Talented Japanese dad proves once again that boredom is the mother of invention.
Pikachu, Totoro, and more want to play. Don’t you want to play with them?
You know something has become a cultural phenomenon when it gets its own slang!
On 23 June the Japan Tourism Agency (JTA) announced that it would be conducting a first-of-its-kind study into public bathing facilities such as onsen (hot springs) and sento (bath houses), and their rules regarding tattoos.
Visitors to Japan are often warned that if they want to visit one of Japan’s hundreds of natural springs or meticulously designed baths they can’t be inked up. But how widespread is this rule in Japan really, and is it doing more harm than good in this day and age? These are the things the JTA hopes to learn more about in the weeks to come.
Many foreign visitors to Japan are curious about taking a dip in one of Japan’s many hot springs or sento public baths, but are deterred by two factors: the embarrassment of being naked in public, and the worry that even having a small tattoo – very much taboo in Japan – might result in being ejected from the premises. While the first issue is something that can be overcome with a little bravery, the second issue is undoubtedly a problem.
However, a resort inn in Nagano has now publicly stated that they will allow foreigners with small tattoos to enter, providing they cover up the offending ink with a patch.
The whole reason tattoos are so cool is that they literally become a part of you after you get one. They can’t be erased – at least not without some expensive laser surgery. There’s a certain cool factor in being confident enough in your feelings about Professor Farnsworth or the Triforce to get them permanently etched into your skin.
On the flip-side, though, it’s all too common for people to get a tattoo that they later very much regret. Whether it’s the name of a college girlfriend you’ve long since broken up with, the name of that emo band you thought was cool in the early 2000s, or a veritable collage of anime characters from the 80s and 90s, some tattoo choices can come back to haunt you.
That may be a thing of the past, though, now that Japanese companies are offering removable tattoo sleeves!
In many cases, less is more, and that rule perhaps now applies to tattoos too. Minimalistic designs seem to be all the rage among young Koreans, and their passion for simple beauty extends to the permanent art they ink themselves with. Heavily shaded dragons and skulls are so passé, youngsters these days are getting themselves miniature tattoos that are simple and chic, and probably won’t cost a bomb to laser away if they decide they don’t want it anymore. Seoul-based tattoo artist Seoeon, in particular, seems to be gaining some popularity with her neat “line tattoos”. Check them out after the break!
It must be tough playing in the World Cup. Not only are you representing your entire country, but every mistake you make is seen by millions of people all over the world. Poor Igor Akinfeev, the Russian goalkeeper who let a straightforward shot from Korea’s Lee Keun-ho roll up and over his head and into the goal. It was enough to make anyone want to curl up into a ball and die, and Igor’s mortified face was painful to watch, inspiring thousands of Tweets proclaiming, “Yikes!”
Japanese netizens have taken notice of another footballer faux paus, this time in the form of an unfortunate tattoo. We’ve seen it before – misinformed fans of body modification adding “Chicken Noodle Soup“ or “casket maker” in exotic scrawl, and Team Greece representative, Theofanis “Fanis” Gekas, has added to the list of tattoos that have piqued the interest of Japanese netizens.
I was in the second grade when I first realized that I would some day be tattooed. It wasn’t a particularly big deal to me at the time; just something that I knew I’d eventually get, kind of like a driver’s license. It’s been a few years (okay, over a decade) since my very first tattoo, and I’ve slowly accumulated a bit more ink, though I’m nowhere near finished–something you’ll likely hear from most of the tattooed people you’ll meet.
Naturally, when I became interested in Japan, one of the things that caught my attention was the beautiful art created by the country’s talented tattoo artists, though circumstances have largely conspired to prevent me from collecting any “traditional” Japanese tattoos. However, I recently got the opportunity to get something a bit more “Japanese” and decided to share the experience in order to help you get an idea of what tattooing is like in Japan in case you’re thinking of getting some ink of your own.
Join us after the break for an original, needles-and-all close-up look at what it’s like getting a tattoo in Japan.
Has internationalization taught us nothing? How strange it is that so many people can laugh unabashedly about the Orient’s attempts at “Engrish” and yet remain stubbornly ignorant of the meanings behind many Asian symbols, whether they’re printed on t-shirts or inked into their skin?!
Yes, the existence of tattoos with inappropriate meanings remains an epidemic. What’s perhaps the most surprising is that even in this day and age many people sporting these strange Asian symbols didn’t necessarily skimp on the research and just got suckered into something by their tattoo artists. Rather, many Western people don’t care enough to ask about the meanings at all!
We Japanese are no strangers to Chinese characters (or kanji, in Japanese). The ancient letters from China make up a crucial part of our own written language, and we have to say the complex yet elegant form of kanji can seem strikingly cool (except when we had to practice and learn all those letters in grade school), even for those of us who use the letters everyday. So we can certainly understand how these characters could hold a mysterious fascination for people from countries where kanji isn’t used at all. T-shirts featuring kanji are a common enough sight in many parts of the world after all, and for people who prefer to wear their favorite Chinese characters in a more, shall I say, permanent way, I guess tattoos are always an option, right?
Well, at least, that’s the option the person in the picture above apparently went for. But she most likely didn’t know what the letters she was getting tattooed on her back actually meant, the poor girl … Read More
Japan has had a complicated relationship with tattoos over its history. Unlike in most western countries where it’s simply considered a form of expression or drunkenly poor decisions, currently body art is generally looked down upon in Japanese society despite having some of the best artists and techniques in the world.
And yet most people in Japan are unaware that not too long ago, for a time during the Edo Period (1603-1868) the go-to form of punishment for non-violent crimes was a tattoo right in the center of your forehead.