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Kansai Scene Magazine


Nice Ink!

The art of tattooing goes back thousands of years and has been cultivated by many cultures worldwide for a whole host of different purposes; marking criminals and outcasts; showing spiritual devotion; highlighting rites of passage; expressing wealth, beauty, and fertility; the list goes on.

The symbolism and impact of tattoos varies between places and cultures, but surely no culture has a more strained relationship with the concept of tattooing than the Japanese. A longstanding taboo in Japan, tattooing has been associated with the yakuza and the criminal underworld. Yet the undeniable beauty of traditional Japanese tattoo art is admired globally. The Japanese word irezumi means “insertion of ink” and can refer to tattoos using tebori, the traditional Japanese hand method (as featured on page 8), or a Western method with a tattoo gun. Wabori means “traditional Japanese tattoo” and another word used for traditional Japanese tattoo designs is horimono.

The word “tatu” or yobori is used by Japanese to mean non-Japanese styles of tattooing, and these days, “fashion tattoos” are becoming more of a thing in Japan (see page 6). So, whether you want to book an appointment with a tattoo artist here, or simply pay a compliment, KS has you covered with the phrases below.

Your tattoo is very beautiful / cool. あなたの タトゥーは とても きれい / かっこいい。 Anata no tatu wa totemo kirei / kakkoi.
I like the design and colors used in your tattoo. その タトゥーの デザイン と いろ が きにいりました。 Sono tatu no dezain to iro ga kiniirimashita.
Where did you get your tattoo done? どこで その タトゥー を いれましたか? Doko de sono tatu o iremashitaka?
Did getting your tattoo hurt? タトゥー を いれるの は いたい ですか? Tatu o ireru no wa itai desuka?
How long did it take to finish your tattoo? タトゥーを いれるの に どのぐらい かかりましたか? Tatu o ireru no ni dono gurai kakarimashitaka?
How much did it cost? いれるの に いくら かかりましたか? Ireru no ni ikura kakarimashitaka?
When did you get your first tattoo? はじめて タトゥーを いれたの は いつですか? Hajimete tatu o ireta no wa itsudesuka?
Can you go into onsens? おんせんに はいれますか? Onsen ni hairemasuka?
Tattoos in Japan have a negative stereotype. にほんで タトゥーは わるい イメージ が あります。 Nihon de tatu wa warui imeeji ga arimasu.
What is your opinion about tattoos? タトゥーに ついて どう おもいますか? Tatu ni tsuite dou omoimasuka?
How much does your tattoo artist charge? あなたの ほりしは いくら かかりますか? Anata no horishi wa ikura kakarimasuka?
Can I make an appointment to get a tattoo? タトゥーを いれる よやくが できますか? Tatu o ireru yoyaku ga dekimasuka?
How long have you been tattooing? どの ぐらい ほりしを していますか? Dono gurai horishi o shiteimasuka?
Where is the most painful spot on your body to get a tattoo? タトゥーを いれるのに いちばん いたい ぶぶん は どこ ですか? Tatu o irerunoni ichiban itai bubun wa doko desuka?
I’d like to get a tattoo of a (design) on my (part of body). (part of body)に(design)の タトゥーを いれたい です。 (part of body) ni (design) no tatu o iretai desu.
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