Why do the Japanese hoteliers don’t want Tattooed Body in Public Baths?

November 04, 2015   963

Yes If you have got Tattoo on your body you might not be allowed to get in Public baths in Japanese Hotels. As per a report published in Japan Times, “A new survey was conducted by the official Japan Tourism Agency according to which 56 percent of Japanese hotels and inns are not willing to allow guests with tattooed bodies into their public bathing facilities. The report also mentioned that thirteen percent of hoteliers want that even if guests have tattoos they need to be at least hidden whereas there are just 31 percent who find tattoos to be totally cool.


History Says Japan Has Been Tattoo-Friendly

But the point is why are the hoteliers are so much against of people with tattoos. If we look at the history of Japan then tattoos have been quite popular among people then. Looking at Jomon Period which dates back between 0,500 and 300 B.C.E, there were clay figurines with tattoo-like marks. The tattoos were popular even among working class in 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, who took advantage of the country’s flowering sculptures to critique the country’s military autocracy but ended up with some of art on their bodies.

Jon Mitchell reporter at Japan times wrote “It was difficult for the samurai to ignore these indelible critiques,???, “so they imposed bans on tattooing.???

What Affected Japanese Tattoo Artistry?

Mitchell also wrote that the Japanese tattoo artistry was affected in middle of the 19th century when the Western countries started to colonize Asian countries. The major reason of this blow was the fear of the authorities that the westerners would consider their tattoo culture as uncivilized to Westerners and thus they decided to shut it completely. Permanent body art had become the territory of the yakuza, Japanese gangsters.

But the scenario did change with time. The tattoo industry is still flourishing at a small scale with body art being popular among the youth. But the results of the survey are really astonishing according to which tattoos are nowhere near to the mainstream.

Another step was taken by Osaka officials where they asked the employees of the city to disclose if they have any visible tattoos. Osaka’s mayor said, “If tattoos of city employees are seen by the public, the city government will lose its credibility because they will make people feel nervous and intimidated,???

2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics

Japan is gearing up for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics and the tourism agency of the place is putting in best efforts to prepare Japan for giving the foreigners, athletes and tourists a warm welcome. The Fukushima nuclear site is undergoing cleanup since 2013 and even the country is spending heavily to lessen the effects of the leaking radiation. So, the Japanese government is spending billions of dollars to beautify Japan as much as possible to welcome the delegates.

But the point is foreigners like tattoos much more than Japanese and if you look at figures then one in five Americans have a tattoo over the skin and the scenario is more or less same in Europe.

So, why is tattoo such a big issue for Japan’s tourism industry. When they are already spending endlessly for the Olympics then why such a ban on the tattoos?

And it’s obvious for foreigners to enjoy the country’s public bath culture and this is likely going to attract many visitors especially during summers. But if they won’t be allowed to enter the pools or public bath places just because they have a tattoo over their skin then it’s definitely going to leave some sore.

Well, the Olympics is still 5 years far and this gives enough time to the Japan’s tourism industry to think over it and come out with something that is favorable for all.

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