Osaka Bans Tattoos


The mayor of Osaka has ordered a ban on tattoos amongst city employees, with any found to have them to be either fired or forced to remove them, after the outrageous discovery that a public employee had a tattoo and that the city was not even able to sack him for it.

Osaka mayor and former prefectural governor Tooru Hashimoto has instructed the city bureaucracy to draw up rules banning public employees from having tattoos.

The decision was prompted by an incident in which a carer at a child-care facility showed his tattoo to young children there. He received a two month suspension, and was ordered only ever to wear long-sleeved shirts.

However, disgusted at finding that they could not sack him outright just for having a tattoo, the mayor has instead ordered new rules – “if we can’t sack them just for having tattoos, then at least we can make rules to force them to have them removed.”

The city does not currently ban employees from having tattoos, a state of affairs which outrages the mayor: “is there any profession apart from civil servant where regular employees can have tattoos?”

Mayor Hashimoto, a former lawyer and TV celebrity, has proven popular in right-wing circles for his efforts to curb the vast and heavily coddled civil service and mini-welfare state Osaka has built up for itself (most recently for his gleeful attacks on city bus-drivers whose $91,000 salaries were found to be $20,000 higher than those in the private sector).

However, his authoritarian tendencies have made him a hate figure on the left, with his obsession with forcing teachers to worship the national flag a particular sticking point – leftists denounce this as “Hashism” (pronounced and spelt similarly to “fascism” in Japanese), and after his 2011 remarks that “dictatorship is the most important thing in Japanese politics today,” it is not hard to see why.

Most of his actual policies revolve around curbing government expenditure and his pet project of trying to unify Osaka city with Osaka prefecture and make the resultant streamlined metropolitan government Japan’s sub-capital.

His other less salubrious reform proposals include legalising casinos and reinstating Osaka’s brothel district under government sponsorship – although paradoxically he is a big opponent of fictional sex, having called for manga censorship on the grounds that “freedom of expression is not an absolute.”

Tattoos have also proven to be a hot-button issue in neighbouring Kobe, which recently banned anyone with a tattoo from public beaches on the grounds that they scared decent people away – a policy which allegedly resulted in the lowest beach attendances ever.

Online, there is the usual lack of sympathy for the vile deviants who dare to ink their bodies and then expect to be able to work for a living:

“Keep at it! It makes no sense to have public employees who have tattoos!”

“Osaka civil servants can get away with anything, can’t they?”

“They should not be employing people with tattoos in the first place. That’s the real issue.”

“American soldiers and police often have tattoos. If Japan just copies America, it should be OK to have them?”

“Just about every US marine seems to have them.”

“They’re just told to get them so it is easier to identify their bodies.”

“That’s because they are democratic.”

“Stop quibbling. They are all like that.”

“The JSDF strictly prohibits tattoos.”

“Can’t he just fire them all?”

“What difference does it make if they erase them anyway…”

“Why would a public employee have a tattoo anyway?”

“There are lots of professions other than public servants where you see people with tattoos. You used to get them all the time with entertainment workers, construction labourers, taxi drivers and fishermen. Lately a lot of IT types get them too, and quite a few caregivers. You also see nurses with them. Source: me, who is a doctor.”

“Well, I don’t really see a problem if you aren’t flashing them at the pool or beach or something.”

“I know a civil servant who got herself inked with no problems.”

“The media reports suggest this whole incident was less about his tattoo and more about the suspicion he was intimidating a kid and sexually harassing a coworker.”

“According to those reports this guy was just acting like some yakuza…”

“I’m amazed Osaka employed someone with a tattoo. That city has too much freedom.”

“People with tattoos should not expect to get any sort of real job.”

“You can’t even get into Disneyland with a tattoo.”

“Why does Hashimoto alway respond so quickly to these odd little incidents…”

“Hashimoto haters will leap to protect any old thug, it seems.”

“So all city employees will be subjected to annual naked body searches now?”

“Does this guy really think nobody working in the private sector has tattoos?”

“I want to know why tattoos are NG but makeup is OK. If it really comes down to whether you can remove it, it’s a private matter which hardly matters at the workplace.”

“I don’t have one, but I don’t see what’s so wrong with tattoos.”

