Ayaka Kizu, a web designer in Tokyo, stood by her office desk one recent day, peeling Band-Aids off an apple-size portion of her right arm. A meeting with clients had ended, so she was now free to reveal what lay underneath: a tattoo of a multicolored unicorn.

Kizu, 28, is one of a growing number of young people who are bucking Japan’s long-standing taboos against tattoos, which remain identified with organized crime even as the Japanese mob has faded and body art has become widely popular in the West.

Inspired by Japanese influencers and foreign celebrities, Kizu decided at 19 to get a tattoo of a crescent moon on her right thigh, an homage to her favorite manga series, Sugar Sugar Rune. She has since gotten five more.