View Full Version : Tattoos and Naha
2003-03-19, 07:01 AM
I was wondering if tattoos were really frowned upon in Japan. I have three, all can be covered with a T shirt, but if I happen to go out in a tank top, will I get horrible looks? Also, I want to teach English in Naha or thereabouts. Are the tattoos a problem?
I'm coming from the US and I'm totally in the dark about what to bring with me and what to leave behind, besides knowing I should bring deoderant. I'd also like to see more pictures of Naha. Does anyone know a website with good pics? Or pics of apartments?
Any info at all about Naha would be greatly appreciated.
2003-03-19, 10:00 AM
It shouldn't be much of a problem, Jes. My shoulder tattoo is usually covered up, but in the middle of summer even a t-shirt is too hot so I wear a tank top (and this is just in Tokyo- Naha is even hotter). Never had any trouble- not in Tokyo, out in the country, or during a visit to Naha. I actually noticed lots of people with tats in Naha, both foreign and Japanese. Maybe because Okinawa is much more laid-back than the rest of Japan, or maybe because of the US military presence.
Horrible looks? A few, and a few curious glances, and a few compliments. But that happens anyway, with or without a tattoo visible. Mostly you'll just be ingored- people in cities like Tokyo and Naha are so used to foreigners that you won't find staring is a problem.
Apparently there are still onsen, sento and gyms that don't allow tattoos, but if you take care and try to cover up as best you can with a strategically draped towel, you should be allright.
As far as work goes, I'm assuming you won't be teaching in a tank top, so there will be no problems at all.
tried to get into Tobu sports club a couple of years back - no chance with a couple of discreet tats - think I'm a gangster.
Okinawa is, methinks, more accommodating
2003-03-21, 11:06 AM
Yeah, some gyms are picky. It's best not to mention your tattoo at all when you join, and make sure to keep covered.
One place asked me to wear a longer-sleeved t-shirt because with some machines and weights a few cms of my tattoo peeked out. I was also later asked to cover up my tattoo with surgical tape or bandaids- this is after an old lady complained after she saw me soaping up in the shower room (the only time it could have been visable- why was she looking in the first place??).
But this was a gym with an older clientele in a conservative area, I haven't been bothered at other places.