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tattoos, acceptable?
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GirlFromMars



Joined: 15 May 2003
Location: Corea do Sul

PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2003 5:43 pm    Post subject: tattoos, acceptable? Reply with quote

are tattoos socially acceptable for teachers?

I have a small tattoo on my right upper arm.

do i need to cover it up?

and...

will it cause offence because it is in Japanese writing (the symbol for "woman")?

i'm not taking the piss out of asian culture by having it, it's really nice (small) and classy. thanks.
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Horangi Munshin



Joined: 06 Apr 2003
Location: Busan

PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2003 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't had any problems because of my tattoo. I have a tiger on a mountain and the chinese character for tiger. It's not really small but not huge either.

In my first job here I was worried because we had swimming trips with the students. The students at all the schools I've taught at have known and/or seen it. I never got in trouble. Mine isn't visible everyday though. I had a workmate with one on his upper arm. Some teachers told him to cover it up.
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kylehawkins2000



Joined: 08 Apr 2003

PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2003 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tattoos are not nearly as accepted here as in western society. You will likely recieve some comments about it. People in the larger cities, particularly Seoul will be more receptive. In one institute the director asked that I keep the tattoo on my forarm covered up for a few days until he had a chance to explain to the children that tattoos were commen in western society. It should be mentioned that the tatoo is of a rose vine that circles my arm. It is quite visible. Rose tattoos are a symbol used by the Korean mafia.
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bap



Joined: 10 Apr 2003

PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2003 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i don't know if this is because my director has never dealt with foreigners before but i haven't had any problems with my tattoos or piercings (although i take my labret out for work).
most of the kids have seen some of my tattoos and they're amazed. they like it. and they really like funky piercings.
so i say don't worry about it. if the kids like it and don't complain then your good.
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GirlFromMars



Joined: 15 May 2003
Location: Corea do Sul

PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2003 4:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

oh nice. i'm thinking of having another one done but not in an obvious place and its really interesting to hear what tattoos people have.

Question

so, what other tattoos do people on this site have (and where)? and tell us the story behind it...
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ItalianPrincess



Joined: 22 May 2003
Location: Hey...why is there a big raccoon staring at me????

PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2003 4:24 am    Post subject: :) Reply with quote

As long as its not horrible most places seem to be ok with it unless your at a very conservative school.

My tatoo showed on a few ocassions (its a daisy on my upper left breast) through a shirt I had on...and all I got told was that the kids were asking their parents what kind of cancer I had....because tatoos were given to people who had cancer at one time in Korean history...and the kids just assumed I had cancer cuz I had a tatoo.
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Gord



Joined: 25 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2003 4:50 am    Post subject: Re: :) Reply with quote

ItalianPrincess wrote:
My tatoo showed on a few ocassions (its a daisy on my upper left breast) through a shirt I had on...


Pics?
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koreatattoo



Joined: 29 May 2003
Location: South Korea

PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2003 6:01 am    Post subject: A tattooist Reply with quote

I am a tattooist in this country.
Information for thought.

1) It is quite visible. Rose tattoos are a symbol used by the Korean mafia.

The rose and vine tattoo is not a symbol for the Korean mobster. A "gun-dal" take advantage of the Japanese culture . Flowers to elaborate back pieces is what the bosses want for the lower brothers in their organizations. (These people expect a full back piece in two sittings AND get it!)

2) Tattooing is prohibited in South Korea. The best place to find an artist is through yahoo.com . They will have Korean web sites with Japanese and some Western pictures. (The cyber police will view our web sites regularly, and any new work, they will evaluate the cost, and when caught, will use this as evidence against the artist.)

3) My first year in Korea, I worked as a teacher.Being heavy tattooed I did almost lose my first job. The average Korean, views tattoos very negative. If the children think it is cute, do not believe that he parents will be so accepting.

4) My business sells tattoo equipment to a lot of the tattoo artist in this country. I'm known and know many artist in Korea.I would never be tattooed by any of my associates for fear of being passed some dangerous virus or pathogen. The standards are very different.

