Japanese Mayor Wouldn't Hire Johnny Depp

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Japanese Mayor Wouldn't Hire Johnny Depp

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Mayor of Osaka, Toru Hashimoto, posits he wouldn't hire Johnny Depp or Lady Gaga as civil servants due to their tattoos.

In case you're not a follower of Japanese politics: Toru Hashimoto, decidedly far-right mayor of Japan's third largest city, doesn't care for tattoos. He especially doesn't care for them if they happen to be on city employees. On his order, Osaka civil servants, with the single exception of those employed by the education board which refused to comply on civil rights grounds, were forced to fill out a questionnaire and state whether or not they had any tattoos on their arms, legs, or other visible-to-the-public parts. Unable to sack the some 110 workers who admitted having been inked, Hashimoto is instead trying to force them to have their tattoos removed. If that doesn't work, he's stated he intends to ship them off to jobs where they'll have no contact with the public.

When asked what he thought about popular foreign stars such as Johnny Depp and Lady Gaga having tattoos, Hashimoto responded that he wouldn't want them on his workforce.

"If Gaga or Depp wanted to work for Osaka, I'd refuse them. Maybe singers and actors can have them," he said, "but it's unforgivable for a civil servant to have one. Although there's no way Gaga would accept Osaka."

Though neither celebrity has announced plans to move to Japan and enter the highly lucrative street sweeping business, both are undoubtedly very disappointed by Hashimoto's preemptive dismissal.

Hashimoto, a former TV personality who claims he stopped dying his hair brown upon being elected because it would be improper, began his campaign against body art after an incident in which an employee at a child-care facility was caught showing his tattoos to a child. There's a longstanding taboo against tattoos in Japan, as many consider them a sign of criminality.

Source: Yomirui via MSNBC

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Good thing I have no business/political plans for Japan. The Zapdos tattoo I want to get would apparently label me as an undesirable.

I guess there goes my dream of teaching english in Japan ... :'(

We are growing more lenient, and this guys off his rocker--

but if you have a... decorated... face, or 'sleeves,' don't be surprised when you aren't made the face of a large company.

This is very likely due to tattoos being heavily linked with the Yakuza.

Smiles:
I guess there goes my dream of teaching english in Japan ... :'(

Isn't this if you want to work in politics there? Also, it's in Osaka, so doesn't include places such as Tokyo, so you'd be fine.

However, I'm aware that teaching English in Japan is not such a dream job. A lot of people are shocked to find the job isn't even 1% as glamorous as stereotypes make it out to be.

That's a bit extreme, to say the least.

Right-Wingers of all nations seem to pretty damned awful.

It doesn't need to be said how ridiculous this is:

"So you graduated from a celebrated university with a Masters degree and GPA of 6, you volunteer at the hospital and still find time other activities?....Well then I don't see why we wouldn't allow someone like to work her- Oh you have a tattoo on your thigh? Sorry we can't give you the job."

I'm going to Japan in a couple months, I should put on some paint tattoos for giggles.

Although there's no way Gaga would accept Osaka.

This guy is just asking to be hated at this point. I hope she responds to this with hilarity.

Isn't this the same asshole who's trying to ban various forums of hentai and anime, but makes exceptions for written/live-action works that depict the same thing?

Tanis:
Isn't this the same asshole who's trying to ban various forums of hentai and anime, but makes exceptions for written/live-action works that depict the same thing?

You're thinking of Ishihara who, quite ironically, used to write softcore porn novels. Though Hasimoto has called for censorship of certain extreme genres of manga, and he has said that he thinks there should be limits on creative freedom and that Japan "needs a dictatorship."

This reminds me of an old Japanese documentary I saw years ago. To get around the taboo of tattoos, the kids were using white out/liquid paper correction pens to draw patterns and such all over their faces and arms.

Lovely Mixture:
Right-Wingers of all nations seem to pretty damned awful.

It doesn't need to be said how ridiculous this is:

"So you graduated from a celebrated university with a Masters degree and GPA of 6, you volunteer at the hospital and still find time other activities?....Well then I don't see why we wouldn't allow someone like to work her- Oh you have a tattoo on your thigh? Sorry we can't give you the job."

