjoy your journey and love your way through life! 💗
Samantha M.
We just had the best experience with Ari and Leah! A group of us came in without appointments and not only did they accommodate our group and give us perfect tattoos, they were kind, patient, and so welcoming. The shop was clean, the staff was friendly, and there was the CUTEST service dog as well. Thank you thank you for making our celebrating weekend even better. Xx
Annie F.
Got my Texas tattoo while on vacation. RAIN did an awesome job and was great to work with. Highly recommend him!
Lori W.
I love this shop and all the artists here! I've gotten most of my tattoos done here and all of them have healed beautifully. Definitely check it out if you're into traditional tattoos.
Claire H.
Isabella was awesome. Went in to get a too tight piercing unscrewed (lol I’m dumb), she helped me out quickly and painlessly and then gave great insight on future piercings I’m planning. Shop is always clean and staff is professional. Great place!
Catherine R
Came in for a flash tattoo and had a great experience with Leah! Would highly recommend to anyone.
Michele B.
Scott completed a traditional Japanese Shi Shi tattoo for me recently and it turned out great. From the first consultation to the last session, he worked with me to make sure I got what I wanted. He's easy to work with and very knowledgeable about tattoo's in general and Japanese traditional in particular. I highly recommend reaching out to Scott.
Brian P.
If you’re looking for a traditional Japanese Irezumi, look no further because Scott is your man. He’s super friendly, chill, and very informative. He guided me through the whole process during our first appointment and was very helpful. My irezumi back piece is still a work in progress, and I can’t wait until we get back into session!
John T.
I've always wanted a traditional Japanese sleeve but could never find an artist that could make it happen how I envisioned it...until I saw Scott Cooksey's...
Julian K.
I've been here two times for ear piercings and each time has been amazing! Each piercing was perfectly placed and I have zero complaints whatsoever. The staff are all so welcoming and friendly 🙂
Cassie is a rock star. She is amazing at what she does and got excited about my tattoos. It's always good when an artist is excited about the tattoos you...
Courtney T.
The staff here was able to sell me some jewelry and change my piercing jewelry all cheaply and quickly! It was incredibly convenient for me to fix my body jewelry after losing one of the beads.
Daniel C.
Josefine is the bomb! The shop is very clean & has great energy.I gave Josefine a picture of a tattoo I thought I wanted. As she was sketching it, I...
Noelle S.
Mia is the BEST! Coming out of a mid-life crisis, and new to the area, I woke up one day and decided I wanted my ears peirced. Some quick research... I realized I did NOT want to go the free gun style piecing at Walmart. That I wanted them hand needle pierced so they would heal faster and with less likelihood of complications. Also I wanted them properly centered in my lobes, which are nearly non-existent, hard to figure where to put the holes...Another shop highly rated on Yelp I stopped by, they were VERY expensive because they required I purchase stud jewelry from them at time of piecing, and the minimum plain black dots were.... $110! Plus $45 per ear... I was like I don't want your designer case jewelry dayum it! They wouldn't budge.So I stopped by Lonestar Tattoo on a whim driving by a month later. Mia explained their actually really cool cubic zirconia studs were FREE, included in the piecing price. GOOD. She was kind, patient, and answered all my questions. Then.. Once we started, she took the time to explain each step before she did it, asked permission every time she went to touch me so their were no surprises.... And took the time and care to really line up the markings and make sure they were gonna look centered.I was very confident thru the whole process, and she coached me on how to properly care for them, and where to buy jewelry when I'm ready. She also gave me her instagram for aftercare concerns and questions. 5 StARs for Mia! Triple AAA Plus!THanks Mia. I couldn't be happier.
Max I.
Mia is the BEST! Coming out of a mid-life crisis, and new to the area, I woke up one day and decided I wanted my ears peirced. Some quick research... I...
Max I.
Love it my girlfriend and I have gotten three tattoos in the last month or two between us. Excellent art, amazing service, incredible staff. 10 out of 10 would recommend.
Justin B.
Kat is the best!!!!!She is patient, listens to you, and is amazing. Thank you, Kat! 😊💜😊
Karla L.
Kat and Josefhine are awesome. Kat did the ghost cats and butterfly for me. Josefhine did my teapot. Great service and kind artists!! Love it here, my go to tattoo shop. Mia also helped me switch out my jewelry in my ear lobe and she was awesome.
Jenny H.
The custom tattoo @whip.witch gave me was absolutely perfect and exactly what I could have ever wanted for the start of my tattooing adventure. It still...
Sarah B.
You won't find better prices in Dallas for the quality work you get here. Also they make you feel like family! Most tattoo shops can be intimidating but here I didn't get that feeling. I get the family come on in anytime and we will take care of you feeling . You all are amazing and the attention to detail on the work is second to non . Thank you for providing an amazing place to go to .
Matthew W.
My Husband Got me a tattoo for my Birthday....we came in early Saturday as a walk in and were able to get right in. Loved the place! the staff was helpful...
Kristine G.
Kameron is awesome and treats you with respect and professionalism. Excellent experience.
Jake G.
Great place good people thanks from team 701 RECON
John J.
In 2019 I got dreamcatcher On my ankle I recommend lone star tattoo
Jessica B.
