Japan Tourism Agency asks spa operators to accept tattooed foreign tourists

by

Staff Writer

The Japan Tourism Agency has asked spa operators to allow tattoo-sporting foreign tourists into their facilities in a bid to get more overseas visitors experiencing the nation’s onsen.

While there is currently no blanket ban on tattoos at hot springs, many spa operators opt to turn away people with tattoos for fear they will scare other customers.

In Japan, tattoos have often been associated with yakuza members.

The latest request — the first of its kind by the agency — urges onsen operators to give more consideration to the cultural backgrounds of tattooed non-Japanese tourists, Shogo Akamichi, a Japan Tourism Agency official in charge of tourism promotion, said Thursday.

The number of foreign tourists is increasing, and “with that change, we hope they can fully enjoy onsen in Japan,” Akamichi said. He added that the request will be “nonbinding,” meaning the decision is ultimately up to each operator.

The request does not extend to relaxing the rules for Japanese with tattoos.

Akamichi said the current no-tattoo policy at many onsen resorts had indiscriminately rejected people with tattoos, including foreign guests who wear them for fashion, religious or other reasons.

The agency asked operators to take measures such as offering stickers to cover tattoos and setting certain time frames for tattooed tourists to bathe, so as to separate them from other visitors.

The no-tattoo policy has often been a source of friction between spa facilities in Japan and foreign visitors due to differing views regarding the body art, the agency said.

In 2013, a spa facility in Hokkaido turned away a Maori woman from New Zealand with traditional facial tattooing, provoking a controversy about what tattoos mean to both Japanese and non-Japanese.

  • Ariko Honda

    Most tourists visit Japan BECAUSE of its wonderful, unique culture and traditions. To change customs that have developed over hundreds of years to placate the people who have tattoos (which incidentally, they cover up when they go for job interviews) would be sad and unnecessary.

    • 151E

      Come on, acknowledging and respecting the rights of others – i.e. not denying service based on appearance (as opposed to say disruptive behaviour) – is not that same as banning yatai or forsaking kagura dance.

      And as for your claim that foreigners cover up their tattoos when they go for job interviews, I recently noted when passing through immigration at Edinburgh (EDI) that one officer was covered in visible tattoos and had stretched ear piercings like the Maasai. That would never be allowed for a public officer here in Japan. But why not? After all, it didn’t prevent the man from doing his job.

      • monica arabesque

        Foreigners do not have a “right” to do anything they want regardless of Japanese culture.

      • Jonathan Fields

        They’re not asking to sit on the tokonoma and drink their matcha with a straw. The idea that parts of Japanese culture cannot be questioned by outsiders is another form of Orientalism and pedistalization. It’s a modern society just like the United States, or France, or whatever. Asking to bend a relatively modern rule designed to keep out members of organized crime is not a big deal. Period.

      • monica arabesque

        That is not what orientalism means, but thanks for trying to hijack it to argue for white tourists who feel like they deserve access to any service they want anywhere. Another fine illustration of entitlement.

        Denying a leisure industry service to some tourists is not a big deal. Period.

      • Jonathan Fields

        Sure it is. You think Japan is this exotic place and you defend their right to deny service to certain people, but it’s a modern society. You say it’s their “culture” and talk about “white tourists who feel like they deserve blah blah blah.” Again, it’s a modern society. Stop putting them on a pedestal.

      • pd1986

        yes they are a modern culture BUT they are a different culture — american, british, australian, canadian are all modern cultures but at the same time vastly different —
        By your ‘logical’ argument, if i go to america they should respect that in my culture (british culture) we are considered adults from 18 and so i should be able to buy alcohol at 18 in america.

        Every culture is different — just because your culture accepts tattoos, doesnt mean another one has too… japan has a zero tolerance on drugs – should they allow you to do marijuana (america allow it for medical purposes, but canada doesnt and wont allow it across the border — should they change because they are supposed to be a ‘modern’ society???)

