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Japanese Tattoos


Man with tattoo, rear view,close up
sot/Taxi Japan/Getty Images
Tattoos are called irezumi or horimono in Japanese. They are usually considered a symbol of yakuza (Japanese mafia) and are often perceived negatively. For example, many public bath facilities and swimming pools in Japan inhibit customers who have tattoos from entering. If you have tattoos and plan to visit such facilities in Japan, please contact the facilities.

Irezumi often cover arms, shoulders, and the back. Popular designs include kanji (Chinese characters), dragon, flowers, koi (carp), wavy oceans, and more. In recent years, contemporary designs are becoming popular among young people, and tattoo events are often held in big cities. Also, there are many tattoo shops and artists in Japan. It's best to contact them on the phone or by email before you visit.

Please take a look at Readers' Japan-inspired Tattoos. Also, here is a photo collection of Asian tattoos. Enjoy the art of great tattoos.
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