“All you American fools who think tattoos are cool, would you elect a president with a tattoo on his face?”

“Fire him. Public opinion supports it. Any fool with a tattoo should be fired.”

“Lots of people who have tattoos are AIDS carriers!”

“Stop employing yakuza, Osaka.”

“Next they should ban people from dyeing their hair.”

“As expected of the Japanese Johannesburg.”

“It’s shameful that these people should be employed by the government.  They shouldn’t even be able to apply. Filth who choose the path of the outlaw should walk that path.”

“This is Japan! We don’t need to adopt foreign standards. In Japan, anyone with a tattoo is a hoodlum. They should not be working for the state. It doesn’t matter if they are good people, it’s bad!”

“If this is really discrimination, then so is stopping people with tattoos from entering public baths and gyms!”

“Hashimoto should know better, being from show business. The days when tattoos were just to intimidate people are gone, now they are a fashionable form of self expression. And this, coming from a lawyer who once shoced people with the fact he had dyed his hair? I understand the need for restraint, but a ban is going too far.”

“Whose side are you on!?”

“I’m on the side which thinks forcing people into conformity is suspect. And not just when it comes to tattoos…”

“You’re the suspect one!”

“No decent person would get a tattoo.”

“That is rather like saying ‘no decent person would post on 2ch,’ now isn’t it?”

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    Avatar of Kamigoroshi
    Comment by Kamigoroshi
    23:54 02/03/2012 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Replacing all Japanese civil servants with yakuza might actually get us another season of Seto no Hanayome.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:56 02/03/2012 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    The yakuza can't be any worse than the living fossils dictating Japan's government.

    Comment by Anonymous

    What do you mean. Are you implying they are a different thing somehow? You have a lot to learn about the history of organized crime in politics, anon.

    Avatar of Chen-04
    Comment by Chen-04
    06:50 03/03/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    It works like this. Everyone with really, really high income for basically doing nothing at all is a criminal. Now those criminals stick together. What do you get? A government. Or maybe a religion. Or organized crime. Could be a company for all we know. Now those guys don't exactly like to pick fights with each other, cause that could hurt and there isn't really any merit in the police doing their job to fight crime anyway. Essentielly, they pretty much all work together. But without being the exact same thing.

    The funny thing is, as long as you have that really, really high income your part of the club. Doesn't matter if you earned it rightfully, because really, no one ever did. Just watch out to not piss off those other members of the club. (Remember how it didn't work out to ban religion? Or how organized crime is still around? I'm sure you didn't miss out on the government of your own country, now did you?)

    Also, remember Megaupload? They pissed off the others.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:26 03/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    As if there are any Major Japanese Mafias left... The only organizations that survived the 90's purge were the international ones... specifically Zainichis... fucking North Koreans.

    Comment by Dark Mage
    01:13 03/03/2012 # ! Good (+0.4)

    The Yakuza might actually do a better job and be less corrupt then the government officials presently in control.

    Comment by Anonymous

    The Yakuza will kill you if the price on your head is high enough. It doesn't get any more corrupt than that.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:36 03/03/2012 # ! Good (+0.8)

    The government will send you to a place where you stand a very good chance of being murdered for even something as silly as possession of marijuana or messing up on your taxes.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:13 04/03/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    The government just takes everything from you and fucks you over for life via credit rating and shit like that if you skip out on taxes.

    And their taxes are just as illegitimate as the 'protection money'.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:44 04/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Mortality rate in prison is lower than the average. You are less likely to die in there than on the outside.
    Also, while governments have taxes, the mafiaa has "protection money" which is as high as they feel they can get from you. And unlike the government, they will break your legs if you don't pay in time.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:23 02/03/2012 # ! Good (+0.8)

    “No decent person would get a tattoo.”
    “That is rather like saying ‘no decent person would post on 2ch,’ now isn’t it?”
    love this

    Avatar of Neonie
    Comment by Neonie
    06:01 03/03/2012 # ! Quality (+0.8)

    No decent person would tell other people what they can and can't do with their bodies.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:29 03/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    I tell you, you can't prostitute yourself. It's bad.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:08 03/03/2012 # ! Good (+0.8)

