I first met Eizo Mamiya in Amsterdam (where this photo was taken) in 1995. We’d meet again in Toronto at the first MODCON event a few years later in 1999. He was a frequent travel partner of Japanese modification documentarian Ryoichi Maeda.
Eizo began piercing himself in the late 1980s, and is recognized as one of Japan’s earliest piercing professionals.
“Even before I introduced body piercing to Japan, young men in the rock scene had been piercing their ears like women. But the term “body piercing” was unknown, and the average young person had no idea that the body could be pierced. On the other hand, piercing was known in SM circles. Most of it was based on pre-war European ideas passed down and distorted over time, and was different from today’s American piercing both in the materials used for jewelry and in the piercing techniques. Furthermore, body piercing was strongly associated with dominant master-types in the SM world. They did piercing in their own style, and had lots of problems. When the media began introducing body piercing, people who were using incorrect techniques learned to use correct ones. At the same time, young people began to think piercing looked interesting, and piercing soon became fashionable.”
“I wanted to confirm that tribal tattoos are not simply patterns, but that they are a way of designing the entire human body. I undertook to test that with my own body. Then there were the basic principles of ink tattoos, and also the materials used. When I experimented with those three things, this is what resulted. “
Special thanks to Duncan Vann for providing us with additional images.