Tattoo Tourism; Always Been Precarious:
Tattoo tourism, has always been a complicated thing in Japan. At least in modern times with the heavy stigmatization. Tourists having complications with where they can go and what they are allowed to do, with tattoos in Japan, has been common for years.
To many tattooed people, who have traveled to the land of the rising sun. The fact that their ink complicates things, is no news to them. Because of the stigmatization and how tattoos are heavily linked to crime, in Japan.
Tattooed people are heavily discriminated against, even quite openly with signs, in many locations in Japan.
It is everywhere from Onsen’s (Japanese bath houses), to certain restaurants and even other public establishments. Where visible tattoos will get you banned from the place. In many cases, as mentioned above, it is even marked with signs, showing no entry for tattooed people.
The New Tattoo Ban; A Hit to Tourism in Japan:
Now with the new Tattoo “ban”, having been ruled in, in the Osaka court. Some politicians are estimating that tourism in Japan will take quite the hit. This is because, the ban is considered, to enhance the stigmatization.
It might even give those who want to discriminate people with tattoos, a valid excuse to do so.
Even the chairman of the Japan Tourism Agency, Shogo Akamichi, has even urged Onsens and other establishments. To be more open towards, at least, foreigners with tattoos. Because Japan is becoming more and more popular to westerners, and they realize many of them have tattoos.
Because of this, is stands to reason, that many people working in the tourist industry in Japan. May indeed fear the outcomes of this ban. It may indeed hurt a lot of businesses, especially in the major cities such as Tokyo and Kyoto.
Hopefully for Japan, the new Tattoo “ban”, won’t hurt their tourism too much. Seeing as their was already quite a bit of discrimination towards tattoos, even among foreign tourists. But perhaps, it is time for Japan to stand up, and get into the 21st century, joining the more progressive within their population, in being open towards tattooed people.
It certainly would make a lot more people, feel more at ease visiting the beautiful land of the rising sun.