free website hit counter

How do Japanese feel about foreigners with tattoos?


Japan is a country known for its rich culture, traditions, and customs. One of these customs is the perception of tattoos. Tattoos have a deep-rooted history in Japan, and they are often associated with Yakuza, the Japanese mafia. Thus, tattoos are often viewed negatively in Japan, and people with tattoos are often stigmatized. However, in recent years, there has been a shift in attitudes towards tattoos among the younger generation. This article aims to explore how Japanese people feel about foreigners with tattoos.

The history of tattoos in Japan

Tattoos have been part of Japanese culture for centuries. They were initially used to mark criminals as a form of punishment. Later, they were used to depict religious beliefs and spirituality. In the Edo period (1603-1868), tattoos became popular among firefighters as a symbol of bravery and strength. However, during the Meiji era (1868-1912), tattoos were banned, and they became associated with criminal activities.

Japanese Snack Box

The perception of tattoos in modern-day Japan

In modern-day Japan, tattoos are still associated with the Yakuza. As a result, many public places such as swimming pools, public baths, gyms, and hot springs ban people with visible tattoos. People with tattoos are often stigmatized and seen as outsiders. However, there has been a shift in attitudes towards tattoos among younger generations.

Why are tattoos still stigmatized?

The stigma attached to tattoos in Japan is deeply ingrained in the culture. Many people still associate them with criminal activities and anti-social behavior. Additionally, the older generation is often more conservative and holds traditional values that view tattoos as distasteful and disrespectful.

How do foreigners with tattoos perceive Japan?

Foreigners with tattoos may find Japan’s attitude towards tattoos to be restrictive and challenging. Many may feel discriminated against when they are denied entry to certain places due to their body art. However, it is essential to understand Japan’s cultural background and respect their customs when visiting the country.

Are attitudes towards tattoos changing?

Yes, attitudes towards tattoos are gradually changing in Japan. Younger generations are becoming more accepting of tattoos as a form of self-expression rather than an association with criminal activities. There has also been an increase in tattoo artists and shops across Japan.

What do Japanese people think about foreigner’s tattoos?

Japanese people’s attitudes towards foreigners with tattoos vary depending on their age and background. The older generation may still view them negatively, while younger generations may be more accepting. However, it is essential to note that many Japanese people may not understand the significance of Western-style tattooing and may view them as strange or inappropriate.

Can foreigners get tattooed in Japan?

Yes, foreigners can get tattooed in Japan, but it can be challenging to find a tattoo artist who will work on non-Japanese clients due to the language barrier and cultural differences. Additionally, some shops may refuse to work on foreigners due to the negative association with Yakuza culture.

How can foreigners respect Japanese attitudes towards tattoos?

Foreigners can respect Japanese attitudes towards tattoos by covering up their body art when visiting public places such as hot springs or gyms. Additionally, it is important to research local customs before traveling to Japan so that you can avoid offending anyone unintentionally.

Tattoo tourism in Japan

Tattoo tourism has become increasingly popular among foreigners interested in traditional Japanese-style tattoos or irezumi. Many tourists visit Tokyo’s Asakusa district or Osaka’s Horie neighborhood to get inked by famous Japanese tattoo artists.

The future of tattoo culture in Japan

The future of tattoo culture in Japan remains uncertain. While younger generations are becoming more accepting of Western-style tattooing as a form of self-expression, traditional attitudes towards irezumi remain prevalent among older generations.


In conclusion, attitudes towards foreigners with tattoos vary among Japanese people depending on their age and background. While traditional attitudes remain prevalent among older generations, younger generations are becoming more accepting of Western-style tattooing as a form of self-expression rather than an association with criminal activities. Foreigners can respect Japanese attitudes towards tattoos by covering up their body art when visiting public places and researching local customs before traveling to Japan.

Does Japan care if foreigners have tattoos?

Although tattoos are not prohibited, they can hinder tourists from truly enjoying the Japanese culture. Travelers who have visible tattoos should be aware that it may not be culturally acceptable when using public transportation, such as trains, in Japan.

What do Japanese people think of people with tattoos?

In Japan, tattoos are still stigmatized and associated with organized crime, leading to a long-standing taboo against them. As a result, many beaches, hot springs resorts, and gyms prohibit individuals with tattoos from entering, and some companies even reject applicants who have them.

Why are tattoos viewed negatively in Japan?

In Japan, tattoos have historically been linked to the Yakuza, an organized crime syndicate known for their full-body tattoos. As a result, people with tattoos are generally not allowed to use public amenities like swimming pools, hot springs, beaches, and certain gyms, regardless of their occupation.

Can I still go to Japan if I have tattoos?

To answer the question posed in the article’s title, it is possible to travel to Japan even if you have a tattoo. More information on this topic will be provided later in the article.

Can tourists show tattoos in Japan?

Contrary to common belief, tattoos are not prohibited in Japan and are actually acceptable. Some individuals may even display fashion tattoos in Tokyo. However, many people in Japan with tattoos tend to keep them concealed under their clothes.

Are beards acceptable in Japan?

Traditionally, beards have been viewed negatively as unclean or unkempt, leading many Japanese men to shave before going out in public to appear more hygienic and well-groomed.

Many Japanese people may not have had much exposure to Western-style tattoos, which can lead to misunderstandings and misconceptions. It is important for foreigners to approach their interactions with Japanese people regarding tattoos with sensitivity and respect for cultural differences.

Despite the stigma still attached to tattoos in Japan, there has been a rise in popularity of traditional Japanese-style tattoos, or irezumi, among younger generations. Many young people see these tattoos as a way to connect with their cultural heritage and express themselves creatively.

However, it is important to note that getting an irezumi tattoo is a serious commitment. The process can be painful, expensive, and time-consuming, and many traditional tattoo artists require their clients to adhere to strict rules and traditions.

Overall, while the perception of tattoos in Japan may be changing slowly, it remains a complex issue that reflects the country’s deep cultural values and history. By respecting these values while also embracing the unique artistic traditions of Japan, foreigners can help bridge the gap between cultures and foster greater understanding and appreciation.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Ads Blocker Image Powered by Code Help Pro

Ads Blocker Detected!!!

We have detected that you are using extensions to block ads. Please support us by disabling these ads blocker.