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  • Tattoos

    I am planning on teaching in Japan and wanted to know the policies with tattoos. I am an asian american from Los Angeles who has a huge japanese samurai backpiece, like the ones you see on the yakuza, but of course I'm not yakuza. I also have other large tattoos on my arm and leg. I just wanted to know if I would run into any problems with my tattoos, especially the samurai backpiece. I would like to visit beaches and hot springs, and just wanted to know if I would have a problem doing so. I figure maybe I would being that I'm asian and have a huge samurai on my back.

  • #2
    Re: Tattoos

    You will certainly run into problems in hot springs, sports clubs, public baths, etc., where you would probably be asked to leave.

    Beaches are less of a problem, though a "top" might be useful to cover up your back. Rarely see Y-san on the beach, except for a few secluded spots around Japan.

    At work, a long-sleeved shirt would be advisable, and same might be advisable for restaurants; and at night-time in bars and clubs you may face some restrictions, if your art is too exposed.

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    • #3
      Re: Tattoos

      Also I have known some schools which will not hire you if you have any visible art.

      It is really true about the onsen. I have heard countless stories about people that have small tattoos and they were asked to leave. Depends on the area I think.

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      • #4
        Re: Tattoos

        Now I have to ask - what about women with tattoos?

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        • #5
          Re: Tattoos

          Women with tatoos are rare in Japan, and there is no yakuza connotation as with men. In more traditional places they would probably be very confused as to what to do with a tatooed female gaijin, and end up refusing you, but your milage may vary.

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          • #6
            Re: Tattoos

            Thanks! I'm trying to get a job teaching in Japan and I have several tattoos, so I've been wondering about this. I'm used to keeping them covered up in professional situations, but I have been wondering how shocked people would be in public.

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