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Japanese Yakusa 2008/3/29 14:12
I went to a public bath and saw some men with colorful tatoos. Were they yakuza?
by Joah  

Chance 2008/3/29 20:17
Theres a chance, was it full body or just a few tattoos? just because A Japanese person has a tattoo doesn't mean their Yakuza.
by Aaron rate this post as useful

Full bodied 2008/3/29 20:43
I guess it was full bodies. As I remember, it was one big tattoo cut off at the sleeves and looked pretty cool. There were a couple of them that came in. One had colors and another didn't.
by Joah rate this post as useful

... 2008/3/30 11:29
It's possible... but there's many young Japanese getting these tattoos that have no ties to the yakuza. They simply enjoy tattoos and the history behind them, and thusly, have decided to get them. Just like anywhere else really...
by Nika rate this post as useful

shokunin 2008/3/30 19:15
Traditional craftsmen also tend to have yakuza-type tattoos. You never know.
by Uco rate this post as useful

Behavior? 2008/3/30 22:42
What is the appropriate behavior when tattoo men enter the bath. I look down and never look directly at them. They don't seem to bother anyone, but I don't feel like practicing my Japanese with them.
by Joah rate this post as useful

that's appropriate behavior 2008/3/31 09:58
Joah, although tattooed people won't bother you unless you bother them, what you mentioned sounds like an appropriate behavior for anyone who don't want to get involved with someone, no matter who that someone is.

Also, because there are a lot of people who feel like you, most public bath, pools, gyms and saunas in Japan have a sign forbidding enterance of people with tattoos. When you spot anyone you're uncomfortable with, you are free to ask the staff to see what they can do about it. The staff won't go around telling it was you who asked.

But again, they're usually harmless and therefore I personally see no reason they should be forbidden.
by Uco rate this post as useful

Yakuza 2008/3/31 19:54
I have no experience with Yakuza...however in North America I worked for a while in a place where the clients were men who had been to jail many times. Pretty much all of them had lots of tattoos and looked very scary. These though guys treated me--I am a man-- with a politeness I didn't expect at all. I never got any racists or nasty slurs from them (but, like many immigrants I got some from "upstanding' people). I had a privileged and safe life in Europe,yet, because relatives were working in hospitals and for the police, my siblings and I learned at a young age about the seamy side of life and how to protect ourselves from "bad " people.
Saying hello to a heavily tattoed man in a bath may not be so bad. let's face it, yakuza are family men too and for sure don't want to make trouble in a public place. When my uncle, the police detective, went to a famous restaurant in town he would exchange jokes with well dressed men and their wives and kids. These men were gangsters he had arrested but they bore him no grudges.
by Sensei 2 rate this post as useful

Saying hello... 2008/3/31 20:41
sounds like it might work in the USA, but in Japan, people don't just day hello to be friendly. They rarely smile at others (many official documents require you NOT to smile). I would love to make friends with one of the guys, yet it doubt it will ever happen.
by John rate this post as useful

Agree with saying hello 2008/3/31 23:30
I agree with Sensei 2.

As I mentioned previously, if you don't want to get involved with them, fine. But quite often (and I would even say "always" according to my personal experiences) saying hello makes things work.

I've seen a TV program of a small neighborhood in Japan that was suffering from burglarly. What the people did was, they started saying "konnichiwa" to every person they see on the street. Now, it is very unusual to say hi to a stranger in Japanese cities. It happens a lot in the countryside, but not in the cities. Well, the result was that burglarly reduced to the point that there were none any more.

I think people do bad things when they are suspicous of the other party. For this reason, whenever my son was having trouble at his kindergarten or school in Japan, I would just go to the school and simply say "Hi, I'm his mom." with a smile to the kid causing trouble. That's all I do, and just like the problem fades away somehow. Surprisingly it still works now that he's 16.

Japanese people nowadays are often scared of going up to someone and telling that person to stop whatever bad thing that person is doing, because often we hear news about people being attacked back, even to death. I've never had trouble going up to a person. If you shout at them, I'm pretty sure there could be blood. But if you smile, be polite (keigo is a must), and be specific about what you want them to do and why (such as, "Please turn the radio off, or move elsewhere, because it is annoying the neighbors.") they will smile and do as they are told.

In Japan, children are told that greetings are the most basic manners you should learn. I agree in the sense that it can reduce a lot of suspicion, therefore reducing a lot of violence. Pitty that a lot of people stop greeting once they grow up.

Just my 2 yen.
by Uco rate this post as useful

correction 2008/3/31 23:34
Sorry, I made a typo.

just like the problem fades

just like that the problem fades
by Uco rate this post as useful

Not so friendly guys 2008/4/1 00:00
These guys don't have that friendly ''How's it going? I'm fine, how are you?'' face. They're pretty tough looking. Their face reads ''What you looking at me for?'' No friendly greetings from me.
by Joah rate this post as useful

to John's comment 2008/4/4 01:32
about Japanese people being cold... I think it's only the Tokyo people that are that way. If you make a trip to Kansai the atmosphere is much more friendly and warm compared to Tokyo.
by Miyuki rate this post as useful

being friendly 2008/4/4 17:03
I wasn't talking about people in general, I was talking about men with yakuza looking tattoos on them. This was in the Kansai area, Nishinomiya to be specific.
by John rate this post as useful

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