In the past, tattoos have been a sign of rebellion and in Japan it has traditionally been associated with yakuza or gang membership, especially large, intricate designs, but not anymore. However, they might get you demoted in Japan’s third largest city the Osaka.
In May, a full-scale crackdown on tattoos was launched by a rising political star, Mayor Toru Hashimoto. In a mandatory survey, he demanded that public employees (including teachers) to disclose their tattoos, both visible and concealed. They will also need to detail how long they had had them.
According to results that were released, 113 of the over 32,000 city workers and ten of 17,000 teachers admitted to having tattoos. Body art is hugely banned from gyms, some major companies, swimming pools, and popular onsens or hot springs. There are also places where people are asked to cover up their ink to avoid any speculation.
With all the tattooed workers found in the survey, the city is now considering what to do with them. According to a welfare officer, those employees with positions that require daily interaction with members of the public will be transferred to a “behind-the-scenes” role. And for the teachers, they will not be expelled, instead they will be asked to remove any tattoos that are visible to students.
Times are changing, and more and more people of the younger generation are getting tattoos to follow a fashion trend. Disregarding if you like or dislike tattoos in general – do you think tattoos should be more accepted in the country of Japan?