The BBC put an article on their blog just today, following on from a news story about a woman who was deported after authorities in Sri Lanka saw her Buddha tattoo. The article is pretty interesting, and it talks about other ways in which people have found themselves in situations where they’ve been denied work or given restrictions on their tattoos. Matt Lodder, who seems to have a good relationship with the BBC now, also talks about the current culture in Japan, where some parts of the country are still quite against tattooing. From the article:
…Japan is the country that stands out, according to Dr Matt Lodder, art historian and tattoo expert at the University of Essex. “There’s a relatively recent – 20th Century – association of tattoos with criminal gangs, and they are often banned in places like public bath houses. I know a woman in her 30s who was also turned away from a hotel,” he says. The anti-inkwork sentiment is stronger is some parts of Japan than others. In 2012, the Mayor of Osaka surveyed all of his 30,000 employees for tattoos, saying that those that wanted to keep them should find jobs elsewhere. “Other places like Tokyo have a vibrant tattoo culture,” Lodder adds.
This is something that I feel divides people- some people think this is completely disgusting, and others think it’s just a part of being tattooed. At the moment, though, it seems like there are a lot of people who seem offended that there are some cultures that don’t quite appreciate their way of life. So what if someone else’s culture doesn’t like your tattoos- it’s just their opinion. If you go to a certain country, you should appreciate their culture and at least know a little about it before you get there- it’s common sense, but I feel like common sense isn’t really that common.
There are a lot of people out there at the moment who act like everyone should appreciate their tattoos and let them express themselves in any way possible. If you think that your boss is going to get rid of the dress code at work because of precious little you, you’re probably not mature enough to mark your skin for the rest of your life. If you think that it’s shocking that Japan, due to its culture, has rules against visible tattoos, then maybe Japan isn’t the best country for you to plan your next holiday trip.
Regardless of my opinion, this is still a pretty interesting article, which shows some parts of the world where tattooing still has some small stigmas attached to them. I’m just glad some of the older more stupid ideas around tattooing are dying out, and that those ones that make a little bit of sense are still around.