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Why do Japanese people do not wear tattoos, while Europeans generally wear tattoos, whether it is the cause of race or tribe?

My guess is that only members of Yakuza, the Japanese mafia, wear tattoos. And no, Europeans do not generally wear tattoos, although wearing tattoos is far more common among regular people and having a few tattoos does not exclude anyone from mainstream society. Having tattoos does, however, signal that one is or at at least used to be (in one's youth) someone who is a bit of a rebel. I would never want to get a tattoo because I find tattoos tasteless and associated with a lack of future orientation. Most tattoos will look ugly when the wearer's skin starts to sag with age. Also, to the extent the ink contains metal particles, the resolution of magnetic resonance imaging will be lowered, which might prove fatal if a cancer or other life threatening disease or condition cannot be diagnosed properly because of poor MRI quality.


It is to do with the history of Japan. Not a race or a tribe but criminal activity.

The Yakuza used to wear tattoos showing who they were. The Yakuza were the gangsters who ran illegal operations and were feared. People in Japan associate tattoos with criminal elements.

Still to this day you are not allowed into public gym's showing a tattoo. It is frowned upon and not seen as anything but bad. 

The rugby world cup which is happening next year has had to inform any player with a tattoo to cover up. You don't want to insult your hosts. In western Society it is currently fashionable but hasn't always been.

Times change and I am sure Western Cultures will change their mind saying it's low class etc. It is a matter of choice.


Tattoos are actually part of the Japanese aboriginal culture. There's a certain tribe in Japan called the Ainu who used to have tattoos and considered it as part of their culture.

However, as time passed by, it changed. If I'm not mistaken, during the Edo Period, tattoo became illegal. It was associated to the criminal groups or Yakuza. From then, Japanese people has a different and negative view on people who has tattoo.

Actually, it's an issue now because of the upcoming Rugby World Cup. Japanese people are arguing whether to let tattooed players cover their tattoos or not. Japanese people are divided on this though. Some people are in favor of foreign players not covering their tattoos in public bath (for example), but others are worried because some criminal groups might question them, "Why are they allowed and we aren't?"