The Government of Meiji Japan had outlawed tattoos in the 19th century, a prohibition that stood for 70 years before being repealed in 1948.[68] As of 6 June 2012, all new tattoos are forbidden for employees of the city of Osaka. Existing tattoos are required to be covered with proper clothing. The regulations were added to Osaka's ethical codes, and employees with tattoos were encouraged to have them removed. This was done because of the strong connection of tattoos with the yakuza, or Japanese organized crime, after an Osaka official in February 2012 threatened a schoolchild by showing his tattoo.
Tattoos are also placed on animals, though rarely for decorative reasons. Pets, show animals, thoroughbred horses, and livestock are sometimes tattooed with identification and other marks. Tattooing with a 'slap mark' on the shoulder or on the ear is the standard identification method in commercial pig farming. Branding is used for similar reasons and is often performed without anesthesia, but is different from tattooing as no ink or dye is inserted during the process, the mark instead being caused by permanent scarring of the skin.[24] Pet dogs and cats are sometimes tattooed with a serial number (usually in the ear, or on the inner thigh) via which their owners can be identified. However, the use of a microchip has become an increasingly popular choice and since 2016 is a legal requirement for all 8.5 million pet dogs in the UK.[25]
Serious problems can happen if you try to do a tattoo yourself, have a friend do it for you, or have it done in any unclean environment. Skin infections caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi can happen if the skin is not cleaned properly, or the ink or needles are contaminated. Sharing needles, ink, or other equipment without sterilization increases your chance of getting HIV, hepatitis B, or hepatitis C.
Tattoodo is a social network designed exclusively for tattoo lovers. Co-founded by Ami James of Miami Ink fame, Tattoodo is one of the most visited tattoo sites in the world. The site, along with accompanying mobile apps, boasts an impressive 30 million users. Having found international acclaim through his TV work, James set out to develop the complete tattoo resource where users can upload and browse ink pics, find and follow artists, view tattoo-related videos, and read interviews and guides.
Current cultural understandings of tattoos in Europe and North America have been greatly influenced by long-standing stereotypes based on deviant social groups in the 19th and 20th centuries. Particularly in North America, tattoos have been associated with stereotypes, folklore and racism.[22] Not until the 1960s and 1970s did people associate tattoos with such societal outcasts as bikers and prisoners.[76] Today, in the United States many prisoners and criminal gangs use distinctive tattoos to indicate facts about their criminal behavior, prison sentences and organizational affiliation.[77] A teardrop tattoo, for example, can be symbolic of murder, or each tear represents the death of a friend. At the same time, members of the U.S. military have an equally well-established and longstanding history of tattooing to indicate military units, battles, kills, etc., an association that remains widespread among older Americans. In Japan, tattoos are associated with yakuza criminal groups, but there are non-yakuza groups such as Fukushi Masaichi's tattoo association that sought to preserve the skins of dead Japanese who have extensive tattoos. Tattooing is also common in the British Armed Forces. Depending on vocation, tattoos are accepted in a number of professions in America. Companies across many fields are increasingly focused on diversity and inclusion.[78]
The amount of time to get a full sleeve tattoo on your arm is completely subjective. The entire process, similar to the outcome itself, is highly subjective to plenty of variables. Factors that you must think about include the speed of the artist, the design, as well as your personal healing time. The main factor involved in how long will you be sitting on that tattoo chair is the complexity of the concept. Full sleeves that feature your traditional sailor-style tattoo artwork might take as little as 10 to 15 hours. Meanwhile, a photorealistic tattoo can take at least eighty hours to complete – Possibly even more.

For three days, I can’t speak to my son. I can hardly bear to look at him. I decide this is rational. The last thing we need, I think, is an explosion of white-hot words that everyone carries around for the rest of their lives, engraved on their hearts. In any case, I’m not even sure what it is I want to say. In my mind’s eye I stand there, a bitter old woman with pursed lips wringing my black-gloved hands. He’s done the one thing that I’ve said for years, please don’t do this. It would really upset me if you did this. And now it’s happened. So there’s nothing left to say.


In amateur tattooing, such as that practiced in prisons, however, there is an elevated risk of infection. Infections that can theoretically be transmitted by the use of unsterilized tattoo equipment or contaminated ink include surface infections of the skin, fungal infections, some forms of hepatitis, herpes simplex virus, HIV, staph, tetanus, and tuberculosis.[86]

Plenty of cultures from across the globe have used tattoos as a form of expression. Certain cultures have used tattoos as a part of many rites of passage, for beauty, or artistic purposes, as a type of warrior mark, to identify a tribe or a gang, and so on. But it’s pretty much clear that when it comes to cultures from across the globe, tattoos have always stood for both belonging and marginality.


Many tattoos serve as rites of passage, marks of status and rank, symbols of religious and spiritual devotion, decorations for bravery, sexual lures and marks of fertility, pledges of love, amulets and talismans, protection, and as punishment, like the marks of outcasts, slaves and convicts. The symbolism and impact of tattoos varies in different places and cultures. Tattoos may show how a person feels about a relative (commonly mother/father or daughter/son) or about an unrelated person.[13] Today, people choose to be tattooed for artistic, cosmetic, sentimental/memorial, religious, and magical reasons, and to symbolize their belonging to or identification with particular groups, including criminal gangs (see criminal tattoos) or a particular ethnic group or law-abiding subculture. Popular verses include John 3:16, Philippians 4:13, and Psalms 23.[14]
×