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Can you get a job in Japan with a tattoo?


In recent years, Japan has become a popular destination for people looking to live and work abroad. However, many foreigners who have tattoos may be wondering if they can get a job in Japan. This is because tattoos are still considered taboo in Japan due to their association with the Yakuza (Japanese mafia). In this article, we will explore whether or not having a tattoo will affect your chances of getting a job in Japan.

The history of tattoos in Japan

Tattoos have a long and complex history in Japan. They were originally used as a way to mark criminals and outcasts as a form of punishment. However, in the Edo period (1603-1868), tattoos became a popular form of body art among the working class. It wasn’t until the Meiji period (1868-1912) that tattoos began to be associated with criminal activity.

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Tattoos in modern-day Japan

Today, tattoos are still associated with the Yakuza and are often seen as a sign of rebellion or non-conformity. Many public places such as hot springs and swimming pools have strict no-tattoo policies. Additionally, many businesses in Japan require their employees to cover up any visible tattoos while on the job.

Job opportunities for people with tattoos

While some companies in Japan have strict anti-tattoo policies, others are more lenient. It really depends on the industry and the company you are applying to. For example, jobs in creative fields such as fashion or entertainment may be more accepting of tattoos than traditional corporate jobs.

How to know if your tattoo will affect your job prospects

If you’re worried about how your tattoo will affect your chances of getting a job in Japan, it’s important to do your research before applying. Check the company’s website and social media pages to see if they have any policies regarding tattoos. You can also try contacting the company directly to ask about their stance on tattoos.

How to cover up your tattoo during the job interview

If you have a visible tattoo and are worried about it affecting your job prospects, it’s important to cover it up during the job interview. This can be done using clothing or makeup. Make sure to dress appropriately for the job interview and avoid wearing anything that may draw attention to your tattoo.

What to do if you’re asked about your tattoo during the job interview

If the interviewer asks you about your tattoo during the job interview, it’s important to be honest but also professional. Explain the meaning behind your tattoo and why you decided to get it. Make sure to emphasize that your tattoo does not affect your ability to do the job.

How to handle discrimination based on your tattoo

Unfortunately, discrimination based on tattoos is still a reality in Japan. If you feel like you’ve been discriminated against because of your tattoo, it’s important to speak up. Contact a lawyer or a human rights organization for guidance.

Alternative job options for people with tattoos

If you’re having trouble finding a job in Japan due to your tattoo, there are alternative options available. You can try freelancing or starting your own business. Additionally, there are companies in Japan that specifically hire people with tattoos, such as tattoo parlors or alternative fashion brands.

How attitudes towards tattoos are changing in Japan

While tattoos are still seen as taboo in Japan, attitudes towards them are slowly changing. More and more young people are getting tattoos as a form of self-expression, and some companies are starting to become more accepting of tattoos in the workplace.


In conclusion, whether or not you can get a job in Japan with a tattoo really depends on the industry and the company you are applying to. While some companies have strict anti-tattoo policies, others are more accepting. It’s important to do your research before applying and to be prepared to cover up your tattoo during the job interview. However, if you’re having trouble finding a job due to your tattoo, there are alternative options available.

Can I still work in Japan if I have tattoo?

Actually, tattoos are fine in Japan. They’re not illegal in any way. You may even see some people walking around with fashion tattoos, especially in Tokyo. Although some people in Japan have tattoos, they are usually hidden underneath clothing.Mar 1, 2022

Is hard to get a job in Japan if you have a tattoo?

When getting a job in a company, does a tattoo become a negative factor? Still, many Japanese companies reject employees who have tattoos. For Japanese companies, if an employee of the company gets a tattoo, it seems that he is an anti-social person or is associated with other anti-social people.Mar 20, 2018

Does Japan care if foreigners have tattoos?

In Japan, rules are highly valued, and it is customary for most pools, onsens, and gyms to prohibit tattoos. Therefore, if a foreigner with tattoos visible walks up to the reception desk, it may cause worry. To abide by the norms, it is best to cover up tattoos and avoid environments where you cannot.

Should I go to Japan if I have tattoos?

Although tattoos are legal, they can interfere with a tourist’s ability to fully enjoy their experience in Japan. If they have visible tattoos when using public transportation, such as trains, they should be aware that some locals may find them offensive.

Are tattoos socially acceptable in Japan?

In Japan, tattoos have been traditionally associated with organized crime and are considered taboo. As a result, many establishments such as beaches, hot springs, and gyms do not allow people with tattoos. Additionally, companies often have policies that prohibit individuals with tattoos from applying for jobs.

Can I teach English in Japan with tattoos?

If you are considering teaching English in Japan and have tattoos, you may encounter schools that do not allow visible tattoos, as there is a cultural connection between tattoos and the Yakuza (Japanese Mafia). This is a common practice in Japan.

It’s also important to note that attitudes towards tattoos in Japan can vary depending on the location. For example, in Tokyo, where there is a larger international community, tattoos may be more accepted than in smaller, more traditional towns. It’s always a good idea to research the cultural norms of the specific area you’re in before showing off your tattoos.

If you do decide to get a tattoo while living in Japan, it’s important to find a reputable tattoo artist. Tattooing is still largely unregulated in Japan, and there have been cases of people getting infected from unsanitary equipment. Make sure to do your research and choose an artist with good reviews and a clean studio.

Overall, while having a tattoo may make finding a job in Japan more difficult, it’s not impossible. It’s important to be aware of the cultural attitudes towards tattoos and to be prepared to cover them up if necessary. With some research and persistence, people with tattoos can still find fulfilling careers in Japan.

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