Osaka Sued for “Unconstitutional” Tattoo Purge


The latest development in Osaka’s efforts to hound tattooed deviants from public service have resulted in a lawsuit alleging the purge violates the Japanese constitution.

The case is being brought by a 54-year-old Osaka city employee, who was subject to mayor Hashimoto’s glorious crusade against the evils of tattoos.

The city launched an investigation into the number of it employees with tattoos, and of 34,000 civil servants surveyed (for some reason excluding teachers, who seem to have managed to get themselves exempted) it was found that a measly 114 had tattoos of any kind – or at least were prepared to own up to it.

However, 6 employees repeatedly refused to answer the city’s questions at all, and this defiant insistence on the right to privacy earned them formal reprimands for refusing workplace commands.

One of their number, alleging the investigation represents an unconstitutional breach of his right to privacy, has taken the city to court demanding the reprimand be rescinded and he be awarded ¥5,000,000 in compensation for his pains.

He says the city repeatedly tried to badger him into answering their questions despite his clear refusal, and then threatened to sack him if he did not answer. He says he does not have any tattoos.

Online there are the usual outpourings of tolerance and sympathy:

“If he wins it is a victory for the yakuza!”

“5 million yen for being warned is too much, it’s not like he was sacked!”

“This is great – people have finally realised Hashimoto just tries to pick on the weak for his own ends.”

“Their tattooed employees ought to be publicly outed.”

“With any luck stuff like this will further turn people against the civil servants.”

“Civil servants must not have tattoos. A warning is too weak, they should all be sacked.”

“He’s suing them for reprimanding him for refusing to say whether he had a tattoo or not? In the private sector they would just sack you straight off.”

“Anywhere else this stuff would get left to sort itself out, but not under Hashimoto. Hard to believe Osaka is the only place with tattooed civil servants…”

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    Avatar of Rene
    Comment by Rene
    23:27 16/10/2012 # ! Quality (+0.8)

    Good. Finally someone stands up to this idiot and his waste of time and money to prosecute people he doesn't agree with.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:11 17/10/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    dat oshiri

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:45 17/10/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Nice Tattoo job, Nice job also.. Triti

    Comment by Anonymous
    Comment by Anonymous
    05:36 18/10/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Nice tatoo, you're right.

    Avatar of Kamigoroshi
    Comment by Kamigoroshi
    20:27 16/10/2012 # ! Quality (+0.8)

    Everyone who sues Osaka for this tattoo idiocy is a hero. Seto Gozaburo himself would be no doubtedly proud of this fella!

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:47 16/10/2012 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    But heroes fall early.

    This IS Japan, where shit rolls downhill harder than most developed countries. If you're not a member of the royal family, or not born to a rich and influential pair of parents, no one's gonna give a fuck about you.

    Avatar of aoitoriko
    Comment by aoitoriko
    23:24 16/10/2012 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    This guy might have gotten 5 million yen but he probably also made himself a pariah at work and in his neighborhood. Japan is also the land of whispers and social shunning.

    Like it or not the "hive mind" mentality of most Japanese seem to agree with the ban on tattoos.

    This is also the country for ingenious forms of repercussion at work like the the guy whose company wanted him out and his refusal to resign. He was shunned by his co-workers and the bosses eventually moved desk to some isolated room in the basement without a light till he got the hint and left.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:57 17/10/2012 # ! Good (+0.6)

    I am dismayed, as a young thing I dreamed of visiting Japan, now as I get older and more able to afford such a trip I find that I am getting more hesitant towards this vacation, I have tattoos and still plan for me for a complete sleeve, if the japanese can treat their own nationals as pariahs, then what chance would a tourist such as myself stand? I am not a member of any organised crime syndicate but to think that I would be looked down upon after spending soo much cash for the privilege,I appreciate cultural differences but think I would rather spend the thousands of pounds on a different country altogether. Sorry japan you aint the country I first thought you were......

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:34 17/10/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    Let those yellow cowards think you're a dangerous tattooed foreigner. With any luck you'll get the VIP treatment & lots of discounts, as try to appease your sense of reason, hoping you won't kick their ass & trash the place.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:25 17/10/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Japan is fine for a holiday. It's usually not until you live there that you realize how awful the place is.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:48 17/10/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    He didn't get 5 million yen yet. Read.