OMG I can not say enough wonderful things. Me and my daughter wanted a remembrance tatoo for my son and Cat was amazing. She worked with us on the design and came up with the perfect tattoo...she incorporated everything we wanted and created a beautiful work of art...My son's wife loved it and is going to get the same one too...This was my first tatoo and Cat made it very easy....I am forever grateful to have found the perfect place, the perfect artist and the perfect tatoo..My son was smiling down on me and his sister..I felt his presence and know he is proud..His heartbeat, his angel wings and his love for music is all here..
Tanja D.
Mark did my tattoo and it looks so awesome!!! Highly recommend anyone who wants to get there first tattoo go straight to him. He was so nice and understanding throughout the entire session and made me feel like I wasn’t even there to get a tattoo but to just catch up with an old friend. The tattoo looks amazing and he made it look even better then the original reference picture I showed him.
Fatima H.
Great shop! Mark did great work...my wife and myself got tattoos that honor our son.
Robert B.
This is my first tattoo and it was a great experience. The staff is super laid back and friendly. Definitely going back there if I decide to get another one.
Joe S.
Still best in DFW. Have a really great tattoo from there, and Matt is super cool and great at his craft of piercing
Eric C.
Loved it. I went to Josefine and she did such amazing work.
Amaris Von G
Rob did a great job communicating about my design and making sure we got a final image that we both love. Full of great ideas and a big personality.
Kameron A.
Rob was great! I told him what I wanted and he exceeded any and all expectations.
Jerry T.
If anyone is think of getting a tattoo please consider this place the whole staff is very awesome and ask for Kat for your tattoo needs she is awesome and very polite and will listen to all your needs plus she easy on the eyes
James H.
I've been to quite a few shops and this is by far my favorite place. Just a bunch of cool people busting out badass tattoos. Kam is an absolute PRO with my black and red sleeve, she even completely rescued a prior tattoo gone bad. Even getting stabbed repeatedly by a tiny needle for hours at a time, I always have a great experience with this shop.
Sam F.
Cam did a fantastic job on our tattoos. It was the first time for my husband and I, second time for our daughter. Reasonably priced, prices starting at $120, average price of ours was $150-200 depending on size and number. We are definitely hooked now 😊
Lena S.
Thin line work is really difficult but Rob made it look easy. He did an amazing job of combining two zodiac pieces into one and tying them into an existing...
Caroline C.
A wonderful experience! Extremely friendly staff, more than up to par hygiene practices, and good deals. Highly reccomend!
Sara W.
Today was my third visit to Lone Star, and just like the previous two times I've been, it was a fantastic experience. Went as a walk in, and was immediately...
Leigh B.
Rob was an excellent artist and I'm very happy w/ my tattoo!
Jason R.
Found this place on yelp prior to coming from Chicago to Dallas. Staff here was very professional and prompt in responding to my request. Kat was a joy to...
Malcolm W.
Matt is a consummate professional. Would recommend to my mother. Check them out!
Holly W.
Joshua C.
Everyone was professional and Scott gave me a fantastic piece of art. 10/10 recommend
Hive M.
I just recently got pierced from Matt and had the greatest experience. He advised me where the placement would look best and gave me great aftercare instructions. Would recommend!
Nicole H
Second review of this awesome shop. Had the pleasure of being tattooed by Lance today, and he is amazing. He's incredibly personable, and funny. He's...
Leigh B.
Very friendly service, well informed and knowledgeable. Quick action and very considerate to not rush too. It was a fun experience. Very clean and felt very comfortable to get the ear piercing.
aparna S.
The place was clean and everyone was super nice. If you're looking for a place for tattoos or piercings, this is the place. You won't be disappointed.
Angela M.
Should have left this review ages ago.I found them by accident at about 17 when my friend wanted to get her lip pierced. Matt, their piercer is a super nice dude. I ended up getting a bunch of my tattoos (and a few piercings!) there and have never been disappointed. No infections, relatively painless, and phenomenal work. I came back into town from California and got four done by Josefhine on Sunday (10.31.21) and could not have been happier with her work. She was the BEST.My friend got worked on my Kam at the same time, and equally enjoyed the experience. The ladies were all around very nice to socialise with while getting worked on.I will always go here for my work when possible. I just hate that I live so far away now.
Hyunjin K.
Josh is AWESOME. Getting my first sleeve done - I checked out 4 or 5 shops until I found Lone Star. Clean, laid back, and tons of knowledge from all the staff. The feel of the place brings back good memories of the live music scene in Deep Ellum years ago, just the right amount of Texas dive bar - great music and excited people.I went in with an idea of what I thought I wanted... but Josh was completely candid and honest and educated me on what actually makes a great tattoo, and I'm glad he took the time to talk me through it instead of just trying to make my idea work. He's using my daughters art to cover my arm in ink, and I couldn't be happier with it so far. He works quickly and accurately, and you can tell he, Rob, and the other staff love their job. I'm three sessions in, and look forward to the end. I just don't know when I'm going to be able to stop...
Robert G.
I cannot say enough good things about this shop. Everyone I met was so friendly and went above and beyond on making me feel comfortable, heard, and happy!! Rob did my leg tattoo in the picture and he was also amazing!! Chill environment on top of everything else:))
Gabbi R.
Our Tattoo artist Miss Kameron was very, professional and awsome.
Eduardo V.

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