Yakuza gang members show their tattoos at a festival in Tokyo. In East Asia’s conservative societies, body art is associated with criminals, despite its embrace by young people. Photo: Shutterstock Yakuza gang members show their tattoos at a festival in Tokyo. In East Asia’s conservative societies, body art is associated with criminals, despite its embrace by young people. Photo: Shutterstock
Yakuza gang members show their tattoos at a festival in Tokyo. In East Asia’s conservative societies, body art is associated with criminals, despite its embrace by young people. Photo: Shutterstock

Explainer |
Why tattoos are still frowned upon in East Asia, even as young people embrace them

  • A Chinese city’s recent ban on taxi drivers having tattoos is a reminder of the widespread disapproval of body art that prevails in parts of East Asia
  • Young people have embraced tattooing, seeing it as art, but the Confucian value of filial piety, and tattoos’ connotation with crime and punishment, hold sway

Topic |   Beauty
Yakuza gang members show their tattoos at a festival in Tokyo. In East Asia’s conservative societies, body art is associated with criminals, despite its embrace by young people. Photo: Shutterstock Yakuza gang members show their tattoos at a festival in Tokyo. In East Asia’s conservative societies, body art is associated with criminals, despite its embrace by young people. Photo: Shutterstock
Yakuza gang members show their tattoos at a festival in Tokyo. In East Asia’s conservative societies, body art is associated with criminals, despite its embrace by young people. Photo: Shutterstock
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