- 8 Feb 2018
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Dear all, I'm interested in your opinion on cultural appropriation in the context of Japanese tattoos. I am not Japanese and have no significant connection to Japanese culture. However, I'm interested in getting a Japanese-style tattoo simply because the boldness and intricacy speaks to me like no other. I have not gotten one yet because I do not want to permanently wear a potentially offensive symbol. Most tattoo artists and Japanese friends alike assure me it would not be offensive because culture is fluid and Japanese style is already common these days. My own research also has me leaning towards doing it; one book I read even cites the internationalization of the art form as key to it's survival, as its popularity has greatly diminished among Japanese people themselves. And yet, a deep sense of hesitancy persists within me due to the historic trend of white people trivializing and commodifying the cultural integrity of communities of color (I'm white, fyi). What are your thoughts/opinions on the proliferation of Japanese style tattoos outside of Japan?