Not only Yakuza members have prominent tattoos and don't always want to show them. Tattoo Disguise Bands from Japan's Octopus Army stretch to fit any size arms and legs, covering up and hiding real tattoos under a range of tattoo-like printed designs.
Tattoos are still frowned upon in Japan due to their historical association with aboriginal people, criminals and more recently the Yakuza. Society may have lightened up a little but tattoos – prominent or not – can still keep those so inked out of public baths, hot spring resorts and water parks.
The usual fix is to apply bandages to cover the tattoo or tattoos but put yourself in the position of the public bath, hot spring resort or water park owner/manager: do you really want someone with an open wound, injury or skin affliction soaking in the same water as your other paying guests? No, you don't, and neither do your soon-to-be-not-paying guests.
Despair not, body art aficionados, Octopus Army has come to the rescue! The edgy Japanese clothing retailer offers the inked an alternative to messy, sticky band-aids in the form of pre-printed, tattoo-like fabric bands that can be applied to arms, legs, possibly even necks if so required. Sure they're labeled as "Elbow Supporters" but c'mon... you, me and the Yakuza know what the real deal is.
The stretchy bands come in a variety of background colors and designs, and are available in long or short styles. Aside from nudist resorts, they should do the trick of keeping tattoos out of sight and off the minds of others. They're also ideal for outdoor warm-weather activities that preclude or discourage the wearing of long sleeve tops or long pants.
Octopus Army has their headquarters in Tokyo but operates about a dozen franchises scattered across the country. Foreigners interested in these innovative tattoo disguise bands can order online from the Octopus Army virtual store at Rakuten. (images via Only In Japan and Wikimedia)
EDITOR'S NOTE: For those in the U.S., Amazon has an extensive collection of good looking tattoo sleeves and body art arm stockings. Most of them get great reviews so they are worthy of a look.