    If I want a quick $50 I should be able to get a quick $50... ass

    Comment by Anonymous

    Then you can keep making your quick $50 all you want, while we keep this civil servant position for someone who has more restraint and more care for one's body.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:00 05/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    "No decent person would tell other people what they can and can't do with their bodies." totally agreed.

    imo: A tatto is something u wish to have on your skin for various reason:
    A) a sort of art (like a white tiger)
    B) something you hold dear !!!
    C) sign to belonging to a certain group (yakuza for instance)
    D) something u can identify urself with (anchor = naval)(in a band = ur slogan)

    Im working at a retail (sth. like h&m/c&a). We are prohibited to show tattoos (we can have as much as we want as long we dont show them -> longsleeve or other stuff),HOWEVER that is a company rule!
    In reality no one actually cares (the company, nor the customers). Because we have a brain and are able to distinguish .. also we think that a tatton can be something nice/great/beautiful!

    and seriously? if u think about it objectivly: ... does a tattoo(a picture on ur skin) ALWAYS have something to do with the persons
    mindset/attitude/intelligence ???
    eventually NO!
    dont u ever felt like: having...
    ur favourite plant on a part of your body,
    ur childs birthday date engraved on yourself,
    or some realllly nice looking tree ?

    facit: A tattoo itself is NOT bad... just the message the tatto gives someone CAN be bad, BUT it can also be good.

    im well aware of japans opionion regarding tattoos (influences by yakuza & other stuff)
    i dont blame them... however i wish they stopped fearing and started thinking!

    my dad has a tattoo on his arm (an anchor) and when i was a kid i was like "WOOOOOOOOOW *__*"
    now im thinking of also getting a tatto drawn on my arm (maybe even an anchor...).
    As a sign of respect & because im still "WOW *_*" (thrilled feeling).
    Am i dumb now or do i have a bad behavior? u guys dont know me .. u cant tell anything about me from just that.. its just pure ignorance
    im most definatly not a criminal

    THIS, dear people is called a "prejudice"
    THIS, is being an ignorant, since u dont have your OWN opionion because you did not think it thorough ...
    all you do is adepting other people's thought, because its "common" or "normal"... did u never question urself WHY it is normal?
    it is a very small form of brainwashing

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:06 05/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Bingo, Neonie. Hit the nail on the head.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:06 03/03/2012 # ! Good (+0.5)

    The city does not currently ban employees from having tattoos, a state of affairs which outrages the mayor: “is there any profession apart from civil servant where regular employees can have tattoos?”

    Is he trying to troll the world or what?
    Where I live federal law breaks state law so he wouldn't even have a chance to set those rules.
    Not only are the japanese ruled my more dump politicians then most of the rest of the world it seems, they also have a more dumb judicial systems as far as I can judge.

    “All you American fools who think tattoos are cool, would you elect a president with a tattoo on his face?”
    Totally; that is, if I can agree with his political agenda more then with the others. Who the F$%& cares how the guy that makes intelligent politics looks like? You do? Guess that's harrasment/mobbing/sexist or racist then depending on the region you are at.

    Avatar of Myballz
    Comment by Myballz
    12:16 03/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    When making a new law most people don't realize the side effect of what it will cause in the long run.The Mayor found out the hard way and he is paying for it.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:02 03/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    It's a real shame Sankaku decides not to mention the cultural context here, even though I'm sure Artefact is aware of it.

    Unlike the Western world, in Japan tattoos aren't just nice body paintings random idiots put on their body. Tattoos are much rarer there, and are mostly associated with Yakuza, who identify themselves through ornate tattoos over their bodies. Non-Western people in Japan with tattoos on their body are generally Yakuza or other delinquents.

    With this in mind, showing off your tattoo to kids is hugely irresponsible - it would be like proudly showing your swastika tattoo to kids over here. You're free to put it on, but you can't blame people for judging you based on an association you yourself voluntarily caused.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:34 05/03/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    There's so many things wrong with your comment, but i'm just going to leave it at that.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:09 05/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Anonymous 23:02 is trolling, to be blunt. It doesn't matter if these things are 'rare' or 'thought to be signs of the Yakuza'.

    That is simply stereotyping to link one with the other for all people, regardless of all other evidence and anyone who does that should be punched in the face.

