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This image is still stuck in peoples’ minds: tattoo equals criminal, criminal equals yakuza. People are now scared of tattoos.

8 Comments

Tattoo artist Horiyoshi III, who says his biggest inspiration is Hokusai, an artist famed for woodblock prints of a tsunami against Mount Fuji. (AFP)

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People are now scared of tattoos

They already were for centuries, AFAIK

0 ( +1 / -1 )

True. But Japanese people have always been scared of tattoos. Not just now.

When a tattooed person comes into the public bathhouse, the Japanese tend to shy away from him. Often I, the foreigner, am the closest one to the tattooee. The thing is, the tattooed guys usually have the best ofuro manners and never bother anyone. It's what's on their skin is what sets them apart from the others.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Funny how fast Toyama Kinsan has been forgotten. Or was he a yak?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They haven't always been scared of them! They were seen as an art originally. It hasn't been until "recently" that tats equals yaks.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Hokusai's famous print doesn't depict a "tsunami against Mount Fuji," it is a great wave off Kanagawa, in sight of Fuji-san. It's part of his series "36 Views of Mount Fuji."

1 ( +1 / -0 )

They haven't always been scared of them! They were seen as an art originally. It hasn't been until "recently" that tats equals yaks.

But it was the gamblers who took up this tradition when the emperor declared that only his household and/or nobility could own ornate clothing. That was several centuries ago. So tattoos = Yakuza has longer history than just the last few decades.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan INC has a simplistic way of thinking about a lot of things and this is one of them.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

He should not be allowed into the bath house with tattoos (it is against all the rules).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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