I love tattoos!!! Even though I grew up with my mom telling me that they were bad and that I should never get one, I still think they’re really cool. I even respected her opinions. I didn’t get my first tattoo until well after she passed away.

And then, when I showed it to my dad and explained the meaning of it, to my utter surprise he got tears in his eyes. So it’s been family approved.

Richard also has a tattoo. He got his back when he was 21 years old. It’s not visible most of the time because it’s on his back up near his shoulder, but it’s the insignia of his favorite American football team. Not super crazy about, but he’s a fan for life so I respect that he got something he’ll always like. Shoot, he supports me with my love of all things drama-related even though he’s not a fan himself, so I support whatever he likes.

First and foremost, if you want to get a tattoo in Korea, do your research. Like I said in the video, tattooing was illegal in Korea for a very long time. And there might still exist a law that doctors are the only ones that can still pierce skin with a needle by law, although I’m not sure about that. But because it’s a newer thing in Korea, it pays to do your research and know that you’re gonna get a quality product. Never go for the cheap tattoo!!!

We both have heard horror stories about people who have gotten tattoos and things did not go as planned. I’ve also read about people who have gotten tattoos in Korea from non-legal, or non-legitimate shops that used bad ink or the environment wasn’t sterile. But there are some great shops out there, one of which I hopefully plan to get a tattoo one day in the not too distant future. It’s Tattoo Korea. They have one of the best artists in all of Asia and they do seriously beautiful work.

So if you’re coming to Korea and want a tattoo, I would recommend them.

The important thing to remember about the perspective of Korean people on tattoos is that it’s changing. It’s almost like there is a growing chasm between the older generation and the younger generation in Korea regarding most social and behavior aspects of life. And, this is just another area where the older generation is quite different from the younger generation. Even last week when I was working with some Korean students on a group project, I noticed that one of the members was a girl who had tattoos on both forearms. They were high enough that she could wear three quarter length sleeves and hide them. But they weren’t small tattoos. I see this more and more as time goes by. To me, it’s a good thing that freedom of self-expression with your body is becoming more acceptable.

If you have a question, ANYTHING about Korea we’d love to try and answer it for you, at least from our own perspective. Drop us a note below, or in the YouTube comments of this video, or on our Facebook page. Maybe we’ll answer it in one of our next videos! ☺

  • Alyce Crosbie

    I wonder if/how Koreans would react to facial hair? My partner and I will be in Seoul this September and he has a pretty epic beard! It seems like most Korean men are clean cut (going by dramas and kpop).