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Symbolism of Yakuza Tattoos

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Anna O

on 5 December 2012

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Transcript of Symbolism of Yakuza Tattoos

Symbolism of Yakuza Tattoos By: Anna Okiebisu Overview Subculture: Japanese Yakuza

Methodology: Historical research

Perspective #1: Merton's version of functionalism

Perspective #2: Goffman's use of symbolic interactionism Irezumi the history of Japanese Tattoos Yayoi Period
spiritual and status symbol
Kofun Period
marked criminals as punishment
(Ainu People)
decendents of Jomon-jin of the Jomon Period
decorative and social purposes
Edo Period
emergence of decorative tattoos
transition from "marks" to "imagery"
development of woodblock printing
Chinese novel "Suikoden"
Meiji Period
Japanese government banned tattoos
tattoos were legalized during the Western Occupation after WWII "to put ink into the skin"
"decorating the body"
emphasizes the permanence and color of Nara ink Horimono "carving"
"engraving" The full-body tattoos
of the yakuza are
referred to as horimono. images from "Suikoden" Tebori "Te" meaning "hand"
"Bori" meaning "to carve, sculpt or inscribe"
Traditional Japanese tattooing method
can take an average of five years of weekly visits to complete
in the ten-thousands price range
Test of endurance
Completion of a full-body tattoo gives the yakuza member a sense of pride and belonging functions? Manifest Function Latent Function mark of criminality an outcast of society symbol of affiliation reflection of aspirations literal image
symbolic meaning Symbolic Interactionism? Can tattoos be a part of a person's identity? why do the yakuza keep their tattoos hidden? which perspective is better? The Merton-Goffman Combo function of yakuza tattoos and their meaning how the yakuza is perceived by society and how the yakuza interact with society + = understanding yakuza tattoo culture
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