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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.

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