Artist or Doctor

Artist or Doctor
April 11
10:36 2017

In a time where the world seems to be changing it’s opinions on tattoos, more and more towards acceptance and
letting people who want tattoos, get the tattoos they want.
A surprising thing has happened in Japan; In 2015 Taiki a tattoo artist from Osaka in Japan, got sued by the police
because of a strange interpretation, of a medical law act in Japan.
Taiki has resisted the fine imposed upon him by the police, because if he accepted it, tattoo artists in japan would
Become criminals by law.

Basically, if Taiki was to just accept his sentence/fine, it would mean that tattooing in Japan would become illegal,
except for in cases where a medical professional performs the tattoo.
This means that in order for artists to keep their profession, they would have to become doctors or live as criminals.

This is all happening, where even Japan despite it’s troublesome past where tattoos have mainly been associated
with the dreadful yakuza/gangsters, had begun accepting tattoos as an art-form for self-expression.
I will not go into details about the medical law act here or too much about Japanese tattooing history.
But I would like to discuss what is happening as a tattoo sociologist.

It seems to me that the powers that be, have suddenly, despite having never done so in the past, decided to attack
the art of tattooing, through arbitrarily interpreting an already arbitrary law act. With Accusations that hold no ground against Japanese tattooing as a whole. Japanese tattoo artists are well known for being some of the best and most honorable in the world, they are
meticulous when it comes to hygiene and the quality of their work. So when the police begins accusing them 
of putting people in danger, because of the nature of their work, it seems made up and far fetched.
Indeed even the people behind the movement “Save Tattooing in Japan”, recognize that the Japanese police,
used to be very good at differentiating between gangsters who tattoo and such, and legal honorable
tattoo artists. A trend which now seems to be all gone, as they have begun accosting normal regular tattoo
artists, through abusing this arbitrary medical law act.

As a tattoo sociologist, I cannot do anything but stand behind this movement, as they are just fighting for acceptance
of their craft, in a time where the whole world has all but accepted tattooing (at least to some extent).
Also Japan has one of the richest and most well preserved tattoo cultures and histories in the world, it would
be a shame to trivialize this, by outlawing tattooing as an art form.
Indeed you can almost not pick up a self-help book or book on the history of tattoos, without Japanese tattooing
being mentioned to a great extent. The whole world looks to the craftsmanship of Japanese tattoo artists,
admiration and respect, almost in awe of their integrity and craftsmanship.
Outlawing these craftsmen and their craft, would not protect Japanese culture, in my opinion it would rip out  
a very integral part of it!

also as the artists and tattoo lovers behind the movement also seem to recognize, legislation and regulations are
needed in regards to tattooing in Japan, but it should be of the kind that creates a safe environment for the artists
and anyone who loves tattoos, not one that criminalizes the art-form.
Same can be said for many places around the world, but it seems archaic and absolutely ignorant, to outlaw tattooing in today’s day and age, where tattoos are mainly used for self-expression and has little to do with criminality and anti-social behavior.

I urge anyone interested, after reading this article, to check out the movements facebook page or their website, where you can read much more information about what is going on and if you can, lend your support to this great cause and help save one of the greatest tattoo cultures on the planet.
So the last question posed by this movement is; should the person tattooing you be a doctor or an artist?
Well I don’t know about you people, but I want an artist tattooing me!

Feel free to comment with your thoughts, ideas for future posts and articles, and with your own opinions on this

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Now stay awesome people!

About Author



Mads W. K. Masters of science in Sociology (Cand. Scient. Soc.), from the University of Copenhagen, who specializes in embodiment sociology, but especially in tattoos and tattoo culture etc.

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