Some positive sounding news to offset last week’s headline about a women being refused entry to a Japanese bath house because of her tattoos.
But Japan will have to learn to accept the ink art, as it is preparing to host the 2020 Olympic Games. For several weeks, Tokyo will host many cultures coming from all over the world, including more than a few tattooed athletes, officials and sports fans.
Yoshihide Suga, Japan’s chief cabinet secretary, said last week that private facilities have the right to run businesses by their own rules.
“But with people from various countries visiting our country for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, it is important to show respect for and further our understanding of various cultures. We must consider measures that are welcoming to foreign visitors,” he added.
A MAORI woman was barred from a public bath in Japan because her traditional face tattoos fell foul of rules intended to keep mobsters away, she told AFP Friday.
Three city workers in Osaka who made headlines earlier this year for refusing to participate in a survey from Mayor Toru Hashimoto have submitted petitions with over 3,000 signatures calling for an apology and to have their disciplinary action reversed. Back in May, Hashimoto launched what many saw as a personal campaign against public employees with tattoos, which are heavily stigmatized in Japan as having criminal associations, after several Osaka residents complained of seeing glimpses of the ink beneath the workers’ clothing.
The skin as canvas, inks and needles replacing the palette: tattoos by Khan transcend mere decorations. Whether he is depicting eye crinkles in a portrait of the Dalai Lama or the leer of a supernatural ghoul, his rich color and technical realism redefines the boundaries of art and pop culture.
An original work he made for a tattoo shop in Australia.
Born Park Sung Gyun in South Korea, Khan, 40, gave up a promising career as an architect 10 years ago to learn traditional Japanese tattooing.
Getting a tattoo in Japan means forever entering the world of other people with tattoos and staying within it, writes Ian Robinson.