Ozuma Kaname and His Tortured Tattooed Beauties
Marijn Kruijff
9 min

Ozuma Kaname and His Tortured Tattooed Beauties

9 min

The extremely talented and prolific Japanese artist Ozuma Kaname, born in Niigata in 1939, was trained in classical Japanese painting by his uncle Sakai Soushi. From all artists from the ‘Golden age’ SM era, his work is by far most published. This is perhaps not so surprising as, in Ozuma’s art, three different specialties come together in one beautiful image: the sensuous seme-e (kinbaku pictures) scene, the bijin-ga (beauty pictures), and the irezumi (tattoo) masterpiece. His images are mainly inspired on the traditional subjects to which he adds beautifully tattooed (wabori) female figures tied-up in inescapable poses.

Tattooed girl tied to a snowy tree hanging upside down by Ozuma Kaname


SM Magazines

Ozuma Kaname attended Art College in Niigata but had to leave prior to graduation as he was forced to accept any assignment in order to make ends meet. He did this by illustrating for SM magazines in the early 1970s , and became a popular contributor to acclaimed magazines like SM Select, SM Collector and SM King.

Kita Reiko

Early in his career Ozuma examined various styles and often mimicked more well-known artists like Kita Reiko. But over time as he became more skilled in his art, his originality and breathtaking imagination started to attract a large audience. It was in the late 1970s that he began to combine his skills with seme-e and irezumi and started to produce his signature style of picture; Edo era maidens with flowing black hair, covered in glorious, colorful irezumi and bound with thick hemp rope in sensuous poses of rapture, shame or torment.

Tied tattooed girl sitting on a snowy branch by ozuma kaname



Although Ozuma mastered the art of Japanese traditional tattooing, called irezumi, he himself became a huge inspiration for contemporary tattoo-artists. Especially his second book, published in 1995, is now an important reference. In a review on one his exhibitions in The Loving Living Gallery (2015) I read that when you examine Ozuma’s paintings on silk in real-life, the detail is incredible. The female protagonists are largely depicted in submissive poses, with the male (if present) dominating, holding the female figures down in position.

Genital Area

The female figures are large, round and graceful. All characters are Japanese. The nudes feature flowing lines moving down the entire body including genital area. The private parts are always subtly hidden by twigs, ropes, a kitten (Fig.4), water (Fig.5) or simply by the pose in which the body is presented to the viewer.

ozuma kaname: tattooed female seeing from the side

Fig.3. (Source: Terrienseul)

Horiyoshi III

Ozuma’s paintings were a major influence on the work of the popular tattoo artist Horiyoshi III (1946). In return, Horiyoshi’s clients were frequently used as models for his paintings. He signed his work only with his family name.

Jigsaw Puzzles

His depictions of dragons and Buddhist deities can not only be found in the tattoo subculture but also in mainstream Japanese culture (such as jigsaw puzzles and postcards). This is quite an accomplishment since tattoos have a bad stigma in Japan. Ozuma Kaname’s tattoo paintings are seen as masterpieces among irezumi connoisseurs.


At the end of his life he was every bit as famous a designer of tattoos as he was an SM artist and was acknowledged as standing in direct descent from Utagawa Kuniyoshi, the early 19th century ukiyo-e master who first popularized the art of irezumi with his prints series ‘The 108 Heroes of the Popular Suikoden‘ (1827-30).

tied girl licked by a kitten ozuma kaname



A striking characteristic of Ozuma was his great humility. In an autobiographical essay accompanying the art in his book ‘Tattooing‘, he commented that although he was pleased at the collection’s publication he was, ‘a little ashamed that they (the pictures) aren’t better.’ He concluded by saying, ‘As an ukiyo-e artist, I hope that his book will find its way into the hands of tattoo fans the world over, and show them at least one aspect of Japanese culture and tradition, art and technique. Nothing could please me more than this.’ This most renowned master died from cancer in 2011.

Tied girl lying in the water by ozuma kaname


Tattooed girl tied to a chair with a drip to her ass by Ozuma Kaname


Tied girl with giant dragon tattoo on her back by Ozuma Kaname


Tied girl hanging over a tree with her head above a bucket of water by ozuma kaname


Tied girl being whipped to her tattooed ass by ozuma kaname


ozuma kaname tattoo


Ozuma Kaname painting with a sensual nude beauty sporting a large tattoo

Fig.11. (Photo source: http://www.kwjhjgc.com/)

ozuma kaname: nude tattooed beauty in the snow


nude beauty with a back and butt tattoo of a dragon by Ozuma Kaname


nude beauty with a back tattoo of a female warrior by Ozuma Kaname


Ozuma kaname: tied tattooed female hanging over the water


Ozuma kaname: tattooed female sitting on a rock holding a fan


ozuma kaname painting depicting a tattooed female tied to a pole in a shed


ozuma kaname painting depicting a tattooed beauty tied to the ground with poles


tattooed female with a tattooed female tattooed on her back by Ozuma Kaname


Ozuma kaname: sitting female with spider tattoo on her back


Ozuma Kaname tied girl


Ozuma Kaname tied tattooed girl


Ozuma Kaname girl in ropes


Ozuma Kaname bdsm


Ozuma Kaname bondage


Ozuma Kaname tattoo art


Ozuma Kaname bondage art


Ozuma Kaname shibari


The following video shows more amazing tattoo art by Ozuma Kaname:

Mijn film (Azuma Kaname)
Ozuma Kaname tattooed beauty


ozuma kaname ropes


tied girl ozuma kaname


Ozuma Kaname tied woman


ozuma kaname tattooed back


ozuma kaname tattooed girl


ozuma kaname tattooed nude


tattooed nude in ropes art


ozuma kaname tied to a cross


ozuma kaname bondage art


ozuma kaname tattoo art


ozuma kaname torture


Click HERE for ancient shunga art with tattooed protagonists or HERE to check out the corpulent mistresses of Namio Harukawa…!!

Source: ‘The Beauty of Kinbaku‘ by Master “K”

Who is your favorite Japanese bondage artist? Leave your reaction in the comment box below….!!