According to the Sankei News, tattoo artist Taiki Masuda (30), was acquitted by the High Court of Osaka on Nov. 14 for practicing his art without a medical license. Japan has always required a tattoo artist to have a medical degree in order to practice tattooing. This was also used as a way to prevent tattoos in Japan. Most tattoos have been associated with the Japanese mafia known as the Yakuza.
Presiding judge Masaki Nishida explained in his ruling that “The act of tattooing does not constitute a medical procedure. Therefore, it is not appropriate to prohibit the practice according to the Medical Practitioners’ Law.” The High Court ruling effectively overturned an earlier ruling made by the Lower Court charging Masuda with violating said law and asking him to pay a fine of ¥150,000. Although admitting tattoos can “potentially cause various kinds of damage as the result of injecting ink into the skin,” Nishida asserted that “a certain level of safety can be maintained even if the procedure is not administered by a doctor.”
At the moment there is at least 3,000 tattoo artist working in Japan. This ruling is good news to those working in the industry. Ever since 2001, Japan has legally classified tattooing as a medical procedure.
As someone who has tattoos and loves Japan, I think this is cool and I hope this will change a few things for me as a foreigner whenever I travel there. What do you think about this ruling?