      • J.P. Bunny

        Drugs that are illegal and alcohol purchasing ages are on the books as actual laws. Use those examples you can not. These onsens and spas advertise for the general public to patronize their places of business. These are not private clubs that accept only a select clientele. They may be privately owned, but they cater to the general public, which means that unless they are breaking some actual law, the general public shall not be discriminated against.

      • Jonathan Fields

        That’s one of the silliest analogies I’ve ever heard. The situation here is a private business trying to convince other private businesses to be more accommodating to people with tattoos. Your situation involves controlled substances and actual public laws.

      • Jonathan Fields

        That’s one of the silliest analogies I’ve ever heard. The situation here is a private business trying to convince other private businesses to be more accommodating to people with tattoos. Your situation involves controlled substances and actual public laws.

      • monica arabesque

        Haha! Wrong on both the meaning of orientalism and my background. Project harder.

      • Jonathan Fields

        So then you’re Japanese? In which case, stop acting like you’re so special. Japan is a modern country. You can’t take only the good parts of dealing with foreigners and then hide behind “culture” and “tradition” when there’s friction. We want your money, but follow all of our rules and don’t complain or gtfo. Is a bad policy for a country trying to increase their tourism income.

      • Jonathan Fields

        So then you’re Japanese? In which case, stop acting like you’re so special. Japan is a modern country. You can’t take only the good parts of dealing with foreigners and then hide behind “culture” and “tradition” when there’s friction. We want your money, but follow all of our rules and don’t complain or gtfo. Is a bad policy for a country trying to increase their tourism income.

      • Kijutsu

        God darn women(?) you are all kinds of racist… Way to generalize a huge amount of people! You talk about tradition, tradition is what people make of it to be, tattoos in Japan started as something religious then later on changed to the more negative image it has today. If the view of them changed once, why not twice?

      • monica arabesque

        I’m not even sure where you got that from. I never said it wouldn’t change. I said the people who are arguing the policy should change because it is entirely meaningless or illegal or just plain wrong are wrong.

      • Jonathan Fields

        They’re not asking to sit on the tokonoma and drink their matcha with a straw. The idea that parts of Japanese culture cannot be questioned by outsiders is another form of Orientalism and pedistalization. It’s a modern society just like the United States, or France, or whatever. Asking to bend a relatively modern rule designed to keep out members of organized crime is not a big deal. Period.

      • 151E

        No one said that foreigners have a right to do anything they want regardless of Japanese culture. But, at least ostensibly, the MOFA and the Council for Human Rights Promotion agree that foreigners do have a right to service without discrimination based on race, nationality, or appearance.

      • 151E

        No one said that foreigners have a right to do anything they want regardless of Japanese culture. But, at least ostensibly, the MOFA and the Council for Human Rights Promotion agree that foreigners do have a right to service without discrimination based on race, nationality, or appearance.

      • monica arabesque

        I don’t see any reference on the MOFA website to human rights that extends to tattoos, but feel free to post your source. The closest items there are skin colour and gender.

      • 151E

        I do concede that it all depends on one’s interpretation of certain passages within the UN International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights which Japan has ratified. “Protection against discrimination on grounds such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status,” can be construed to include tattooing, especially if religious or tribal in nature.

        However, regardless of one’s reading of the text, discrimination against all tattoos is as irrational and arbitrary as discrimination based on having dyed hair or pierced ears, and stands in direct oppositions to the spirit of omoiyari.

      • monica arabesque

        It isn’t arbitrary if it’s based on how locals who bear tattoos are generally have criminal ties. But yes, someone may end up pushing this further (filling complaints/suits?) so there’d at least be allowances for religious/tribal tattoos, if the businesses don’t change the policy themselves.

      • monica arabesque

        It isn’t arbitrary if it’s based on how locals who bear tattoos are generally have criminal ties. But yes, someone may end up pushing this further (filling complaints/suits?) so there’d at least be allowances for religious/tribal tattoos, if the businesses don’t change the policy themselves.