I'm going to Japan in a couple months, I should put on some paint tattoos for giggles.

No, you shouldn't.

Thing is, tattoos are extremely popular with the Yakuza. Gang members adorn their bodies with them and show them off to such a degree that tattoos in Japan are associated with the clans, so this is probably where this man's disdain comes from.

You're often not allowed to have visible tattoos in bathhouses and public pools for this reason. I think this man is speaking out of disdain for the Yakuza without actually saying that, rather than just being a doddery old man.

Honestly after Alice in Wonderland I don't think In could hire Johnny Depp either.

Well, I love my arm tatoo...but I hate Depp and Gaga both, so whatever.

Haha. I can imagine how Peter Moore's Halo 2 and, especially, GTA IV tattoos were received in Japan.

Terramax:
This is very likely due to tattoos being heavily linked with the Yakuza.

Sansha:

Lovely Mixture:
Right-Wingers of all nations seem to pretty damned awful.

It doesn't need to be said how ridiculous this is:

"So you graduated from a celebrated university with a Masters degree and GPA of 6, you volunteer at the hospital and still find time other activities?....Well then I don't see why we wouldn't allow someone like to work her- Oh you have a tattoo on your thigh? Sorry we can't give you the job."

I'm going to Japan in a couple months, I should put on some paint tattoos for giggles.

No, you shouldn't.

Thing is, tattoos are extremely popular with the Yakuza. Gang members adorn their bodies with them and show them off to such a degree that tattoos in Japan are associated with the clans, so this is probably where this man's disdain comes from.

You're often not allowed to have visible tattoos in bathhouses and public pools for this reason. I think this man is speaking out of disdain for the Yakuza without actually saying that, rather than just being a doddery old man.

This is very much likely the case, as not only are tattoos heavily linked and popularwith the Yakuza, they actually are used TO identify as Yakuza. I have... friends... who tell me stories, rather horrifying ones, to be honest. Yakuza use tattoos in a variety of ways. Not only are they usually a symbol of being in a clan, but Yakuza often have it in with tattoo shops and use them as both recruitment grounds and extortion grounds.

For example, a young Japanese boy goes to a tattoo shop and gets a tattoo that he thinks looks rather cool. Sooner or later, he'll have Yakuza members on his tail because it turns out he's wearing one of their "symbols" and they'll press-gang him into joining or do worse. It works the same for tourists, if they do what the young Japanese boy did, except they'll be press-ganged into giving their money and possessions they have on them, if they have any worth.

So, you see, tattoos have a taboo in Japan for a very good reason...

If there is a long standing taboo against tattoos in Japan, why would people aiming for a career in public service get them? I am definitely not saying they should get the sack, but they should not be surprised the big boss is unhappy with them...

Smiles:
I guess there goes my dream of teaching english in Japan ... :'(

Only if your tattoo is uncovered. You won't be able to go to a hot spring, though.

Was going to write about the link between tattoos and the Yakuza, but it's already been done very cogently by others above...

AngelOfBlueRoses:
This is very much likely the case, as not only are tattoos heavily linked and popularwith the Yakuza, they actually are used TO identify as Yakuza. I have... friends... who tell me stories, rather horrifying ones, to be honest. Yakuza use tattoos in a variety of ways. Not only are they usually a symbol of being in a clan, but Yakuza often have it in with tattoo shops and use them as both recruitment grounds and extortion grounds.

For example, a young Japanese boy goes to a tattoo shop and gets a tattoo that he thinks looks rather cool. Sooner or later, he'll have Yakuza members on his tail because it turns out he's wearing one of their "symbols" and they'll press-gang him into joining or do worse. It works the same for tourists, if they do what the young Japanese boy did, except they'll be press-ganged into giving their money and possessions they have on them, if they have any worth.

So, you see, tattoos have a taboo in Japan for a very good reason...

That explains the tattoo parlour in Shenmue.

rollerfox88:
If there is a long standing taboo against tattoos in Japan, why would people aiming for a career in public service get them? I am definitely not saying they should get the sack, but they should not be surprised the big boss is unhappy with them...