    Avatar of TFish
    Comment by TFish
    02:51 03/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    You might, but the vast majority of voters wouldn't. I don't care about what someone looks like, and neither do the people I associate with. However people still largely choose to vote for someone based solely on his religious affiliation regardless of if any of that bleeds over into their politics.

    This doesn't make it right, but I still think in today's political climate someone with a tattoo on their face would have a hard time getting anywhere politically.

    Comment by Anonymous

    I don't know, we elected a jungle bunny as president so I guess anything is possible!

    Comment by Busy
    10:56 03/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    The funny thing is that the most famous japanese artists have huge tattoos as example Miyavi and HYDE.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:32 03/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Fix your sarcasm radar. That was too obvious.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:51 02/03/2012 # ! Good (+0.7)

    These people are so close minded. I'm outraged at this. Why should it matter if you have a tattoo and why are you instantly considered a bad person simply because of it? That's extremely harsh judgment don't you think? I understand people's irrational fear of people with tattoos are affiliates of yakuza but this has gone way to far. Firing someone over a tattoo? Really?

    Avatar of aoitoriko
    Comment by aoitoriko
    00:37 03/03/2012 # ! Good (+0.6)

    You seem to have a pretty closed minded view of a culture that isn't yours don't you? There are a lot of places and career fields in the the U.S. where you will be kicked to the curb for having a lot of visible tattoos.

    How many corporate execs, lawyers, engineers or doctors for that matter do you see with a lot of skin art? The powers that be may not tell you they won't hire you for your tattoos but you can pretty much figure it out.

    There is still a stigma in the West, maybe less than Japan but it's still there.

    Comment by Dark Mage
    01:03 03/03/2012 # ! Good (+0.6)

    A small tattoo you can easily hide they won't and can't do anything.
    Only if you get one of those stupid things you can't cover does it become a stigma.

    Avatar of kireiningyou
    Comment by kireiningyou
    01:26 03/03/2012 # ! Good (+0.4)

    I think she's talking about the conspicuous ones people can have on their faces. You won't get past the first interview for any decent paying job especially if it's in the public sector. Young people can often do impulsive things without thinking of the consequence down the road.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:45 03/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    I thought tattoos were all about personal choice and individual expression...
    Now I don't particularly want one, but I strongly think that others should have the choice.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:02 03/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Exactly, you don´t see them because they tattoo their back, not their face...
    "Ohhh but if they have a tattoo on their face they wont get hired!". Yes, just like a tattoo artist with no tattoos, who looks like Sheldon Cooper will have a hard time finding a job at a tattoo shop...
    It´s a matter of context...

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:43 03/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    In the US, they will make up other reasons to fire you. If you fire someone because they had a tattoo, you will be eaten alive by your ex-employee's lawyer.

    How many corporate execs, lawyers, engineers or doctors for that matter do you see with a lot of skin art?

    You know what else is common among people in prestigious and high paying jobs? Above average intelligence.
    I'm not going to claim a relationship between lower intelligence and likelyhood to get a tattoo, but I wouldn't be surprised if there was one.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:17 03/03/2012 # ! Good (+0.7)

    Doctors and engineers generally have high intelligence, true, but while most doctors probably don't have tattoos, in my experience engineers often do (just not ones that are publicly visible).

    Corporate execs generally don't have high intelligence. Aside from the fact that getting such a job is more reliant on family wealth and connections than anything else, the job typically involves making retardedly short-sighted decisions because the stockholders will remove you if you don't.

    Not sure about lawyers in regards to either the tattoo or intelligence department.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:57 03/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    "In the US, they will make up other reasons to fire you."

    Not entirely true, a lot of states have at-will laws. You can be fired without any reason whatsoever. They don't have to make up anything. Source: Me, who fires people all the time.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:01 03/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    I agree. This is just stupid. Why the hell would they even vote for an idiot like this guy? And I am honestly surprised at how 2ch is reacting to this. Why would they support some guy who obviously views them as scum?

    Avatar of JasperKazai
    Comment by JasperKazai
    23:23 02/03/2012 # ! Good (+0.7)

    I'm not a fan of tattoos myself, but damn. These people are crazy.

    lol @ “Lots of people who have tattoos are AIDS carriers!”

