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Wall Street Journal Article on Wabori


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  • 2 weeks later...

I actually just got in the book that is referenced in the article. Bought it directly from the publisher. Looks really amazing so far and all English text. Can't wait to dive into this!

: Wabori, Traditional Japanese Tattoo: Classic Japanese tattoos from the masters - Kingyo Books

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  • 4 weeks later...
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@ironchef -- so what do you think of the book? Worth picking up?

Most definitely. I suggest following the link to the publisher's direct site and see if they have any more discounted copies left. I think normal price is $100. Direct from publisher is $80!

The pictures are PHENOMENAL and the back stories are so interesting. Very well put together and must have English-text book on traditional Japanese tattooing!

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I also have this book, and I think its great.

It has a LOT of very good/big pictures, and all of the interviews/stories are very interesting, but the stories get a little repetitive as they all seem to have gone through the same process, but that it to be expected i guess.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just in case you were wondering whether Japanese authorities were becoming more relaxed about tattoos, a beach near Tokyo has become the latest to consider banning the open display of ink. Story here: Zushi looks to tame its unruly summer beach | The Japan Times

Meanwhile, last month a school office staff in Oasaka was docked a month's pay for having visible tattoos...

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people with tattoos might be asked to cover up their body art with a bath towel they can borrow for free. The rule, however, will not apply to those whose tattoos are deemed just fashion statements, he added, while acknowledging no definition of this yet exists.
The city’s initiative was partly prompted by the fatal stabbings of two yakuza at the beach last July.
Among the misbehavers were a sizable number of foreigners, he added, because of the beach’s proximity to the U.S. Navy base in Yokosuka.

Quotes from the article. Seems like there are a few things going on here. If there's legitimately a public order problem on the beach I wonder how much of this is aimed at anyone except the yakuza or drunken service personnel?

It's a very Japanese situation.

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It's a very Japanese situation.

Not sure I agree with this comment.

The situation sounds more like an excuse to get rid of the noisy young uns by the older retirees living nearby.

Local residents have latched onto the tattoo and noise issue as a way to shut down the bars there.

Not really a "Japanese" situation - it's more generational...

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@tattooedj

I only read the article, and that's about as much as I know about this specific situation, so you could well be right that it's mainly about the older folks wanting to tackle the use of the beach for partying.

Taking the article at face-value, though, it makes mention of a few rather Japan-centric social issues so perhaps you can understand my comment:- the Yakuza, problems with U.S base personnel and, overall, the social unease around 'scary' tattoos.

If the incoming tattoo regulations are intended to discourage noisy youngsters in general the committment that people whose tattoos are fashion statements won't be affected only seems rather odd. That will excuse the vast majority of young Japanese (and the westerners!). I guess when the regulations around tattoos are finalised it will become apparent.

The lack of a penalty for offenders and the promise of towels on hand to 'cover up' the problem tattoos made me smile. To me, you wouldn't get that in many other countries.

I was once asked to wear a rash guard top and pants in a Tokyo hotel swimming pool to cover up my tattoos. They actually offered ones they had on hand to me (I didn't bother in the end, but I really hope they were new... Almost certainly, I guess).

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On a similar note, the mayor of Osaka is a well-known control freak when it comes to tattoos. He created a survey that all city workers had to fill in stating whether they were inked or not.

On the surface, it seems to be a way to clean up the city's image - but there are a lot of power games going on in the city and this seems to be a way to clamp down on certain elements that don't back the mayor.

An acquaintance of mine is helping local lawyers to fight the mayor's survey on grounds that it violates human rights...

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