Dreaming of Japan....

Old Mar 23rd, 2006, 05:58 PM
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Dreaming of Japan....

Being a multiracial Californian, I usually shock many of my Chinese and Japanese and Korean and Vietnamese friends by my knowledge fo their cultures.

I consider myself a lover of all cultures and love reading and learning about all the different cultures of our world.

I would just sooooo love to travel to Japan. I worry about the language problems, however.

Can a person get by in Japan with limited Japanese?

And, does anyone have a suggestion on a good tattoo artist in Japan?
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Old Mar 23rd, 2006, 06:16 PM
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Yes, Japan is definitely doable with limited Japanese. I got by with none at all! LOL
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Old Mar 23rd, 2006, 06:37 PM
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I appreciate that you are proud of your cultural knowledge. One thing you would be wise to do, if you have not done so already, is to read up on the current culture surrounding tattoos in Japan. In Japan now (as opposed to Edo period, when tattoos had a more positive meaning) tattoos are generally frowned upon as they are considered symbols of yakuza, the equivalent of criminality, Japanese mafia or gang members. You can not get into many (most?) onsen with tatoos. I am not passing any judgement here, that is just the culture of tattoos there now. I have read many posts on about this from people who live in Japan, and this seems to be validated by their postings. I have no first-hand knowledge, as I have no tattoos (although I have thought about getting a little one...)
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Old Mar 23rd, 2006, 06:41 PM
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I do not have any tattoos at the moment. I was just contemplating getting a tattoo done in Japan.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2006, 06:43 PM
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emd is right on about tattoos. While Japanese style tattoos are very popular in the US and are beautiful, too. My younger brother has many Japanese style tattoos but had them all done in the US. There are places to have them done, but any place of true artistry is very exclusive, accessible by introduction only, and expensive as well.

You just don't see many tattoos in Japan outside of the fringe groups, and even there... If you have a tattoo, you will not be allowed in public baths, onsens or swimming pools...though sometimes the rule is overlooked if you are clearly a "foreigner" and the tattoo is small and inconspicuous.

Temporary tattoos are very popular among both children and adults, however.
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Old Mar 25th, 2006, 10:24 PM
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emd, my son is here now, visiting from Japan and you are exactly right.
Tattoos in Japan are not viewed in the same way as elsewhere, at all.
My son has lived in Japan for 5 years now, he still has a hard time, sometimes , getting along with his Japanese and it is not what you would call "limited"..
And it really helps to be able to read Japanese, since the signage is not in English.
Better do more homework if you want to "shock your friends with your knowledge of Japanese culture"
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