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Why tattooing is stigmatized in many Asian countries?

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Why tattooing is stigmatized in many Asian countries? Empty Why tattooing is stigmatized in many Asian countries?

Bài gửi by Tatkuink Thu Jan 12, 2023 4:40 pm

Although accepted by the majority of young people, the art of tattooing on the body still faces opposition and prejudices from the society in China, Korea and Japan.

Tattoos are increasingly accepted by young Chinese, especially in big cities like Shanghai, where the art of tattooing is thriving. However, long-standing social stereotypes about ink marks on the skin are still common in the country of billions of people. A similar situation occurs in Japan and Korea.

“In Chinese history, tattoos were used to tattoo clothing refer to ethnic minorities or to punish criminals and slaves,” said Dr. Gareth Davey, an anthropologist and social psychologist at Webster University (Thailand). ), said.

According to the doctor

tattooing is common among some ethnic minorities in China, expressing their own cultural identity. Girls from the Derung tribe get tattoos on their faces during puberty as a sign of adulthood. In the Dai tribe, men tattoo their bodies, while women tattoo their hands, arms or face.

In Japan, Li or Ainu women consider tattoos a mandatory requirement before marriage. The Ainu people believe that tattoos have magic and will protect them. However, because of those tattoos, they are considered "uncivilized" by the Han people.

Characteristic of crime

In countries like Japan and Korea, although young people have a positive attitude towards tattoo culture, many older generations still hold their own.

They believe that the tattoo has no good meaning because it is often associated with criminal gangs such as yakuza. In the land of cherry blossoms, anyone with a tattoo is often subjected to the aversion and scrutiny of others.

In addition, tattoos go against Confucian values of filial piety. Accordingly, people must avoid causing injury to the body that their parents have given them. This cultural belief is also common in Japanese and Korean society.

In the land of cherry blossoms, tattoos were associated with crimes and were used as punishment during the Kofun period (300-538). It was not until 1948 that the art of tattooing was legalized.


public baths and swimming pools in Japan and South Korea still ban customers with tattoos to limit the appearance of thugs. In addition, tattooing without a medical license is also considered illegal. Violating the medical practice law can result in a fine of more than $9,500 and up to three years in prison.

However, this regulation will soon be changed in the country of cherry blossoms after the decision of the Supreme Court of Japan in September. Accordingly, tattooing is an art form, unrelated to the healthcare industry, so a medical license is not required to practice.

“Body tattooing in Asia is becoming more and more accepted, in part because Western culture penetrated Japanese society in the 1980s,” said Margo DeMello, a PhD in animal anthropology. animals and people, said.

"The elderly still stigmatize tattooing due to its history. However, for young people, ink stains on the body are very normal, even common," she added.

According to Dr. Davey, the tattoo is custom baseball jersey highly valued in the culture of the younger generation of China because it symbolizes sophistication and fashion. They pay tribute to celebrities, superstars and sports athletes with tattoos.


the authorities are trying very hard to limit the popularity of tattoo art. In particular, singers and actors with tattoos will be banned from appearing or censoring on television. And football players must wear long-sleeved shirts when playing to cover tattoos.

Authorities in Lanzhou city (Gansu province, China) recently issued a tattoo-free rule, requiring all taxi drivers to remove their tattoos from August.

A motorist has voiced his opposition to this regulation on an online government forum, sparking huge debates about the acceptance of tattoos in the country of billions of people.

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