For the same reason kids anywhere do the things they do that make no sense.

-Alcohol
-To be dark and edgy
-To throw it in Mum and Dad's faces
-Because they thought it "would be like, totally cool" at the time
-Alcohol

Grey Carter:
In case you're not a follower of Japanese politics: Toru Hashimoto, decidedly far-right mayor of Japan's third largest city, doesn't care for tattoos.

It wasn't until I read this article that I realised that I am a follower of Japanese Politics. Indeed, in some respects I know more about Japanese Politics than I do about Irish Politics.

This might be a problem.

WTF? Why would anyone ask whether the mayor of Osaka would hire American celebrities to work for him? That makes zero sense.

Grey Carter:

Tanis:
Isn't this the same asshole who's trying to ban various forums of hentai and anime, but makes exceptions for written/live-action works that depict the same thing?

You're thinking of Ishihara who, quite ironically, used to write softcore porn novels. Though Hasimoto has called for censorship of certain extreme genres of manga, and he has said that he thinks there should be limits on creative freedom and that Japan "needs a dictatorship."

As soon as lolicon comes into it, I lose all my sympathy. I'm not going to fight any law that wants to see that crap flushed out from the world. Yeah, yeah, censorship is horrible. Call me when they want to censor something that isn't a child porn surrogate.

Grey Day for Elcia:

Grey Carter:

Tanis:
Isn't this the same asshole who's trying to ban various forums of hentai and anime, but makes exceptions for written/live-action works that depict the same thing?

You're thinking of Ishihara who, quite ironically, used to write softcore porn novels. Though Hasimoto has called for censorship of certain extreme genres of manga, and he has said that he thinks there should be limits on creative freedom and that Japan "needs a dictatorship."

As soon as lolicon comes into it, I lose all my sympathy. I'm not going to fight any law that wants to see that crap flushed out from the world. Yeah, yeah, censorship is horrible. Call me when they want to censor something that isn't a child porn surrogate.

No, if censorship is bad, then censorship is bad. You can't make exceptions to absolute morals.

OhJohnNo:

Grey Day for Elcia:

Grey Carter:

You're thinking of Ishihara who, quite ironically, used to write softcore porn novels. Though Hasimoto has called for censorship of certain extreme genres of manga, and he has said that he thinks there should be limits on creative freedom and that Japan "needs a dictatorship."

As soon as lolicon comes into it, I lose all my sympathy. I'm not going to fight any law that wants to see that crap flushed out from the world. Yeah, yeah, censorship is horrible. Call me when they want to censor something that isn't a child porn surrogate.

No, if censorship is bad, then censorship is bad. You can't make exceptions to absolute morals.

Of course you can. Or are you saying we shouldn't censor child pornography? Or what about slander? Libel? Racism? Sexism?

We censor a lot of things.

I think this man's campaign is taking things too far, but I must admit he does have a point. I wouldn't like to see massive tattoos on staff members at a shop or restaurant and on public servants who are representing the local government, it is inappropriate and gives a bad impression.

Grey Day for Elcia:

OhJohnNo:

Grey Day for Elcia:
As soon as lolicon comes into it, I lose all my sympathy. I'm not going to fight any law that wants to see that crap flushed out from the world. Yeah, yeah, censorship is horrible. Call me when they want to censor something that isn't a child porn surrogate.

No, if censorship is bad, then censorship is bad. You can't make exceptions to absolute morals.

Of course you can. Or are you saying we shouldn't censor child pornography? Or what about slander? Libel? Racism? Sexism?

We censor a lot of things.

First off, I didn't intend to "say" all that - "all censorship is bad all the time" isn't quite what I hold to. However...

Libel, Racism and Sexism should indeed not be censored. Ever heard the phrase "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it"? Besides, that way we know to just ignore and/or mock the libeler(new word?)/racist/sexist in question.

Child pornography using real children, meanwhile, is harmful to the children in question, which is why it should be stopped. That's the moral I hold to - something should only be censored if it genuinely causes (or has high potential to cause) actual harm to somebody else. And yes, icky or no, lolicon manga passes that test (assuming it means... what I think it means). With regards to the earlier example, some random preacher saying "Gays/blacks/feminists are bad and should all die!" shouldn't be censored - but somebody saying "I ask my followers to take their guns and KILL GAYS/BLACKS/FEMINISTS!" should result in him being punished or "censored" and forbidden from doing so again, because it could result in death.

