Anonymous asked in TravelAsia PacificJapan · 1 decade ago

Are tattoos looked down upon in Japan?

I want to get a tattoo. not some yakuza looking tattoo. I was thinking an eagle, dragon, or tiger on my chest or arm. I'm Chinese American by the way.


I stayed in Tokyo for a summer and i don't think I saw anyone with a tattoo...

Update 2:

canyou get thrown out of a public bath or onsen? i don't get it, why?

8 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    no, it isn't frowned upon but be prepared to have to cover it should you visit a public pool or bath. asian or'll be asked to do that if it is too large. i have a dreamcatcher on my back and just cover it over. if you are out and about in tokyo or eslewhere, it really isn't a big deal at all.

    Source(s): former tokyo and sapporo resident.
  • Saru
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    For most foreigners it is not a big deal as long as they are not too extreme. Most Japanese are aware that they are popular in other countries and don't have the same significance as they do in Japan. Many young people will even think they are cool.

    Most Gyms and Onsen ban people with Tatoos going back to their Yakuza implications. If it is small you can cover it with a bandage. My wife has a small tattoo on her ankle and covers it with a bandage when going to the gym or onsen. They can ban anyone they like they are provate business. There is no law in Japan that says they must serve everyone. Also very few but some refuse any foreigners period.

    As you are Chinese American and not caucasian more people may be put off by you. In Japan there is a kind of problem with Chinese gangs so the tattoo may cause a connection in some peoples minds. I don't expect you will have a problem about this but people may be less inclined to chat with you and may be a bit more suspecious of you than others.

  • 1 decade ago

    Many yakuza (gang) have tattoos in Japan. So it's seen as scary rather than looked down upon.

    >canyou get thrown out of a public bath or onsen?

    Yes, it's possible. As I told you, since many yakuza have tattoo, they want to keep anyone with tattoo out of their facility, for security reason.

  • 1 decade ago

    Tattoos can be annoying when you want to join a gym or visit an onsen, where they have rules in place to keep tattooed people out. The No Tattoos rules are to prevent the yakuza from coming in, since they have historically used tattoos and like to cause trouble (or at least that is the perception, but not always the truth). So it is super irritating to get tossed out of a place because you have a tattoo when it is obvious you are not part of the criminal element, but you learn to live with it.

    There are people with tattoos here. Generally these people and their tattoos are not looked down upon.

    Source(s): Tattoo'd Tokyoite.
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  • Mollie
    Lv 4
    5 years ago

    Tats in Japan are still quite taboo because of the affiliation with the yakuza (Japanese mob) however the yakuza members usually get tattoos that are covered by clothing and rarely get on a body part that cannot be covered. It is true that many places in Japan will not serve person with tats, and you are more likely to be singled out if someon sees your tats

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Person who has a tattoo cannot enter public bath in Japan.

    Source(s): I'm Japanese.
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Nobody cares about you unless you go to public bath in Japan.

  • 1 decade ago


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