Cybille Leinani Irissou
Cybille Leinani Irissou
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Cybille Leinani Irissou

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Cybille Leinani Irissou (She/Her/Hers)
Grade 11th, San Francisco University High School
Women of the Yakuza: Irezumi
Watercolor
24 x 17.5 inches, 7 x 7 inches, 15 x 12 inches.
2021
Not For Sale

The Irezumi is a Japanese tattoo that is traditionally associated with Yakuza. This type of design is made by hand with a wooden handle and a needle and can take years at a time to complete. They’re very much proof of patience and endurance and about how much you can cope with pain. Unlike Western mafia wives, Yakuza wives remain outside the sphere of criminal activity in this organized crime structure, remaining in the passive emotionally, and financially supportive role. The women of the Yakuza are proud and strong. Society has always viewed bodies as a symbol of fragility and frailty, especially when it comes to women. The series, Irezumi, offers another point of view, where the bodies of women are presented as a symbol of power and resilience. In the paintings, viewers will notice dragons, warriors, and flowers, which all represent an individual meaning such as the battle within oneself, loyalty towards the Yakuza, and the fleeting of life, respectfully. The series is overall, this sort of vulnerability of disclosing something so private yet powerful that women in the Yakuza hide at all costs. The beauty and intricacy of these women and their tattoos were captured as elaborate as the brush would allow.