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Public and Private: Japanese bathing tattoo ban

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Ian Dunn
1302704.  Sun Nov 11, 2018 6:41 am Reply with quote

In the "Public and Private" episode (Series P, Episode 5, XL version), you said that anyone with a tattoo is banned from a public bath in Japan because of association with organised crime.

However, the ban is not total. A poll in 2015 showed that while 56% of hotels and inns did have a total tattoo ban on public baths, 31% of establishments did allow tattooed bathers, and 13% allowed entry if the tattoos were hidden.

Source: Daily Telegraph

1314080.  Tue Feb 19, 2019 12:24 pm Reply with quote

Absolutely right.

During one of my first visits to a Japanese onsen I had the unnerving experience of stupidly splashing foam body soap around me while I vigourously washed, a faux pas of the first order in Japanese terms. When I looked round, I had seriously splashed a really tough looking older gentleman sitting at the station next to me who had the whole side of his body and arm covered with the most exquisite tattoos. It took a lot of "O-o-o-oh, sumimasen" to get the situation back to normal where I was once more blanked as a foreigner in their place of refuge.

I learned quickly!


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