Japan has built a reputation for itself when it comes to tattoos. People all around the world look up to Japanese tattoos while the locals have the complete opposite outlook. Yet, despite the negative association, getting a tattoo in Japan seems to be an essential activity for ink enthusiasts.
The fact that Japan is not the most tattoo-accepting society has been well documented, and indeed comes with an interesting social history – read more about that here. But what does this mean for a tattooed person traveling to Japan?
The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Johnny Mnemonic, Kill Bill, Gokusen, Cowboy Bebop, Nurarihyon no Mago, these movies, TV series, and anime may have different stories but they have one thing in common: the Yakuza or, as we Westerners know it, the Japanese mafia.
Although everyone seems to know of them, not much is known about the Yakuza's greatest connection, Tattoos. Nowadays, the general public has become more accepting of tattoos, in general. Gone are the days when tattooed people were shunned by society, but apparently, Japan hasn’t gotten the memo yet.