Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2009

Publication Source

International Journal of Cultural Studies

Volume

12

Issue

4

Inclusive pages

319-338

Publisher

Sage Publications

ISBN/ISSN

13678779

Abstract

This article examines the popular culture of tattooing in Japan and sheds light on attempts by traditional tattooists to retain a vital presence in the modern-to-postmodern transitional periods. Explaining the values, beliefs and practices associated with tattooing during the pre-modern period, it discusses how these are shaped and modified by modern cultural practices, and how they are being impacted by globalization. While drawing on historical and cross-cultural research on tattooing in Japan, this article incorporates three tattooists’ experiences as examples of contemporary practices. By resisting the impact of globalization, traditional tattooists preserve their own practices and pass them on to the next generation.

Keywords

authenticity, cultural resistance, Japan, marginality, popular culture, subculture, tattoo, tattooing, westernization

Disciplines

Sociology

Included in

Sociology Commons

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