Japan’s tattoo taboo could fade as Tokyo Games welcome inked athletes

Tattoos have long been considered taboo in Japan, where body art is most often linked to criminal gangs. People with tattoos are banned from spas, some beaches and many gyms and pools around the country. But the appearance of inked foreign athletes at the 2019 Rugby World Cup forced some in Japan to rethink their aversion to tattoos. Now tattoo fans hope doors will be opened further when Japan hosts the pandemic-delayed Tokyo Olympics in 2021, when players and fans with body art will be among the influx of visitors to the country.


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