    Avatar of aoitoriko
    Comment by aoitoriko
    07:51 17/10/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    @ Anon 07:20

    Yeah, It was in one the Japanese blogs a year or two ago. The whole thing dragged on for a couple of months and the guy came in one day and found they moved his desk, phone etc. to the basement but he still wouldn't leave! Then little by little the company started taking stuff away like his phone, office equipment, files and he still wouldn't leave so they shut off the electricity to his work space so he would have to sit in the dark and he finally left. Some things you can't make up!

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:00 18/10/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    lol on the comment "unlike the US I can walk the streets safely at night"...funny but I have always been able to walk the streets safely at night. The US is a very very large country. Get out of the crappy large cities, and you will see a totally different real America!

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:20 17/10/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    So, aoitoriko, are you saying that the Office Space sacking happened in real life? Fuck me, Japan never ceases to amaze.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:27 17/10/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    @12:25 I've lived there for close to a decade... and I have never enjoyed life more than I have now. And unlike the US, I can safely walk the streets at night without having to worry about anything.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:14 17/10/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    It's different if you're a foreigner. You're and outcast and scary no matter what you have on your arms. Just go, enjoy Tokyo and return home.

    Avatar of stilettogirl
    Comment by stilettogirl
    04:59 17/10/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    @ Anon 03:14

    True, but if you want to experience traditional Japanese culture first hand don't expect to get into a public bath, a Ryokan (traditional Japanese inn) or a public beach in Osaka with tattoos without a ton of crap even if you are a Gaijin, you might even get more if you are a Gaijin and not fluent in Japanese.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:57 16/10/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Or yakuza, don't forget yakuza.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:58 16/10/2012 # ! Good (+0.6)

    Or teachers, the untouchable demigods of Japan.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:38 16/10/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    no one can be japanese pure blood. You have to be Ainu (they have been mostly exterminated) or you are a migrant from China.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:37 17/10/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    History sides with the victor, deal with it.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:32 17/10/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    That is interesting the Bird people. You know they came from North Dakota in the USA about 55,000 years ago across to the asian contentents? They USED to be true North American Indians (not mexican not central american and most certainly not south amercian species of humans which none are part of any ture north american indian tribe.) So you can hear it in the voices, songs and art work. What had arisen of those peoples being trapped on the Japanese islands without contact for so many years after the waters reflooded the giant planes of planet earth is what they are today and they are shorter due to the results of living on islands. That means you all are tresspassing get off OUR land, we were here 1st.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:27 17/10/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yeah, and you are trespassing too, get back to Europe where your ancestors came from.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:28 18/10/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Hideyoshi Kinoshita would beg to differ

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:06 16/10/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Don't forget the person also has to be born in Japan and of "pure" Japanese blood...

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:35 17/10/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Nothing says love like bullying a halfbreed til it kills itself, the Japanese way.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:20 16/10/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    I completely forgotten about the Zainichis and Burakumin. My bad....

    Comment by Dark Mage
    01:17 17/10/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yes everyone must sue them for great justice.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:28 16/10/2012 # ! Good (+0.6)

    Nobody's going to give a fuck, in the end. This is japan, you fall in line or you just fall out.

    No, you better not try and exercise your human right to the self-expression of free will. If people disagree with you then you're obviously a menace to society, so you might as well just resolve to be nothing more than the lowest of the low despite the skills that no one wants to admit to you having.

    Because having some ink under your skin for whatever personal reason TOTALLY makes you subhuman. You know, even if you're more qualified to do a job than the person next to you. Because I have some ink in various places means I can't hold a conversation, form reports or help someone realize a profit for their company.


    Comment by Anonymous
    02:01 17/10/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Great way to judge another culture using your own as the absolute base.

    Avatar of R団カビゴン
    Comment by R団カビゴン
    08:16 17/10/2012 # ! Neutral (-0.2)

    Ever occur to you that 'murrica land of the free ain't necessarily the end all be all perfect society? There are benefits to conformist society (as there are to individualist society), even if the trade-off is too uncomfortable for your freedom-lovin' self to deal with.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:30 17/10/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Say what you want about 'murrica', but it still has a legal system fair enough to grant an Old Lady Nobody victory in a lawsuit against McDonalds over hot coffee.

