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
Beauty

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

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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