In case you weren’t familiar with the Japanese mafia, the Yakuza are a transnational organised crime syndicate. For many years body art and tattoos (or, Irezumi) were associated with the Yakuza for which reason there is still much stigma attached to them till present day. In any case, the link between the yakuza and tattoos are not completely gone, and although it is never flaunted the tattoos that yakuza gangsters wear are like a badge of honour and status within the organization.

Tattoos in Japan were always meant to be a symbol of one’s status in society. Sometimes among the noble, and other times to brand slaves or criminals.

Tattoos in Japan