      • monica arabesque

        I don’t see any reference on the MOFA website to human rights that extends to tattoos, but feel free to post your source. The closest items there are skin colour and gender.

      • Kai Schmidt

        When we’re talking about discrimination based on appearance we are talking about natural appearance. Don’t pretend there is no (perfectly legal, desirable or not) discrimination based on appearance in western countries. Clothing and other stuff you wear WILL most definitely affect your outcome during job applications in most if not all European countries. If you choose to permanently attach your fashion to your body that’s your choice. It is still fashion which others might deem inappropriate for whatever personal reason they consider important enough… And It’s still not unlawful or even to be condemned on a moral level. If you disagree you are free to boycott any kind of business setting such rules.

      • 151E

        Yes, you’re quite right that employers are generally still free to discriminate based on appearance when hiring, but businesses are not as free to refuse service (which is the issue at hand) based on arbitrary characteristics. Refusal of service must be based on reasonable and justifiable grounds. Admittedly this leaves room for interpretation and debate, but I suspect you’ll see the court’s opinion continue to evolve to reflect the fact that not all tattoos are a sign of gang affiliation.

      • Kai Schmidt

        That’s true, but how can any dresscode ever in all kinds of bars and clubs pass as acceptable. I dare say there are ‘many’ restaurants where you would might be rejected based on the outfit you’re wearing. If you ask for a reason I suppose you’ll be getting something similar to this:

        “We’ve got customers here paying money to enjoy our great meals … and you sitting at the next table in an old (albeit clean) pink tracksuit with approximately 25 holes in it would be detrimental to their experience.”

      • 151E

        The question of a dress code is an interesting one as it would seem to lie at the intersection of two conflicting rights. In this case, I would tend to support a bar or restaurant’s right to enforce a dress-code, so long as it were not too onerous. After all, it is simple enough to doff one’s old moth-chewed pink tracksuit and don a freshly pressed suit and tie before stepping out for an evening repast. And some establishments reputedly even provided loaners for loutish tourists and other unsuspecting provincial patrons caught unawares. However, I don’t think the dress code analogy is a particularly apt one since, I’m sure you’ll agree, it’s not quite so simple to remove a tattoo.

      • Kai Schmidt

        Yes, tattoos cannot be removed easily, but the problem of having a seriously negative impact on the experience of other customers is the same. Many Japanese people trying to enjoy a visit to the spa will not consider it to be much different from you or me having someone in a old moth-chewed pink tracksuit sitting at the next table in a fine restaurant.

        If tattooed foreigners don’t like that they should endeavour to change the view Japanese people have towards tattoos instead of rejoicing about Japanese tourism companies catering to foreign tourists by pressing for policies that have a (at least as it stands now, considering the way tattoos are seen in Japan) negative impact for Japanese customers.

      • Firas Kraïem

        I’m not sure what “culture” has to do with “rights”. Last I checked, one was a legal notion and the other was not.

      • monica arabesque

        Pretty sure those private businesses are legally allowed to refuse service to tattooed people because that is how they operate in modern Japan. Being tattooed is not the same thing as being of, say, a certain ethnicity, age, or sexual orientation.

        It’s amazing how white tourists expect everyone else anywhere in the world to cater to them.

      • Jonathan Fields

        You do realize this is a push by a Japanese tourism agency? If Japan wants more tourism dollars, being more accommodating can only help. But logic ruins your “Japanese culture good, white people bad” thing, so I imagine you’ll continue to ignore it.

      • monica arabesque

        A minority–some private businesses catering only to foreigners–is trying to change things with what is apparently the majority–some other private businesses, as well as enough of the locals to make tattoos unwelcome. So far this is news because the former is fewer and newer, and who knows how it will turn out? To say the latter is going against human rights and automatically wrong just stinks of white privilege.

