Japanese Tattoo Artist HoriYamato A.K.A. “Akilla”

Traditional Japanese tattoo artist HoriYamato, A.K.A. Akilla, is a member of the Horitoshi Tattoo Family which is based in Ikebukuro, Japan. He’s been doing my sleeve so I’ve gotten to know him pretty well over the past couple years.

Akilla Tattoo 2

Akilla owns a tattoo studio called “Tattoo Soul” and you can see some of his work on his blog. Check it out because he updates it almost everyday and his work is truly some of the best on the planet. Below is a feed of his most recent postings:


Akilla Tattoo After meeting Horiyamato I learned that we have some mutual friends who are also well known tattoo artists - Ami James, Chris Garver and Yoji Harada from the hit reality show Miami Ink. The guys were recently in Japan shooting their new show, “WorldWide Tribe,” and they stopped by Ikebukuro to pay the Horitoshi Family a visit.

Before finding his passion for tattoo Horiyamato used to write for Warp Magazine and he also DJ’d the Tokyo nightclub circuit. Now he’s very serious about tattooing but he still finds the time to have fun with his artistic skills. Akilla paints and he also designs for his friends’ clothing lines like Manji Line and Bounty Hunter. He recently designed an official WWE t-shirt for Rey Mysterio… and more recently he designed the ski suit for Olympic Alpine Skier Akira Sasaki.

If you’re planning on coming to Japan then feel free to send him an email. He speaks English and welcomes foreigners to his shop (by appointment only).

Traditional Japanese Tattoo - Tebori

Traditional Japanese tattooing or “tebori” involves handpoking the ink under the skin using these tools which HoriYamato makes by hand.

Check out a tebori video taken at HoriYamato’s shop while he was tattooing a famous Japanese MMA fighter Kotetsu Boku.

30 thoughts on “Japanese Tattoo Artist HoriYamato A.K.A. “Akilla”

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  6. Hi Akilla..

    Your work is so beautiful..

    I had a very terrible tattoo done on my left shoulder by this holy man in Thailand and I would really like to have it fixed as it is visible to the world . it was supposed to be a Sak Yant but its just a mess..Im too old for a bad tattoo..

    Do you do coverups..?

    And what are your fees for your work..

    I am an English teacher working in Chiba for the next ten weeks..

    thank you

    Julia Patel

    • Hi Julia,

      Unsure if Akilla surfs this site, hope you got a response from him, if you didn’t, PM me; he’s my artist as well. Good luck, -b

      • HI B

        thanks for the tip..I didnt really get a response…Ive decided to just keep my Burma tattoo and go on.Im kind of tired of cover ups..So how would I go about finding out the details of the work A does and the cost also..Im very interested in pursiong some work with him ..I went to see somebody else and I just didnt feel it..so please write me..thanks:) J

        • I know Akilla. He did a tattoo on me when I was in Tokyo last year. I still keep in touch with him. Let me know if I can help

          • Hello

            This is Eric and I’m also interested in getting work done from Akilla. If you could tell me how much it costs for the tattoo that you got done, that would be great.

            I already have a pretty good draft/idea of what I want done and would like him to fine tune it and of course, do it as well.

            I am living in Tokyo.

            I think it would take about 5-6 hours of work based on machine gun, not sure how that relates to his traditional style.

            ive been quoted with 90,000Yen by other artist in tattoo who im pretty sure are not as good.

            i normally pay about 8,000 Yen per hour by other quality artist in america and was hoping to stay in that range.

            please let me know if you could help me out somehow. i would be more than happy to schedule an appointment with him and see if we can get this on the road.

            thanks a lot!

            • Eric,

              I suggest emailing or calling him directly. His email is: [email protected]

              If you can’t get through or if you have problems communicating then let me know. I’ll be happy to go there with you. His rate is a little more than what you’re used to paying, and being hand poked is much slower… so you’re looking at a decent chunk of change for a full sleeve. It really all depends on the design though.

              If you don’t want to get handoked and you’d prefer the machine then I suggest Horimitsu: http://www.tune-in-tokyo.com/2009/06/japanese-tattoo-artist-horimitsu/

              He’s a cool guy and awesome artist too!

              Thanks for checking out the blog!


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  8. Hello Akilla im mailling you all the way from South Afrika my Name is Lynnie i have a purple gragon on my right shoulder and on my lower back i hane a snake wraped around an 8 ball with some tribal design around it im looking for an idea for my arm it should start on my left shoulder blade going to my left arm i saw your work on miami ink i think your work is awesome great detail vibrant colours think i should save up to fly over to Japan to have you do my next tattoo for me keep up the great work

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  10. Dear Akilla,

    Amazing artwork…. and especially the technics… I live in Haiti. Can you refer some artists using the same technics that are closer to my country for example in the States or Dominicain Republic?

    Thank you in advance,


    • Thanks for reading. I don’t know anyone in Haiti who tattoos… and I don’t know anyone who does traditional Japanese tattoo outside of japan. Sorry.

  11. Hey..

    Im planning on going to tokyo in may and getting some work done on my tattoo while im there… i cant seem to get in contact with tattoo soul or akilla through the mail i found [email protected]).. is there any way you could assist me in getting a hold of then guys? :)

    Anders, Denmark

  12. Hi,
    amazing work! I’d love to get such a nice tattoo.. Does Akilla also tattoo foreigners who aren’t capable to speak Japanese? :P I’ll be in Japan for 1.5 Months - would I have to get an appointed day first?

    Greetings from Switzerland

  13. Sorry about that… I thought I was linking to the blog.

    I updated the post and added the link.

    thanks for reading!

  14. I am looking for a good tatoo shop styl japanese in Thailand, Bankok anyone can tell me please, i am going to Thailand on 28 December 2011. please…

  15. Hey,

    I’m from Toronto Canada traveling to Japan for two weeks from May 1st to the 14th. I want to complete a three quarter sleeve from either akilla or horimitsu depending on who has the time. Is two weeks long enough to complete this tebori or will I have to go machine? I am capable of doing very long sittings. I would also appreciate some help getting in touch with either of these artists. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!


  16. If he didn’t get back to you then I suggest calling the number on the website. If that doesn’t work then try Horimitsu in Honey Tattoo which is right below him. He’s also from the Horitoshi family and he’s extremely talented.

    Sorry i can’t help you more. I’m on the other side of the world in NYC.

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