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Korean Tattooing; Why It Looks So Japanese

Korean Tattooing; Why It Looks So Japanese
June 11
18:55 2018

Korean Tattooing; Explaining The Cultural Similarity to Japanese Tattooing:

Korean Tattooing, not many of us know exactly what to look for. The style doesn’t set itself apart from it’s other eastern Asian cousins, among the Chinese and Japanese styles of tattooing. It honestly looks almost identical to Japanese and Chinese tattooing. The only key difference to the keen observer, would be in the imagery. They depict different legends, folklore and cultural icons, that fit with Korean culture and History.

But there is actually a good reason, why the Korean tattoo style is so similar to especially the Japanese. It has to do with the shared history of East Asia, especially China, Japan and Korea. They have had several wars with each other, traded with each other and even occupied each other’s territories (namely Korea has been occupied by the other). So of course their would be some influences that spill over, even into tattooing.

One of the main reason’s why the tattoo style of Korea is so similar to especially the Japanese style, is the fact that the country was annexed by Japan. This took place from 1910 until the end of the second world war. In these times, despite looking down on tattoos, their was indeed a great influence, that lowed from Japan, into the Korean culture, with tattooing being no exception. The Korean’s even mimicked Japan, in the sense that they would tattoo western traders, who came to their land.

Final Comment:

Korean Tattooing, indeed it is it’s own style in it’s own right. But it is so heavily influenced by Japan and China, that it can be difficult to recognize, if you do not know what you are looking for. Non the less, all of the tattoos from the far east of Asia, are beautiful and all with their own rich history.

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About Author

Mads

Mads

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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