        But logic is obviously something you like to throw around more than study.

      • Jonathan Fields

        White privilege? What are you talking about? Only white people have tattoos? Only white people are trying to get the rules changed? I think you took a sociology class and didn’t quite understand all of the terms.

      • J.P. Bunny

        Private businesses that operate and cater to the general public. Denying people access because of some arbitrary rule is discrimination, whether it be a foreign tourist or a native Ainu.

      • J.P. Bunny

        Private businesses that operate and cater to the general public. Denying people access because of some arbitrary rule is discrimination, whether it be a foreign tourist or a native Ainu.

    • J.P. Bunny

      Banning people with tattoos is not an ancient custom. It was implemented to keep yakuza and their ilk out of the baths. The teen-age girl from Scotland with the rose tattoo on her shoulder, or the native New Zealander are obviously not part of the Japanese organized crime scene.

      If Japan wants people to come and experience its unique culture (and spend money), it needs to realize that culture and customs are a two way street.

      • Clickonthewhatnow

        Right, but spas can’t come out and say “no yakuza” without incurring large problems, especially if a Japanese person comes in with tattoos and is a young man. Much simpler to say no tattoos. Unless you want to man the front desk and have to say to someone “sorry, but we think you are yakuza, so kindly leave”.

      • J.P. Bunny

        No real disagreement with what you say, but wonder if the no tattoo rule really has any effect in regard to those it was actually meant for. If a big stereotypical yakuza decided to take a bath, would the front desk person really turn him away, or try and get him out of the bath? No perfect solution seems available, but a shame to punish those who are obviously not the cause of this problem.

      • J.P. Bunny

        No real disagreement with what you say, but wonder if the no tattoo rule really has any effect in regard to those it was actually meant for. If a big stereotypical yakuza decided to take a bath, would the front desk person really turn him away, or try and get him out of the bath? No perfect solution seems available, but a shame to punish those who are obviously not the cause of this problem.

      • Kijutsu

        They could, very simply, say “no tattoos, except for foreigners” They sure have no problem doing the opposite(Establishments who do not accept foreigners at all.)

      • pd1986

        the ban on tattoos stems from the yakuza BUT in general tattoos have a negative image in Japan…unlike in other cultures the idea of tattoos being artistic and carrying personal meanings hasnt really taken off here in Japan — so to expect a nation to change their views based on a few tourists is a lot to ask…

      • J.P. Bunny

        Japan is not being asked to change its view because of a few tourists. Tattoos for artistic, militaristic, religious, and status purposes have been here hundreds of years before there were ever tourists. Is it fair that the Japanese woman that was tattooed as a teenager, (along with the obvious visitor to Japan), are discriminated against because of some ink on the body?

      • sparkystiltskin

        “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason”

      • Saltydog

        Yeah posting a sign saying that doesn’t make it legal.

    • Kyle Kylie Myers

      I don’t disagree with you but it’s a lot easier to cover up tattoos going to a job interview than it is going to an Onsen until you want to get in wearing a long sleeve shirt.

    • sparkystiltskin

      君、論理的思考が苦手でしょう?
      ヤクザに外人がいるわけないだろ!

  • Ariko Honda

    Most tourists visit Japan BECAUSE of its wonderful, unique culture and traditions. To change customs that have developed over hundreds of years to placate the people who have tattoos (which incidentally, they cover up when they go for job interviews) would be sad and unnecessary.

  • M&M

    I went to a high end spa one day for relaxing myself and had some conversation with 2 tourists from abroad . They had tattoos on their bodies that weren’t sealed despite of that spa’s rule . All they talked were someone’s gossip and complaint against Japan . I felt so depressed and bad not did I see their tatoo, but their bad manner .

    • Kijutsu

      Ara, M&M no jinsei taihen sou desu ne! Gaikujin wa onsen ni iru kamoshirenai no de onsen ni ikanai hoga ii desu ne /sacarsm

      • M&M

        Thank you for your commment . Love you :)

  • Charles

    Wow, lots of net uyoku gems in this comments section. Have a nice day!