5) Lastly, because it is banned, tattooist will work on the "mafia person". It is very dodgy. These people are treacherous and will cause a lot trouble to all . If it isn't the police who want you, it will be some low level scum bag wanting 95% of his work done for free. Even after an agreement in price . Saying "No" will get you 8 scum bag friends wanting your equipment and holding you down as the first scum bag is hitting you and taking all your money.



I hope this information can offer you a deeper understanding on tattoos.

Koreatattoo
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desultude



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Location: Dangling my toes in the Persian Gulf

PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2003 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for the information, Koreatattoo.

I have a tattoo on my left wrist. It is pretty big, but I have found very wide bracelets that cover it. I am not convinced at all that it would be okay at the university where I teach. The few people who know about it here are very curious and not critical- to my face. But I think that behind my back they are pretty wierded out- especially because I am an older woman- certainly the antithesis of the mafioso.

My advice is to be circumspect about tattoos. My friends here have all seen it, and I don't cover it all of the time when I am not at work, but it is personal, and I have no interest in explaining myself all of the time, or in making other people uncomfortable.
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Squaffy



Joined: 25 Feb 2003
Location: All over the place

PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2003 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

desultude wrote:
but it is personal


I'm not criticising you here OK - I have a tattoo on my right forearm and my boss asked me to keep it out of sight from day one. I didn't ask why, just did as was asked (Buddha sitting in front of the 8 spoked wheel).

Also - during a sweaty afternoon, wearing a white shirt that decided to cling to me as I was sweating so much, my back piece showed through and two female students (adults) walked out of the class, the translation of what they said was - he's a mafia / bad person - cultural differences - it's actually a piece of Stonehenge and some little wizard type men and some badgers and other woodland creatures. Not mafia. Beware. Haven't analysed the reaction too much as I'm not hanging around (problems back in the UK).
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desultude



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Location: Dangling my toes in the Persian Gulf

PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2003 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm- Squaffy, I don't understand your comment about not critizing me. It sounds like we are doing the same vis-a-vis our tattoos.

What I meant by "it is personal" is that I have my tattoos for personal reasons, and don't wish to make a point by exposing them and offending people or creating wierd curiosity. People that are cool with them know I have them, know why, and that is not an issue.
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Squaffy



Joined: 25 Feb 2003
Location: All over the place

PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2003 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The no offence thing was: keep them covered up, for your own sake to avoid the disgust others see. Don't upset other peeps - as tattoos seem do. Culture? Respect it or leave it. Smile
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rapier



Joined: 16 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2003 1:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a nice, detailed tattoo on my right upper arm. I've had plenty of compliments about it from other nationalities except Koreans- but I'm resigned to the fact they have cultural and historical aversions to it. keeping it covered up is a necessity to create a good impression. Its abit of a shame as i've got another 2 or 3 i want done. But students walking out the class at the sight of it, as with the former poster, is just ridiculous..
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sickboy



Joined: 26 Jan 2003
Location: Miari Texas

PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2003 2:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have four. I have arm bands on both arms, one around my ankle, and some chinese writing on my back. Funny that the kids found the back one first on one of their prodding and pulling sessions. I tell the students it is art. Fortunately, their grade 2 teacher also had tatoos so they know its not completely uncommon. Also, my students all spend a large part of the year abroad, so are more open to other things. As far as I know, none of the mothers are aware of it yet, and I hope none are. Quite frankly, I couldnt care less about some Koreans stupid paranoia about something thats different. Maybe thats why I like to flaunt it.
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Nabi



Joined: 01 Apr 2003
Location: Seoul, Sth. Korea

PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2003 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a tattoo of a butterfly on my bottom. I wanted to get it on my hip where it was visible (in swimwear) but the bikie tattooist (scary looking fella but very nice) was concerned that I may one day regret getting it as I was 17 at the time. Since it can only be seen when I'm naked I wondered about the kind of reactions I would get at the mokyoktang. No-one ever mentioned it or reacted to it. Not even my boyfriend's Mum when we went there together.
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