Places, Images, Times & Transformations

Japan, Ink: Global Flows of 'Deviant' Body Modification

John Skutlin discusses the stigma surrounding tattooing and other forms of body modification in Japan, despite its rich history of tattooing and the globalization of body modification culture. Where did this stigmatization originate? In this 60 minute video lecture, John Skutlin examines the ways in which systems of “body power” – cultural, social, and institutional frameworks of control over the body – in Japan are both reinforced and challenged by global flows of “deviant decorative body modification,” such as tattooing, piercing, and cosmetic surgery.



John M. Skutlin is an alumnus of The University of Pittsburgh's East Asian Languages & Literatures Department and a current PhD candidate in the Dept. of Japanese Studies at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Having previously researched and written about goth subculture in Japan, his ongoing research project focuses on global flows of body modification in Japan from a cultural anthropological perspective.