  • Yuki

    I’d be freaked out if I saw tattooed people in a spa. Japan is a really safe country, but don’t mistake that for being completely safe. There ARE organized criminal groups out there, and at the end of the day you really can’t tell aside from the tattoo.

    • Roger

      Really? If you saw a 20 year old woman with a flower tattooed on her arm you would be freaked out? I think the government is right that sensible people can distinguish between Japanese with gang-related tattoos and foreigners with decorations or religious tattoos.

    • J.P. Bunny

      A big guy with tightly permed hair, a digit or two missing, body covered in ornate Asian style tattoos, and a young girl with Hello Kitty tattooed on her arm, and the only way you can tell them apart is by the body ink? If people with drawings on their bodies freaks you out, then best never to leave your house.

      • Epstein’s Mother

        Good point, but, as an American judge once said, the law is an ąss. You need to have some kind of “non-discriminatory” rule to keep out the criminals — one that gives cover to those charged with enforcing the rule. Which means it has to be more than “I don’t like the way you look.” You could say “nobody is allowed in if they’re missing a digit,” but that would unfairly discriminate against people involved in industrial accidents, wouldn’t it, whil also letting in particularly competent yakuza. And “no tattoos, unless you’re a cute girl with something discrete” seems a bit unfair.

      • Kijutsu

        actually the rules could be very simple. They even have 2 choices! 1: Tattoos must be covered at all time or 2. No tattoos accept for foreigners. Boom, yakuzas still can`t get in and Yuki-san won`t have to go home traumatized.

  • Jonathan Fields

    Actually, most spas will let tattooed people in. You just have to tell them when you make the reservation. They may ask you to avoid peak hours, but they will likely allow you to come.

    • http://Qhub.com/ Robert Millar

      Yes, that has been my experience too.

  • Jonathan Fields

    Actually, most spas will let tattooed people in. You just have to tell them when you make the reservation. They may ask you to avoid peak hours, but they will likely allow you to come.

  • Roger

    This is a very welcome move. Hopefully spa owners will see they can distinguish between types of tattoos and enable more foreign visitors to enjoy onsen.

    • Kijutsu

      The worst part is they already have a distinction between the two types. Izezumi入れ墨 that usually means the kind yakuzas have and tattoo/タトゥー which is usually regarded as the fashion type.

  • Mikko Salenius

    This would be really nice for someone like me who has been charmed and interested in Japan for many years, but been disappointed because of this policy. I have 5 tattoos and each one of them is very important to me. They tell about me and they have helped me survive. Covering them would be very time consuming and frustrating especially since I really want to experience a lot of spas in Japan and I’m even thinking of moving permanently to Japan. Hope this will become a standard in your country :)

    – Have a nice day from Finland ^^

    • pd1986

      if your tattoos are very small then some spas will be ok – just be honest… in fact a lot of spas will allow you in IF it is quiet and you don’t have major tattoos.
      As for living here, in big cities you will be fine walking around etc — you may get some stares because of the tattoos (if they are easily visible) but you will also get stares because you are foreign.

      for work – as long as they are covered up it is ok… i know some people who have had tattoos all on their arms etc but as long as they wore long sleeve shirts they were ok.

  • AmIJustAPessimistOrWhat?

    For many years I enjoyed using sento (not natural hot springs, but heated hot water). You can stretch out, and their is a chance to meet ordinary people and talk to them. Especially talkative are the older men who have gone to the sento are their lives.
    In Tokyo I never saw a sento where tatoos were not permitted, and I have seen many people with tatoos, sometimes a half dozen obvious yakuza with full back tatoos would be there together.
    I belonged to a running club, and one new years morning several dozen of us went running, watched the sunrise, then went to an sento near Haneda airport for hatsuyuu (first bath of the year). The women in the group reported two older women with tatoos were there smoking cigarettes IN THE BATHWATER.

