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The rebirth of tattooing in Japan

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Today, The Japan Times is running a revisionist history of Japanese tattooing calling for Japanese people to (re-)embrace their long&proud tattoo culture.

Japan inked: Should the country reclaim its tattoo culture? | The Japan Times

"Tattooing is the most misunderstood form of art in contemporary Japan.

Historically, Japanese prohibitions against tattoos have been aimed at the working classes, women and ethnic minorities - and today the bearer of a full-back tattoo is increasingly likely to be a sensitive salaryman rather than a punch-permed thug."

The story goes into bans on tattoos for women from Okinawan and Hokkaido minority groups - as well the future of tattoo culture in Japan vis-a-vis the 2020 Tokyo Olympics,



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thank you for the link, very entertaining read. Too many things I would quote, but it would just showcase my utter ignorance of tattooing in Japan throughout the ages.

"The history of body modification in Japan is long and vibrant, dating back to the Jomon Period (roughly 10,500 B.C. to 300 B.C.), when clay figurines were molded with marks that modern historians interpret as either tattoos or scarification. Later in the third century, Chinese records noted that all Japanese males bore heavy tattoos on their faces and bodies."

"Today there are an estimated 3,000 tattoo artists working in Japan, compared to approximately 200 in 1990."

I just think that these two facts are just too awesome. 200 tattoo artists in 1990. I can't imagine how difficult it was to find one as a newbie without connections.

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