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:40 03/03/2012 # ! Good (+0.7)

    it makes sense.

    I mean, many ppl who breaths have AIDS too..

    Many ppl who drings water will die before 40, many ppl who reach the age of 5, carry more then 4 years with him.... its makes perfect sense right?

    But water is some dangerous shit.... ppl should ban it... I mean.... everyone who drinks it dies right?

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:18 03/03/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    You mean, a lot of people drown in water right?
    I mean, think of the Titanic!!! Think of DiCaprio!!!

    But seriously, I guess this is one of those extreme cases of cultural differences... Tattoos are pretty much a mark of a lifestyle criminal in Japan, or at least they have been.
    But still, sacking people for it is kinda taking it overboard... But then again, Japan is known to be uniformistic(dat a word?). Do anything to separate from the "standard" and you're getting ostracized.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:32 03/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    From someone who comes from a family of doctors you can die from water in-gestation EX.

    Water intoxication, also known as water poisoning, is a potentially fatal disturbance in brain functions that results when the normal balance of electrolytes in the body is pushed outside of safe limits (e.g., hyponatremia) by overhydration, i.e., over-consumption of water.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:45 05/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Your comment made no sense because of the Engrish.

    Avatar of Mauvais
    Comment by Mauvais
    23:29 03/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    The most dangerous thing you can catch is "Life". It's a cross-species affliction and has a 100% mortality rate! There are no known cases where an organism has survived it.
    It's quite frightening, really.

    Avatar of Lonesnipa
    Comment by Lonesnipa
    05:28 03/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Totally need to watch out for that Dihydrogen Monoxide.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:32 03/03/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Yeah, seriously wtf is wroing people! People take it as if it was water.

    Avatar of kazaza2
    Comment by kazaza2
    00:21 03/03/2012 # ! Good (+0.4)

    I'm not a big fan of tattoos on women but I had to laugh at that reply myself. The only thing I heard you can get is hepatitis if your dumb enough to have it done in some place with unsterilized equipment or by a friend who doesn't know what they're doing.

    Sounds like some leftover AIDS hysteria from the 80's

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:08 03/03/2012 # ! Good (+0.6)

    Sounds like standart japanese, no-effing-idea-what-I'm-talking-about-here Troll.

    Also the lady at the top is quite hot I'd say =)

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:33 03/03/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    All murderers drink water. Therefore, water turns people into killers. True story!

    Avatar of shane
    Comment by shane
    11:00 03/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Rofl..... Icwhatyoudidthur

    Avatar of Shaolan-kun
    Comment by Shaolan-kun
    00:37 03/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    You lol?!?

    How about a mass facepalm instead? I'll start.


    Comment by Anonymous
    09:05 03/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    I take the relay.

    Avatar of Erranty
    Comment by Erranty
    02:19 03/03/2012 # ! Good (+0.6)

    “All you American fools who think tattoos are cool, would you elect a president with a tattoo on his face?”

    Yes, yes I would. Because at least then we'd know his personality quirks, instead of voting in another political puppet who's intention is to line his pockets.

    Seriously though, for Japan to have such horribly elitist jerks in office, pushing bills that criminalize people over art, with anti-weapon laws so you can't easily remove them from office by force, it really just makes no sense. If a government doesn't respect its people, it should at least fear revolution.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:34 03/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Mitt Romney should get a tattoo of a car with a dog kennel strapped to the roof. I'd vote for him then, if I were Republican.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:40 03/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    You are forgetting that unlike you westerners, silent majority agrees on forbidding tatoos. Japan is a country of closet facists.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:56 03/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    So Japan has their fascists idiots too? What does dictatorship & fascism have to do with jobs or cutting waste spending?

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:54 04/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Censorship and repression of minorities.
    Unification of the mass.

    Comment by Anonymous

    they have elitest assholes in office because elitest but powerless and dickless fucks like the one that made that comment don't even step out the door to vote. hence, they talk shit and bitch online, then take it up the ass IRL.

    really, they bring it upon themselves, and fully deserve it too.

    Avatar of Erranty
    Comment by Erranty
    09:20 03/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Sorry but, my vote belongs to Ron Paul. I do still take it up the ass though, just ask my girlfriend. She loves the power trip.

    Post Comment »


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