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Are piercings allowed in Japan?


Piercings have been a part of human adornment for centuries. In Japan, piercings are also popular, but are they allowed? This article will explore the history and culture of piercings in Japan and answer the question: are piercings allowed in Japan?

History of Piercings in Japan

Piercings have a long history in Japan, dating back to the Jomon period (14,000-300 BCE). During this time, people pierced their ears and noses for aesthetic reasons. In the Edo period (1603-1868), samurai wore earrings as a symbol of their status. Later, in the 1970s, piercings became popular among young people as a form of self-expression.

Japanese Snack Box

Cultural Significance of Piercings in Japan

In Japan, piercings are often associated with rebellion and individuality. However, there are also cultural reasons for piercings. For example, married women wear earrings as a sign of their marital status. In some traditional Japanese performances, such as kabuki theater, actors wear elaborate piercings as part of their costumes.

Piercing Laws in Japan

There are no specific laws that prohibit piercings in Japan. However, some workplaces and schools have dress codes that prohibit visible tattoos and piercings. This is because tattoos and piercings are still associated with criminal activity in Japan.

Types of Piercings Popular in Japan

Ear piercings are the most popular type of piercing in Japan. Many women have multiple ear piercings and wear delicate jewelry. Nose and lip piercings are also popular among young people.

Piercing Studios in Japan

There are many piercing studios in Japan, especially in urban areas like Tokyo and Osaka. These studios offer a variety of services, including earlobe piercing, cartilage piercing, and body piercing.

Safety Regulations for Piercing Studios

Piercing studios in Japan are regulated by the health department. They must follow strict hygiene and safety regulations to prevent infections and other complications. The use of disposable needles and sterilization equipment is mandatory.

Piercing Aftercare in Japan

After getting a piercing in Japan, it is important to follow proper aftercare procedures to prevent infection. Piercing studios provide detailed instructions on how to clean and care for your new piercing.

Piercing Culture Among Youth in Japan

Piercings have become increasingly popular among young people in Japan as a form of self-expression. Many young people have multiple ear piercings or nose piercings. Tattoos are also becoming more common among young people.

Attitudes Towards Piercings Among Older Generations

Despite the growing popularity of piercings among young people, many older generations still view them as inappropriate or unprofessional. This is especially true in conservative workplaces and industries like banking and government.

The Future of Piercing Culture in Japan

As attitudes towards tattoos and piercings continue to evolve around the world, it is likely that they will become more accepted in Japan as well. However, it may take some time for traditional attitudes to change completely.


In conclusion, while there are no specific laws prohibiting piercings in Japan, attitudes towards them vary among different generations and industries. However, with the growing popularity of body modifications around the world, it is likely that they will become more accepted in Japanese society over time.

Can you get your ears pierced in Japan?

In Japan, it is common for girls and women to have their ear lobes pierced, similar to Western culture. However, other body piercings are not as widely accepted, and gender can also play a role in societal norms. Additionally, being a foreigner in Japan may also affect piercing customs. This was noted on June 6th, 2013.

Are tattoos and piercings frowned upon in Japan?

Although body modifications like tattoos and piercings are legal and common in many places, they are viewed very negatively in Japanese culture. Because of this, people with tattoos are often prohibited from using gyms, pools, water parks, and even traditional Japanese hot springs (onsen) in Japan.

Are face piercings common in Japan?

Facial and cartilage piercings as well as tattoos are still a part of the counterculture in Japan, as they are in other countries. However, standard earlobe piercings are more common in Japan, while cartilage and facial piercings are gaining popularity among young people. This has been observed as of August 2011.

Can I work in Japan if I have a tattoo?

In Japan, having a tattoo can be perceived as a negative trait when applying for a job in a company. Many Japanese companies have policies against hiring employees with tattoos, as it may suggest that the person is anti-social or associated with anti-social behavior.

Can you have a nose piercing in Japan?

It may not be permitted to enter if you have tattoos or body piercings, as these are often associated with the Yakuza in Japan. To avoid any issues, make sure to conceal any tattoos and remove any piercings except for ear piercings.

Do foreigners have to cover tattoos in Japan?

While it’s acceptable to walk around in public places in cities, it’s important to dress modestly when visiting traditional locations such as temples, shrines, and ryokan. Even if there isn’t a specific rule in place, it’s considered respectful to cover up tattoos when in these places.

It’s also worth noting that there are some cultural and religious practices in Japan that involve piercings. For example, some Buddhist ascetics practice self-mutilation by piercing their skin with needles or skewers as a form of penance or self-discipline. This practice, known as sokushinbutsu, is considered extreme and is not widely accepted in mainstream Japanese society.

Another interesting aspect of piercing culture in Japan is the popularity of fake piercings. Many people who are unable or unwilling to get real piercings opt for clip-on or magnetic options instead. These fake piercings can be found in many accessory stores and can be a fun way to experiment with different styles without committing to a permanent piercing.

Overall, while piercings may still be viewed with some degree of skepticism in certain parts of Japanese society, they are generally accepted and even celebrated among young people as a form of self-expression and individuality. As with any cultural trend, attitudes towards piercings will continue to evolve over time, but it’s clear that they have become an important part of Japan’s fashion and beauty landscape.

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