    That kind of shit will never pull off in Japan even if it was a legitimate lawsuit over food poisoning, simply because the typical Japs bend over for anyone higher than themselves in their social caste.

    If a case as sensational as the Shiga suicide case happened in the US, you can bet your ass that plenty of support groups will come forward and whoever responsible will kill themselves if the law doesn't lock their asses away with Bubba first. In Japan? Everyone saw it in broad daylight and the perps are still walking around free over a year later.

    Comment by Anonymous

    Did I say it was perfect? There is no "perfect" way of life, but goddamn it's just outright wrong to (wrongly) criminalize people for doing something that will never determine how well they can use a learned skill.

    Don't put words in the mouths of others, please.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:27 17/10/2012 # ! Good (+0.6)

    So in the land of cowards there is one person willing to stand against the chimp in charge eh? That's surprising.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:22 17/10/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    When people from the same country and origins start hating and discriminating each other, no matter the reason, its the beginning of the end...

    Comment by Anonymous

    Wow you must not been to many countries or know different cultures.

    EVERY country on earth have people hating their own people. That's what humans are, bunch of hating douche bags. If it's not hating on "A", people will keep replacements to hate on.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:35 17/10/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    About fucking time. I was starting to wonder if all Japanese citizens lacked the guts to stand up for their rights when their government is screwing them openly.

    I hope that employee makes many children which by carrying their genes will eventually spread out to lead Japan to a new era of freedom!

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:36 17/10/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.4)


    A Japanese citizen with BALLS?

    What is this deviltry? Did hell just froze over?

    Is this...............progress?

    Comment by Dark Mage
    04:44 18/10/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yah Cirno froze hell over.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:51 16/10/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    The cultural discrepancy here is kind of confusing from my western perspective, but whatever. If Japanese society heralds conformity and only the criminal element and/or foreign military presence seems to support something like tattoos, then I guess that's just another reason for me to be happy I don't live there.

    Avatar of Erranty
    Comment by Erranty
    20:30 16/10/2012 # ! Good (+0.3)

    I hope he wins and the ones that got sacked for tattoos sue for wrongful termination and invasion of privacy.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:35 16/10/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Obviously you don't live in Japan.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:17 16/10/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Irony being if a right to privacy is written into the constitution then the local government is fucked regardless of opinion.

    Which I find hilarious.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:28 17/10/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    You do realize that just about every country out there also has "don't torture and kill your people" in their constitution, and what exactly are 100+ governments of this world doing daily?

    No one cares about constitutions. Not in the west (and no, NOT in the great US of A either), and much less elsewhere.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:05 17/10/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    It doesn't matter if the US of A cares about their constitution or not, or whether Japan's national government does or not. This is a case of a single city/prefecture/.../whatever deciding to violate what amounts to a national legal charter - cities in the US of A have tried doing things that violate the US Constitution in almost the same manner as this, been sued for it, and lost quite forcefully, despite the CIA/FBI/NSA/DOHS not needing to pay any attention to said document at all. Public fronts like city and state governments are held to a much tighter standard over things like that than the federal government and it's assorted semi-clandestine organizations, because then the federals can make an example of them, and say "See? We came down on them hard for violating your rights, because we care about you! (Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!)"

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:56 16/10/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Do you think that the same government that started it is going to judge itself and declare guilty? I don't think so.

    Avatar of Erranty
    Comment by Erranty
    20:31 17/10/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    It wasn't a government, it was the Mayor. And things like this can go higher in the courts easily.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:22 16/10/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    what?! Japanese people standing up for themselves???? NTR IS DOOMED. DOOOOOOOMED!!

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:48 17/10/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Fuck the government! What's next man? Haircut restrictions? curfew? If assholes like Hashimoto get their way it'll be a short step to thought-police and breeding schedules.

    Avatar of Dan Hibiki
    Comment by Dan Hibiki
    02:57 17/10/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I clicked on this story for the butt.

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