Tourists who are inked should be aware that, in general, Japan has a negative attitude about tattoos that make accessing certain facilities more challenging. Although tattoos are quite commonplace in most western countries, and are becoming popular with younger demographics here, many older Japanese view them as explicitly crime-related. Fans of Japanese cinema and video games will easily recognize the ornate, full-body tattoos worn by the Yakuza. Additionally, similar to the public shaming described in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, the Tokugawa Shogunate used to punish convicted criminals with forehead tattoos detailing their various offenses.
Although the public shaming of criminals in this way has been long since abandoned, tattoos are still very popular among members of Japan’s underworld. Japanese often view Read More