    Onsen are different, the customers tend to be higher class people on a holiday.

  • Eduardo Cuellar

    how about all the other businesses, bars, and restaurants in japan that don’t allow you in if youre a foreigner, regardless of whether youre tattooed or not?

    • PPSI_Love_You

      I agree with you, but this is still a move in a positive direction. Step by step.

    • http://Qhub.com/ Robert Millar

      That’s a bit of an exaggeration. In my 25 years in Japan I’ve only once been turned away from a bar because I was a foreigner (and quite drunk.) And I’ve been to literally thousands of bars and restaurants in that time.

  • pd1986

    Considering most of the users are japanese, and most of the japanese don’t like tattoos and many are offended by them — they basically have a bad image… foreigners don’t have to understand ‘why’ but just accept it (something a lot of foreigners have issues doing).

    In other countries people care less about what others think and often believe they have all this freedom to do as they please — japan is more conservative and considerate of each other and try to please the majority and not offend – yes there are those with tattoos in japan, but tattoos are not as common or popular as in other countries…

    There is so much more to japan than just onsens — plus there are onsens that do accept tattoos — but foreigners have to understand that onsens are not just a tourist attraction… onsens are often a family experience and is deeply rooted in japanese culture – the young and old bath together – onsen owners have to respect their customers and if the majority of them prefer no tattoos then they will have a no tattoo rule — after all, it wont be good for business if they allow tattoos for a small minority of people and lose the majority of their customers.

    • Kijutsu

      15 years in Japan, COUNTLESS times I’ve been to onsen(as far as Iwate where I was probably one of the only 3 or 4 gaijins in the whole prefecture lol) and I never once had problems with my tattoos. People say “just tell the front desk” I say the opposite! Keep it to yourself, relax and let people be and 99% of the time they will also let you be.

      Bad for business? Come on now, don’t be that guy. Who on earth goes back home and tell his wife “I saw a foreigner with a TATTOO at the onsen today! I’m never going to that place again!” If you go in, wash yourself, relax, get out than no one will care, as they should and I this is exactly why tattoos should be allowed.

  • pd1986

    Considering most of the users are japanese, and most of the japanese don’t like tattoos and many are offended by them — they basically have a bad image… foreigners don’t have to understand ‘why’ but just accept it (something a lot of foreigners have issues doing).

    In other countries people care less about what others think and often believe they have all this freedom to do as they please — japan is more conservative and considerate of each other and try to please the majority and not offend – yes there are those with tattoos in japan, but tattoos are not as common or popular as in other countries…

    There is so much more to japan than just onsens — plus there are onsens that do accept tattoos — but foreigners have to understand that onsens are not just a tourist attraction… onsens are often a family experience and is deeply rooted in japanese culture – the young and old bath together – onsen owners have to respect their customers and if the majority of them prefer no tattoos then they will have a no tattoo rule — after all, it wont be good for business if they allow tattoos for a small minority of people and lose the majority of their customers.

  • sparkystiltskin

    Yeah… All those gaijin yakuza.

    Japan and logical thinking are separated by a wide river and there is no ferry service

  • Kijutsu

    Dang, you sure love moving around. It happened to me “twice” actually. Once in Shinjuku when I was trying to get into a titty bar and once(3 times) while searching for a place to rent. Had to ask my boss to come with me cause they would flat our refuse to help me find a place. I’ve heard other stories but those are my experiences so far.

    • Jonathan Fields

      I’ve had several. I was refused at 4 restaurants/bars in one evening in rural Mie once. In Nagoya, an izakaya turned me away at the door. I’ve been refused by landlords on many occasions in Kyoto. The student rental fudosanyasan across from Doshisha told me they didn’t rent to students. It definitely happens. Drinking establishments seem to be the biggest one, though.

