The Battle Royale tattoo is history in the flesh, a physical symbol of eastern and western tattooing’s union at the turn of the 19th century.
In the documentary “The Battle Royale: In All Colors by Electricity,” we experience its time-lapsed creation by CJ Fishburn of Salt Lake City’s Cathedral Tattoo. CJ employs a rubbing of the original plastic acetate that masters Huck Spaulding and Paul Rogers created to tattoo The Battle Royale on the back of DC Paul.
We then journey further into CJ’s tattoo archive to explore the design’s origins in the meeting of “King of Tattooists” George Burchett and Horiuno in London.
“[Burchett] was really in touch with Japanese tattooers who were fleeing post-industrial Japan to go to Europe. I think he got a lot of sensitivity for the imagery and how to think about it from Japanese tattooers,” explains CJ. “It’s very self-contained, it has its own context and all this stuff going on, which is pretty rare for a European or American design, that’s more of a Japanese thing.”
The Battle Royale is testament to the fact that carefully crafted style is truly timeless.