Two of the biggest stars of Japanese animation make unexpected appearances in photo shoots.
Although the practice of tattooing has a long history in Japan, many of the connotations associated with tattoos are negative. Much of this stems from tattoos previously being a way to mark convicted criminals, and even though such punishments were phased out long ago, tattoos have continued to be much more prevalent among organized crime syndicates and other parts of the underbelly of Japanese society than with ordinary citizens in general.
Attitudes are slowly changing, though, especially in how Japan views foreigners with tattoos. Most Japanese people are now aware that tattoos enjoy a fashionable status in many other countries, and things have even progressed to the point where some feel it might be time to rethink the traditional ban on tattooed bathers in hot springs and public baths.
Still, it remains unusual to see tattoos in advertisements in Japan, even when the actors or models are non-Japanese. So when Japanese Twitter user @natsumi0913 was taking a look through the collection of off-the-shoulder tops (this summer’s big trend in Japan) offered by Spanish brand Zara, she was startled to see the tattoos on the model’s shoulder and back. As a matter of fact, @natsumi0913 went so far as to say that she was so distracted that she was having a hard time paying attention to the clothes, but not because she saw the ink as the mark of a gangster…
しらほしなつみ (@natsumi0913) May 30, 2017
…but because they’re the tell-tale signs of an anime fan.
Gracing model Jane Mosley’s left shoulder is Rei Ayanami and on her back is Mokoto Kusanagi, characters from Evangelion and Ghost in the Shell, respectively, two of the massive hits of the late 1990s that were so instrumental in triggering the spike in international anime fandom. The Los Angeles native says that when growing up, she would watch anime, along with other film genres, with her father, horror movie actor Bill Mosley, whose credits include roles in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and House of 1,000 Corpses
▼ Mosley’s tattoos have shown up multiple times in her modeling for Zara.
IMPORTANT UPDATE: Fashion line Zara uses model with Ghost in the Shell AND Evangelion tattoos https://t.co/PpdeIn4aXd—
Mahou Shoujo Naifu (@sukebandeka) April 11, 2017
Even with the greater acceptance of body art in the West, Mosley says that not all modeling agencies are thrilled about her numerous tattoos, which include non-anime ones as well. However, Mosley, who also paints and sculpts, doesn’t plan to pursue a life-long career in the fashion industry. “When modeling is for sure a wrap, I’m going to just go nuts,” she boasts regarding future tattoo plans, and when that day comes, we may know just the place for her to go.
Follow Casey on Twitter, where he’s now wondering whatever happened to his college classmate named Zara.