Is Speaking Japanese Necessary for Your Tattoo Consultation?

Japanese is not widely spoken outside of Japan. This can create difficulties if the tattoo artist and customer don’t share the same native tongue and they need to discuss the desired creative vision. Japanese tattoo artists can further compound this issue because they often use terms and vernacular that are unfamiliar to the Japanese population at large.  And you don`t pick up Japanese in a day.

Preparedness is the best way to avoid any problems due to a potential language barrier. Gather the information needed for your consultation beforehand.  Communication will be much more straightforward this way and there will be less chance for difficulties to arise.  You don’t need to know the words ‘indecision’ and ‘unsure’ to make your artist understand as much.

That’s why is can be great to get help with the consultation process.

Getting Help with the Japanese Consultation

The attitude towards Japanese tattoos – irezumi – has gradually changed for the better.   Although it is not yet something that makes for casual conversation. The average Japanese person may struggle or eschew trying to help a foreigner understand what needs to be explained when it comes to tattoos.  Speaking Japanese is a little more difficult when the topic is an uncomfortable one.

The consultation process at Tattoo Experiences makes it unnecessary to explain your artistic inclinations in Japanese.  But you may want to know a few terms before meeting your artist. This is because the may at some point during your tattoo ask a few questions.  They could ask if you  prefer tebori or electric machine for a specific color or location? Or if they can change part of the design based on the part of your body. There are a few terms you may want to know before showing up.

A black and white photo of a man lying on a table being tattooed. His eyes are closed in concentration.

A little help with the language can make your tattoo experience much more enjoyable.

Communicating for Consultations

We are more than happy to act as intermediaries or interpreters when it comes to translating any conversation or questions for the artist. Our language abilities are always.  We speak with Japanese tattoo artists, have been tattooed by them, and have been been immersed in the midst of Japanese tattoo culture.  It helps us best convey any secondary cultural context or meaning that needs to be translated.

We take on the bulk of the language necessities between you and the artist.  But we still recommend making the effort to develop some basic Japanese sentences. Speaking Japanese, just a few words even, and making an effort to communicate with your artist will go a long way in developing a positive relationship between you two.

Do your best to know a bit about Japanese tattooing, the familiar motifs and some of the artistic influences like the Suikoden and ukiyo-e. It’ll make discussing your piece much easier.