Anonymous asked in TravelAsia PacificJapan · 1 month ago

Do white people get a pass on tattoos in Japan?

I want to go to Japan one day, but I've heard tattoos are taboo over there. I understand it's because of there Yukazua, but do they hold those standards for white people as well, or can we get away with a bit more on the tattoo field? 

5 Answers

  • 1 month ago

    Sometimes yes, sometimes no. A former USN sailor I know who has obvious sailor tattoos once got asked "how many people do you have in your gang?". By gang, I don't think the question concerned how many men are on an USN destroyer. 

    I think the rugby world cup was a turning point in terms of acceptance of tattoos on foreigners in Japan. The former sailor wore long sleeves to work, so it was not a workplace issue. 

    If you do go to a tattoo friendly onsen or sento, the tattooed gentlemen are unlikely to bother you. In fact, they could be hard working truckers or stevedores. It's the school teachers and salarymen who think they are very sophisticated, who will try to practice their English on you. 

  • 1 month ago

    Some places do not want yakuza there, so they put a ban on tattoos as a proxy. Since they apply the rules to everyone, if you have any, you could be banned from some places. Not every place is like that however.

  • 1 month ago

    if you want a job, do not have a tattoo visible. JpN has beautiful tattooing for 100's of years BUT in today's world, if you want a job, do not have piercing or tattoo or even color your hair. They don't see you as "white", what matters to them is equality to the West so if you're from the west and look "different" as in your manners and how you dress, they feel "slighted" by it. So that's why everyone who wants a job strives to look "the same" . It's not about race there, it is all about social structure. "You know your place", when it comes to your boss and people you work with, are "just as good as you". It's not about expression over there, it's all about acting socially proper. 

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    You will be viewed as white trash vice being a gangster.

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  • 1 month ago

    They are and they aren't taboo.  There are certain places that if you have tattoos showing, you will not be allowed, but they are not banned everywhere.  Have a read of the blog linked:

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