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Article: tattoos still taboo

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thomas

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JT expands on why tattoos are still considered a stigma in Japan and suggests that people’s squeamish attitude towards them will be put to the test at the Olympics in 2020, considering the influx of tattooed foreign visitors and athletes. The hotel we’re staying at here in Osaka plastered their blackboards with notes addressed to foreign guests with tattooes, saying that as long as the tattoes were “completely covered” guests could visit the onsen. It’s not a ryokan but a famous Japanese hotel chain.


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Photo: AFP-Jiji

Stigma and legal battles show Japan still has tattoo complex even as Olympics loom | The Japan Times

Tattoos still provoke deep-rooted suspicion in Japan as the country prepares to host the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. People with body ink are refused entry to public swimming pools, bathing spots, beaches and often gyms, while visible body art can be harmful to job prospects. [...]

In the 17th century criminals were branded as a form of punishment, while today yakuza mobsters pledge their loyalty with traditional, full-body tattoos.

As Japan opened up to the outside world in the 1800s, tattoos were outlawed — along with snake-charming and public nudity — because the Japanese feared outsiders would think they were “primitive,” according to Brian Ashcraft, author of “Japanese Tattoos: History, Culture, Design.” [...]

Meanwhile, a potentially game-changing legal battle recently ended after Osaka tattooist Taiki Masuda was arrested in 2015 for violating an obscure law that dates back almost 70 years.

The 30-year-old was fined ¥300,000 under the Medical Practitioners’ Law, which forbids anyone other than a doctor from performing medical procedures.
 

Uncle Frank

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LOL , being white skinned and VERY hairy , I often over heard comments about the weird monkey when I went to the baths. When Japanese around you don't know you understand Japanese , you can overhear interesting comments. Sometimes when I left the bath , I would run around making monkey gestures and sounds to let them know I heard their comments. Still , being almost 69 years old , I count the 2 years I lived in Japan as the best time of my life. In my family back in the US , tattoos were frowned upon and hating needles , I never got a tat.
 

mochan719

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Like in the article, it says that when Japanese people see foreigners with tattoos, they believe it to just be "foreign culture", so it's a bit more accepted as a gaijin. But I do know that if you look Japanese and have tattoos (even though you're foreign), the people in Japan tend to see you as Japanese and frown upon it. I suppose it depends on what area you are frequenting, but as a racially ambiguous (can pass as half perhaps) girl in Japan, big/multiple tattoos were definitely stared at...however no one really says anything out loud.

I feel like the Olympics may not change opinions, but it may change acceptance.
 

nedkelly

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It is appropriate that the woman in the photo is smoking a cigarette since both smoking and tattoos are a health hazard.
 
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