So Kelly and I were watching the news a few days ago, when this news story aired. A woman from New Zealand was refused service at a public bathhouse (Onsen) in Sapporo in northern Japan because of her Maori facial tattoo. (link)
Back home in the states tattoos have a deep meaning and many people get them. Once a symbol of gang affiliation and toughness now seen as body art and many people get them. Most Japanese connect any tattoos with the tolerated organized crime syndicate known as the Yakuza.
Yakuza tattoos are beautiful but strike fear in the hearts of many. Many employers will not hire anyone with even the smallest tattoos. Most onsens (public bathhouses) will turn away anyone who has a tattoo.
in the context of the upcoming Olympic Games in 2020 in Tokyo in 7 years; Should the Japanese just adapt to a world that has embraced Tattoos or should the world adapt to Japan? In the author's opinion the bathhouse is a private facility. In the USA private business can refuse service to anyone at anytime for any reason. If someone give a store owner a weird look they can turn them away, without legal repercussions. I don't have the legal right to visit a business in Japan or in USA. This is what real discrimination is and isn't necessarily a bad thing. A bartender discriminate a patron who has too much to drink an refuse service. There are onsens that allow tattoos and this woman didn't seek one out or directed to one. I say big deal so you can go to onsen, I will never (outside of a janitorial job) see the inside of a woman's bathroom. What do you think?