Month: Last updated Aug 1, 2017

No Tattoos Sign

This sign on a sento (public bath house) says “Irezumi no kata okotowari shimasu.” (People with tatoos are not permitted). A lot of non-Japanese people with tattoos worry about whether they will be allowed into sento or hot springs, but it’s not usually a problem. There is a distinction in Japan between “irezumi,” Japanese-style tattoos done with traditional methods, and “tatu,” modern tattoos done with electric tattoo machines. As long as a person isn’t covered with them, there shouldn’t be a problem because the “no tattoos” rule seems to be just a polite way to say “no yakuza.” Here’s a really interesting thesis written by a woman who studied traditional tattoing in Japan. At first she tried to visit tattoo studios and talk with yaks, but she recounts how she had more success working in a hostess club and getting gangsters to talk about and show off their tattoos there! It’s pretty long and academic, but full of interesting information: http://web.archive.org/web/20090101134952/http://www.nootrope.net:80/koi/tattooing_in_japan.html If you’d like a shorter, easier read, try: http://www.vanishingtattoo.com/tattoo_museum/chinese_japanese_tattoos.html Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new...

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Little Fireman

Cute kid trying on fire fighter’s outfit at a fire safety promotion in Ueno Park, Tokyo. Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new...

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Bored Souvenir Seller

I guess selling souvenirs isn’t the most exciting job in the world. Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new...

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Kyoto Bar

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Random Scenes From the Asakusa Samba Carnival

Previous posts on this blog about the Asakusa Samba Carnival like this one may have given you the impression that it’s all attractive young women in skimpy outfits. There are a lot of other things going on, though, if you can take your eyes off the ladies. Marching band full of guys who must be very secure in their masculinity. Right near the beginning of the parade comes a reminder from a local uchimizu group. Uchimizu is the practice of throwing water on the ground to reduce dust. It was probably a good idea a hundred years ago, but...

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