Saturday, August 31, 2013

Rant on Tattoos in Japan.

As many know, I have tattoos. Mind you, they are not a lot and are not big. Just one two, one on the back of each thigh. Since I am a young exchange student, I can get away with it more. More young Japanese people are getting tattoos, it's becoming more of a fashion thing.

Even so, of course tattoos are still seen as bad and those that do have them get judged by older generations.

Even me being a foreigner, I get people staring at my tattoos. I don't show them off, but I don't cover them up either. Unless, I am going to a professional setting such as a job interview or something like that then I would cover them. But I would even do that in the states so it isn't any different.

I usually don't get crap about my tattoos from Japanese people. They understand I'm a foreigner so although the rules apply to us as well, it's not as strict. They understand if I do decide to work in Japan, I can always cover it up. (Which is what I would do in the U.S. as well)

However, most of the crap I get about my tattoos are from other foreigners in Japan. (And yes, many from the people in my ILP program)

The number one thing they say, "You have tattoos??? You know, you can't go to an onsen!" and then there's the whole, "Don't you know tattoos are really bad in Japan!? The only Japanese people who have tattoos are in the yakuza!"

And when they find out I am going to get more, "But, you're in Japan...tattoos are really bad in Japan" and of course, "How will you live/get a job in Japan??"

I don't know, but people seem to lack common sense or something. Obviously I can still get a job in Japan. I know foreigners that have tattoos who have worked in Japan.

And you know what they do when they work? They cover their tattoos. Just like you would in America if you were to get a full time job. Of course, in America there some companies are more flexible than others but for the most part people cover their tattoos unless they are in an art type profession.

Yes, Japan is not as accepting with tattoos but as long as you abide by their rules and don't challenge them, then you should be fine. You are in Japan, so you have to deal with Japan's mentality of tattoos. You will be more limited and will be judged more by your appearance but, if you accept that then you will be fine.

Honestly, these are already things people with body mods have to accept in America and I'm sure in other countries too so it's not that different from Japan. The only thing is that Japan is more strict with tattoos and have a more negative stigma attached to it.

Most people (in every country) accept the fact that getting tattoos was their choice and that they realized that there are some limitations/consequences to getting them but they decided to accept that fact when they made the choice to get their tattoos.

Whether I decide to work in Japan is still up in the air, I might work for a year of two or maybe even longer, or maybe not at all, not sure. But, I know for sure I will be getting more tattoos.

If I decide to live in Japan, I am not going to be forcing myself into onsens, gyms, public pools, etc. (thought there are some ways around some of these rules). I won't go out of my way to cover them when I am out with friends but I won't be making an effort to show them off either. I will cover them at appropriate times as anyone with common sense would.

For more info about people with tattoos in Japan, check out this YouTuber called Unrested who has made a view videos about being a tatted foreigner in Japan. Here are his videos that are about tatts in Japan: [1] [2] [3]

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