Japanese attitudes to tattoos are in the news this week, with the 2020 Olympics set to be held in Toyko. Rappler.com has been examining how body ink has traditionally been viewed as a taboo subject in the far east, starting with the branding of criminals in the 17th century and in more contemporary times the Yakuza mobsters pledging their loyalty with full body “irezumi” tattoos. As tattoo-adorned interviewee Mana Izumi explains though, “I don’t feel I have to explain myself to anyone.” Good on her.
Bustle has been checking out the nine weirdest places people get tattoos. Areas on the head are unsurprisingly at the front of the queue, with the whites of the eyes, eyelids, and inside of the ear making up the top three in that order. And yes, you guessed it: genitals is on the list. “Body art placed here usually ties into symbols that relate to your most private self,” says Lisa Baretta, author of Conscious Ink: The Hidden Meaning of Tattoos.
Real Madrid’s latest wonderkid, Brazilian teenager Vinicius, has been talking tattoos on As.com. The image-conscious 18-year-old was discussing how he’s followed in the footsteps of fellow South-American idols Robinho and Neymar in playing for Spain’s most illustrious club Real Madrid. Among other things, he said that he has always been a fan of tattoos but that his dad wouldn’t let him get one until he was 18. Since he became a man he’s been getting inkworks of each major sporting achievement, and is targeting the Champions League as his next body masterpiece – but only if he scores.
Staying on the football theme, Roy Keane has never been afraid to air his views about all and sundry. Right now, he’s got tattoos on his mind, and not in a good way. “Don’t hide behind your tattoos, cars or girlfriends” reads the headline on the Irish Independent. Keane, as ever, has been criticising his old team Manchester United. Well, right now he might have a point, after they slumped to a 3-1 loss against Liverpool, a team Keane prided himself on finishing above in the table year after year in the nineties and noughties. He’s been criticising the characters in the United dressing room and questioned whether the players are dedicated, seemingly indicating that other parts of their lives – such as cars, tattoos and girlfriends, it seems – are more important to them. Of course, for Keane, football always comes first.
From football players with their heads in the stars, to real life astronauts who’ve been among them. It’s been revealed on the Discover blog that most Appollo astronauts had tattoos, which is surprising when you think of the clean-imaged likes of Apollo 12 commander Pete Conrad, the focus of most of the article. Being a navy man, Conrad has what looks like an anchor on his left forearm. What a heart-warmingly classic tattoo that is, the old anchor. Popeye himself would be proud.
Oh, and there’s also a picture of a monkey at a dinner table which is totally distracting, for those with short attention spans.