AsiaMag | Asia: How Are Tattoos Perceived ?

Asia: How Are Tattoos Perceived ?

Tattoos are part of our daily life whether we like it or not, it is not unusual to meet someone with one or more. Opinions are still very divided regarding the tattoo. Some say it’s only a fad, others advocate freedom of expression.

Tattooing is a choice, a form of expression, a recognized art. This directly affects our body, so think twice before starting.

As everywhere, there are risks, more or less depending on where you do it: infection, eczema, necrosis … It is an irreversible physical transformation not to take lightly.

In Japan, tattooing is badly perceived. Making a lot of reference to Yakuzas but also to criminals who were once tattooed as punishment. In spite of that the activity of the tattoo artists is not prohibited.

Being tattooed in Japan can be somewhat problematic in some situations. Especially if you want to go to gyms, or public baths. It is likely that entry will be refused.

In contrast, in Korea tattoo artists are outlawed. People who may have the right to tattoo are doctors. This legislation is put in place to avoid as much as possible the infections or the spread of the HIV virus. Tattooing is forbidden there. By cons, tattoos are not “bad” seen.

It seems that the tattoo in Korea began to be popular the day the football player Ahn Jung-Hwan, taking off his shirt, left his tattoo dedicated to his wife. This prompted other well-known people, actors, sportsmen or K-Pop idols to get tattooed.

In China, there is no particular prohibition, and tattoos are not particularly badly perceived by the population. Although in the olden days tattoos were considered offensive and unacceptable, currently tattooing is fashionable. So you will see many young people with tattoos in the streets, ranging from the simple little logo or Chinese character, to the artist’s drawing covering a good part of the body.

As everywhere, in Asia the vision of the tattoo is very different from one country to another. Japan does not forbid it but does not like it, refuses it and rejects it. In Korea, tattoo artists are banned but tattoos are much more accepted. And in China, tattooing is allowed and quite well accepted.