Wednesday, October 14, 2009

tattoo and yakuza in japan

In Japan, there is a long history of tattoo culture and the first noted tattoos on human was around 297 AD. It started off as decoration among men young and old but the Chinese always looked down upon it as a barbaric act and the Japanese soon acquired this mindset as well. Then in the 17th Century, tattoos in Japan started being used to mark and identify criminals and outcasts.

Throughout Japanese history, tattoos have been legalized and illegalized many times due to the relationships between the markings of yakuza members.

Till this day, tattoos are still looked down upon.

There are only a few festival which the yakuza make their participation obvious by riding on the mikoshi ( portable shrines ) bare-chested, displaying their elaborate tattoos.

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