Through the art of tattooing we strive to provide services that give foreign visitors in Japan a chance to experience some of the different aspects of Japanese culture, especially the craftsmen’s culture.
The social classification concept of the Four Occupations, which was especially strong during the Edo Period, with Scholars on top — as people who studied in order to occupy positions of rank, followed by the Farmers, whose work provided food for the whole society, Artisans and Craftsmen, who produced items essential to everyone’s daily life and whose knowledge was often handed down orally making it extremely valuable, and finally Merchants on the very last step of the aforementioned social ladder, due to being nothing else than those who profited from someone else’s work, had a particularly big influence on what we see as traditional Japan and was key to the success of so many Japanese brands known for their exceptional quality.
Nowadays, rather than the concept of Four Occupations, it’s omotenashi — hospitality, the domain of merchants traditionally the lowest in rank of the occupations, that is seen as the representative feature of the culture of Japan. There are many ways in which visitors from abroad can experience omotenashi. In comparison, how many services are there giving foreign visitors a proper insight into the remaining three — the worlds of Scholars, Farmers, Artisans and Craftsmen?
We typically see Artisans and Craftsmen in occupations of the “production culture” — architecture, various crafts, commercial and fine art. The practitioners of it have created what is known as Japanese craftsmanship.
Craftsmen have one clear mission — to create good things, even if it requires certain sacrifices — be it time spent with the family or having to work in unpleasant conditions. It is what we refer to as the “artisan spirit”.
The road taken up by merchants — hospitality and the conviction that “the customer is God” contradicts with what artisans believe in. From a craftsmen’s point of view, they and their customers are equal and any potential collaboration must be based on mutual respect and communication. In order to receive what they really want, the customer needs to express their request with courtesy and in a respectful manner. This way the customer can be sure that the craftsman will do their best to meet the customer’s needs —no matter what it takes. On the other hand, if that respect is lacking — no matter the amount of money the customer is willing to offer, they will still not be able to get what they ordered, as the craftsman might simply refuse to offer their skills and time.
In older times, items used commonly in every household, like a kitchen knife, tatami, and futon had to be ordered directly from a person, who could make them — although it is no longer like that, that respect for craftsmen’s labour and skills remains and is an integral part of modern Japanese culture. At the same time, pushed by commercialism and the ubiquity of the concept that “the Customer is God”, modern craftsmen often have no choice but to comply with it. However, it is nothing else than a contradiction to the equal and respectful ‘service provider — customer’ relationship.
Here, at Japan Tattoo, we strive to create an environment in which foreign visitors can get to know and experience the original culture of Japanese craftsmanship. Our artists have the real “artisan spirit”, and to ensure the best possible communication between our craftsmen and our customers, we offer professional assistance provided by our translator. They will kindly explain the nuances of the craftsman — customer relationship and serve as a bridge between them, to enable them to work in mutual respect and understanding of each other’s needs in order to create something new.
Here at Japan Tattoo we offer the most unique experience of, quite literally, feeling the culture of Japanese craftsmanship on one’s own skin.
Why do the Japanese value wa — peaceful unity, conformity and social harmony above all?
Why do the Japanese value politeness in social interactions?
Why do the Japanese feel the importance of respecting each other?
…It all becomes clear the moment one experiences it themselves.
Above all, when seeing the beautiful outcome of our craftsmen’s work, one can instantly remember and be taken back to the time they were in Japan.
And all of our staff members are here to make sure that this particular experience is truly unforgettable and second to none.