• Tokyo


All this tattoo discrimination nonsense is driving me crazy. Why is this being allowed to happen? Discrimination at hot springs was bad enough, but now it’s in public offices (Osaka), my public gym and concert halls. A former employee of Nakano Zero Hall told me that they got a letter from the police last year saying that people with tattoos should not be allowed in, so they instituted a policy to that effect. I assume all concert halls are following suit.

It’s not OK if you just cover up. Because there is nothing wrong with tattoos. My daughter has a big one on her leg. So, if she buys an expensive concert ticket and wears a short dress, they won’t let her in the hall? And she can’t go to my gym?

Yakuza are not the only people with tattoos. Lots of people, especially young people, have tattoos. If you want to keep out yakuza, you can’t do it by banning tattoos. (Yet, if a yakuza covers up his tattoos, that’s OK. Where’s the logic in that?) And suppose a yakuza quits and renounces his past life. He should be praised and hired, but instead he’ll continue to be discriminated against.

I don’t like the argument that “Some people don’t like tattoos.” What if some people don’t like men with toupees? Or fat people? Or foreigners? You see where discrimination takes you?

Joseph Jaworski (May 27 letter, “A roughshod run over contracts“) says the problem is that Osaka is changing the rules of the game and suggests a solution: Keep employees who have tattoos, but don’t hire new people with tattoos.

That is not the solution! The solution is to stop this ridiculous, illegal discrimination. It’s time for people with tattoos to stand up and start complaining — in fact, to start suing hot springs, gyms and halls. They should also be screaming that they are not marking themselves as criminals — they are creating art or at least fashion.

I complained, loudly, to my gym. I told them that I don’t have a tattoo but that I like tattoos. If you see one of these stupid signs, please do the same. This nonsense has got to stop!

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

bob poulson

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