All About Japan

Otaku Tattoos Gaining Traction in Japan

Art Otaku

While tattoos remain largely taboo in Japan, particularly among the older generations, a new form of tattooing that draws on Japan’s anime and otaku culture is helping change the image of ink.

The trend can be traced back to 2010, writes Nikkan Spa, when a client came to a tattoo artist based in Yokohama requesting a tattoo of Fate Testarossa, a protagonist in the anime series Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha. After it was complete, the customer posted a photo on internet bulletin board 2chan and it went viral.

In contrast with traditional tattoos, which tend to be dark, scary and intimidating from a Japanese perspective, "otattoos," as they've come to be called, are cute, colorful and non-threatening. It’s one of the reasons they’re gradually becoming more accepted, even in Japan.

Get a glimpse of some wonderful otattoo work from different tattoo artists based in Japan at Spoon & Tamago below.

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