Tattoo artist Shodai Horiren, 52, at work in her studio in Warabi, Saitama prefecture, Japan. Tattooed from head to foot herself, she is one of a growing number of Japanese who have defied the traditional association of tattoos with crime. Photo: Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon Tattoo artist Shodai Horiren, 52, at work in her studio in Warabi, Saitama prefecture, Japan. Tattooed from head to foot herself, she is one of a growing number of Japanese who have defied the traditional association of tattoos with crime. Photo: Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon
Tattoo artist Shodai Horiren, 52, at work in her studio in Warabi, Saitama prefecture, Japan. Tattooed from head to foot herself, she is one of a growing number of Japanese who have defied the traditional association of tattoos with crime. Photo: Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon
Japan

Tattooed Japanese defy social taboo that links skin art to criminality, and hope inked foreign athletes at Tokyo Olympics spur acceptance

  • Tattoos have long been associated with crime in Japan, and people with tattoos are often banned from beaches and spas. Many cover theirs up to avoid disapproval
  • There is a growing group of tattoo lovers who hope Japanese attitudes are changing thanks to the influence of inked foreign athletes and rugby players

Topic |   Japan
Tattoo artist Shodai Horiren, 52, at work in her studio in Warabi, Saitama prefecture, Japan. Tattooed from head to foot herself, she is one of a growing number of Japanese who have defied the traditional association of tattoos with crime. Photo: Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon Tattoo artist Shodai Horiren, 52, at work in her studio in Warabi, Saitama prefecture, Japan. Tattooed from head to foot herself, she is one of a growing number of Japanese who have defied the traditional association of tattoos with crime. Photo: Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon
Tattoo artist Shodai Horiren, 52, at work in her studio in Warabi, Saitama prefecture, Japan. Tattooed from head to foot herself, she is one of a growing number of Japanese who have defied the traditional association of tattoos with crime. Photo: Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon
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