As we know one of the places where tattooing is heavily practiced as a beautiful art form and with the greatest skills level is Japan. The history of tattooing there dates back to the fifth century where historians found clay figurines (haniwa) in a grave that show distinct facial marks. These marks are believed to be early forms of tattoos that represent decorative and religious functions.
Unfortunately this early form of Japanese tattooing largely died out by the end of the fifth century and tattooing was revived only in the thirteenth century as a way of marking criminals and other social desirables. Interestingly, the practice of labeling criminals using tattoos was also practiced in many other countries, notable in neighboring areas as we collectively known as China today.