Throughout history, the act of permanently marking on the skin with ink, also known as tattooing, has been recognized as a significant social subject within the culture of many different places and era. It has been both negatively and positively viewed by all cultures around the world depending on the time and place, and currently, it is seen by many people as fashion – a way to adorn one self and to express your individualism. In Korea, too, tattoo was first introduced negatively as something forbidden and socially unacceptable, but as more and more people (especially fashion leaders) are seen wearing it, the way it is being viewed is slowly but definitely changing. Many younger generation Koreans are seen with tattoo lately, even if it’s a temporary one, and certain tattoos, such as permanently lining the eyebrows and coloring the lips (cosmetic tattoos), are very commonly seen as acceptable and fashionable. Brief World History of Tattoo
The word ‘tattoo’ comes from the Tahitian word ‘tattau,’ which means ‘to mark,’ and it was first brought to Europe by explorers and sailors who had come back from travelling Polynesia and America. It was considered very exotic, and during the 18th and 19th centuries, it was common to see tattooed Indians and Polynesians being exhibited at circuses and fairs. But overall, because of strong influence from the Church, tattooing was considered as an act of branding the body, and therefore was considered an act of sin. But still, the practiced continued as many sailors and explorers continued to mark their bodies with tattoos. Brief Korean history of tattoo
When the practice of tattoo first reached Korea, it was not well accepted by Korean culture. Instead, people had negative impressions toward them. In fact, during the Chosen Dynasty, criminals and slaves had visible signs like tattoos on their body to show that they were outcasts. This was mainly because of the...