Meet Yoshihiro Sakaguchi also known as Yoshi, a talented tattoo artist whose work blends elements of traditional Japanese and Korean art with modern engraving techniques. Born in Japan and raised in Korea, Yoshi has absorbed the cultural richness of both countries, which is reflected in his unique style. He started as a manga artist, then studied fine arts at university, and after found his calling in tattooing. Today, he travels the world, creating masterpieces on people's bodies and participating in various projects. In this interview, Yoshi shares his journey, inspiration, the importance of client ideas, and his plans for the future.

Tattoo artist Yoshi

We have been following your work for a long time, but for those who don't know you, tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from, and where are you currently working?

- I am Yoshi. I was born in Japan and grew up in Korea. Half Korean and half Japanese, I used to work in Korea and Japan, and these days, I am traveling and working all over the world.

Tattoo artist Yoshi

How did you decide to become a tattoo artist? Who was your mentor? Tell us about the journey.

- When I was a kid, I wanted to be a manga artist, so I drew a lot of manga. I studied fine art in university and got into tattoos during that time. After my parents passed away, I had to find my own path. I was 23 years old and already had the ability to make designs, so I learned the skill of tattooing. And my journey began!

Tattoo artist Yoshi

Is tattooing for you an art form, a job, or something else?

- It’s art. I love creating designs for people and making my art on their bodies.

What drew you to engraving? Was there something else before it?

- I have been tattooing for 14 years. I started with traditional Japanese and traditional American styles using a coil machine—no fine line work and no engraving styles back then. I switched to engraving styles two years ago because I love it and feel happy when I'm drawing in that style.

Tattoo artist Yoshi

Why eyes? They seem to penetrate throughout your portfolio.

- I like the Korean proverb, "The eyes are the windows to the soul." Eyes can reveal a lot about someone, especially emotions like fear, anger, sadness, hate, contempt, and disgust. Eyes don’t lie, and I enjoy drawing them.

Tattoo artist Yoshi

What is more important to you in your work: the client's idea or your own? How is the sketch of your tattoo born? Where do you draw inspiration from?

- It's a blend of both. Usually, my clients want something specific, but I believe the most important thing is to incorporate their ideas well. My job is to mix their imagination with my style. I draw inspiration from various sources and love creating designs based on my clients’ imaginations.

Tattoo artist Yoshi

What is the most important aspect of tattooing for you?

- The most important aspects are my style, design, and skills.

Unusual projects or collaborations often happen in every tattoo artist's career. Have you had any such events in your career?

- Not yet! Last year, I received a lot of inquiries from many Americans, but we couldn't arrange anything. Please contact me for potential projects!

Tattoo artist Yoshi

Do you travel frequently? Where have you been so far? Which country has had the greatest influence on your creativity?

- Yes! I’ve been to the US, Canada, Australia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, France, and Switzerland. Japan has had the greatest influence on me. Its powerful colors and traditions left a strong impression. I wish I had more time to experience other cultures deeply, as all my travels were beautiful but too short to feel something significant. I want to live in another country and experience more culture and tradition.

Tattoo artist Yoshi

Do you regularly attend tattoo conventions? Share your experiences.

- Not these days, but I have plans to attend a convention next year.

You are part of the Emalla Pro Team. What does being a part of it mean for you as a tattoo artist?

- It's a good partnership. We can continue to thrive in the tattoo scene and provide what we want to each other.

Tattoo artist Yoshi

What is the most important thing in a tattoo artist's career for you? What goals do you set for yourself? Can you share your creative plans for the near future?

- The most important things are the client and my art. Tattooing is art, but it’s different from other art forms because we draw on human bodies. My art is very important, but customer satisfaction is equally crucial. I plan to move to the United States. I want to create an art brand, make art products, and sell them to everyone. I aim to become more famous.