Here’s another news story about doing something positive instead of focusing on the negative (in this case, bullying and debilitating accidents). It’s about tattooing, but a different kind. Warning: some of the images are a little hard to watch.
Read more about the story here: “Basma Hameed creates booming business tattooing scars” (from Canada’s CBC News)
Tattoos have become almost commonplace in many parts of the world. When I was in Portland, Oregon, I think more than half the people I saw there had a tattoo. This article from the Huffington Post says that more than a third of young (age 18-36) Americans have tattoos.
But they are still largely stigmatized here in Japan. When my sister, who has some small tattoos on her ankles and wrists, came to visit me, I advised her to cover the tattoos with bandaids when we went to an onsen (hot springs), as I’d heard many stories of people being forbidden entrance, even for small tattoos, and most onsen I’ve been to do have signs that say “No tattoos”. It was troublesome and spoiled the experience for her a little.
Read more about the history of tattoos in Japan here: “Japan inked: Should the country reclaim its tattoo culture?” (from the Japan Times). Here’s a story about a woman who was fined at her workplace for having a tattoo. And here’s a much longer piece from Japan Subculture about tattoos in Japan today.
I do see more and more younger people in Japan with tattoos. Maybe the onsen rules (which also seem to exist at swimming pools and sports gyms) will relax one day. And in any case, I suppose the tattooing shown in the video wouldn’t count?