    • Jonathan Fields

      I’ve had several. I was refused at 4 restaurants/bars in one evening in rural Mie once. In Nagoya, an izakaya turned me away at the door. I’ve been refused by landlords on many occasions in Kyoto. The student rental fudosanyasan across from Doshisha told me they didn’t rent to students. It definitely happens. Drinking establishments seem to be the biggest one, though.

  • Anthony Rickardo Samuels

    I have traveled many times between Japan and South Korea, and it is for this very topic why I head to South Korea all the time for Onsen or “Jimjjillbang” because I never have this problem. I have tattoos and when I go to Seoul; I head to an onsen called “Shi Lo Am” and because I am so frequent there; they know me quite well. I am a man of colour; and that never plays a factor, secondly I have a little bit of ink; and as opposed to being afraid I have had Koreans ask me about my tattoos because it is seemingly a part of fashion for them as well. My wife is Japanese and even she finds her own country to be extremely stringent on tattoos for no reason. When I was living in Japan; I knew and had Yakuza friends and could barely tell them differently from any other Japanese person. They are friendly, well-mannered, and dress to the nines daily. What they do on their own time is none of my business, nor do I ask them, and I can speak Japanese fluently. I was invited to one of their onsens in Shinjuku and I willingly went. I was not afraid; people saw my ink in their onsen and they thought it was cool. They even asked me if I would be interested in getting “Tebori” or “Wabori” which is a traditional form of tattooing that is revered as an art form here in the West.

    I know Japanese people to be very cautious when it comes to certain characters. However, as it stands this country will continue to lose revenue from me, because if I have to make a choice on where I will go to get my Hot Spring Relaxation in, I am headed for Seoul. Seoul is very much like Toronto, and its younger populous is the main reason why this change in culture has arisen. I have went as far as Pusan in South Korea and got the same welcome as I did in Seoul when it comes to going to Hot Springs.

    If Japan wants to increase their tourism dollar, this is a mind change that is most definitely necessary. I want to see what Japan will do fix this issue.

  • Sara H

    The whole “but the yakuza….” Who cares?

    In most countries members of the mob go to the gym, the pool, hot springs, use businesses open to the public, etc. As long as a person isn’t being loud or unruly and disruptive to other customers, nobody cares.

    The only way it would be a problem is if people who are yakuza are actually being disruptive and loud and rude to other customers.

    Lots of people have tattoos in the world. Most of them are not Yakuza.

    Some teenage girl with a butterfly on her ankle is not part of the Japanese mob.

    And who cares even if someone was Yakuza? As long as they’re not being disruptive it shouldn’t matter. Japan needs to stop with the uchi-soto culture and trying to always box everybody into an “us” or “them”. Just start living together in harmony. Bathing together would go a long way.

  • Sara H

    The whole “but the yakuza….” Who cares?

    In most countries members of the mob go to the gym, the pool, hot springs, use businesses open to the public, etc. As long as a person isn’t being loud or unruly and disruptive to other customers, nobody cares.

    The only way it would be a problem is if people who are yakuza are actually being disruptive and loud and rude to other customers.

    Lots of people have tattoos in the world. Most of them are not Yakuza.

    Some teenage girl with a butterfly on her ankle is not part of the Japanese mob.

    And who cares even if someone was Yakuza? As long as they’re not being disruptive it shouldn’t matter. Japan needs to stop with the uchi-soto culture and trying to always box everybody into an “us” or “them”. Just start living together in harmony. Bathing together would go a long way.

  • Bernadette Soubirous

    You Japan bashers need to stop. The Japanese business owners can refuse who they want to. Why don’t you haters try complaining in China or Malaysia and see how far you get. Japan is the greatest Asian country. Try going to an Islamic nation and complain about the rules and see how far you get. An American owned bakery refused to bake a cake for a gay couple. Just don’t support the business.

    • neech7

      Weeaboo, bro?

    • neech7

      Weeaboo, bro?

    • neech7

      Weeaboo, bro?