Your tattoos mean nothing in Japan…nothing…get out!

I can’t believe the attitude of these people…scribble all over their face then get upset when in another country they get given the arse card.

A Maori woman has reportedly been refused entry to a public bath in Japan because of her ta moko facial tattoo.

Japanese news source the Mainichi reported that the 60-year-old Maori language lecturer had been in the town of Biratori for a conference on indigenous languages.

3 News reported that they understood the woman was Erana Brewerton, daughter of the late Dame Katerina Mataira.

Mainichi reported that the woman was in a group of 10 people who were refused entry to the baths because of her ta moko.

When one member of the group claimed the decision was discriminatory, staff reportedly said the facility prohibited entry to anyone with tattoos to put customers at ease. 

What about Japanese culture and bathhouse etiquette, where tattoos aren’t accepted…except on gangsters and violent criminals?

Some public baths have signs refusing entry for people with tattoos. However, one may be allowed in if the tattoos are not too obvious. If one ventures to a public bathing place that is publicly owned, this should not present a problem as they have a duty to let all tax-paying citizens in. The original reason behind the ban was to keep out the yakuza (officially called the “violence groups” by the police).

Just because you scribble on your face and think it has meaning in New Zealand doesn’t mean anything overseas, especially in Japan where tattoos ahve a very negative meaning.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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