OhJohnNo:
No, if censorship is bad, then censorship is bad. You can't make exceptions to absolute morals.

OhJohnNo:
Something should only be censored if it genuinely causes (or has high potential to cause) actual harm to somebody else.

I'm glad you admit you were wrong, but you are also wrong about libel and slander. You know why we censor those things? Because they do cause harm. If you defame someone's character or lie in writing about their actions, beliefs, personality, etc., etc., you damage their ability to do things like find someone who will hire them to work, and, in certain situations, lying can cause the target a great deal of legal and finical trouble.

So, by your words, seeing as those things do cause harm, they should be censored--and they are indeed censored and against the law.

In short: we censor a lot of things. Don't knee-jerk into a reply with absolute statements and then retract them.

come on movie bob, you know you want to.
JAPAN!!!...
IS!!!...
WEEEEEEIIIIIIRD!!!

VanQQisH:

rollerfox88:
If there is a long standing taboo against tattoos in Japan, why would people aiming for a career in public service get them? I am definitely not saying they should get the sack, but they should not be surprised the big boss is unhappy with them...

For the same reason kids anywhere do the things they do that make no sense.

-Alcohol
-To be dark and edgy
-To throw it in Mum and Dad's faces
-Because they thought it "would be like, totally cool" at the time
-Alcohol

Its different over there though - rather than being a little rebellion like it is over here, a tattoo pretty much means youre in a gang. It would be like starting to walk around with a gun tucked into the back of your trousers over here...If you absolutely had to have one, surely it would make more sense to get it on your chest where you can hide it or throw it in peoples faces as needed?

Can't argue with culture I guess. I guess its in the same way that I wouldn't want a skin head working for me either. That the nazi kind of skin head of course, not people who are just bald through genetics.

While I don't totally agree with him I can kind of see where he's coming from. Some tatoos aren't horrible but I've seen some on people that just scream "Janitor For Life!". I know when I have to hire new techs/sales people at my job I could give a shit how good a resume looks if they have a shit ton of visible tatoos they get the obligatory three minute interview and told "we'll be in touch".

Sansha:

Lovely Mixture:
Right-Wingers of all nations seem to pretty damned awful.

It doesn't need to be said how ridiculous this is:

"So you graduated from a celebrated university with a Masters degree and GPA of 6, you volunteer at the hospital and still find time other activities?....Well then I don't see why we wouldn't allow someone like to work her- Oh you have a tattoo on your thigh? Sorry we can't give you the job."

I'm going to Japan in a couple months, I should put on some paint tattoos for giggles.

No, you shouldn't.

Thing is, tattoos are extremely popular with the Yakuza. Gang members adorn their bodies with them and show them off to such a degree that tattoos in Japan are associated with the clans, so this is probably where this man's disdain comes from.

You're often not allowed to have visible tattoos in bathhouses and public pools for this reason. I think this man is speaking out of disdain for the Yakuza without actually saying that, rather than just being a doddery old man.

Helen McCarthy, the editor of an anime related magazine in the UK accidentally sliced the tip of her little finger off while working on the magazine. She noted that to herself, her friends and her colleagues, it was noted on with humour about how she'd literally put her blood, sweat and tears into the magazine. In Japan though, people tended to steer clear of her because it was symbolic of being related to or affiliated with the Yakuza.

Jesus Christ, did he REALLY respond like that?
That's fucking hilarious.

If there's anything we've learned from politics, it's that the more you let the public know you hate something, the more likely you are of being very guilty of the thing you hate. I'll start the countdown until he's exposed to be a skin bleacher with a nipple rings.

I worked for a massive car dealership that took up 6 entire blocks, & I was one of the few employees who didn't have a tattoo. My 2 favorite receptionists were covered in them.

Sansha:
I think this man is speaking out of disdain for the Yakuza without actually saying that, rather than just being a doddery old man.

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