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ckhushrenada
October 5th, 2013, 04:02
For a couple of years now, I've been keeping track of the Programme's application process and forms in my country, while working hard at completing my undergrad degree.

This year, when I'm finally ready to apply, the self assessment medical form has changed to include a question on whether or not you have tattoos and to give specifics about its size and location.

"Candidates who have tattoos and/or body piercings, please describe the details of the location and the size in this section as well. Please have your doctor complete the Statement of Physician, except tattoos and body piercing."

In the past, this was not present on the form.

Has having a tattoo become a big problem? Will potential applicants be shunned if they have one?

Can anyone provide more specific information on why the form was changed to include this specific question?

I'm not sure what to think at this point.

Looking forward to some responses.

coop52
October 5th, 2013, 06:54
I think some BOEs are kind of iffy about tattoos, but you definitely can still be accepted on JET. A number of ALTs in my prefecture have them (some are pretty big too!) and it isn't a problem as long as they're covered for school. Though, I think some people have even gotten away with showing them at school anyway. I makes for an interesting conversation piece.

lilyanphino
October 5th, 2013, 07:30
I know some people who had visible tattoos normally, and they simply wore tape to cover them up while at school. I doubt it will make a negative impact on your application.

ckhushrenada
October 5th, 2013, 10:59
I've heard Osaka has a BOE that's iffy. Can u highlight any others where this could be a problem so that I can choose locations accordingly? Thank you.



Also, what kind of "tape" have others used?

uthinkimlost?
October 5th, 2013, 11:23
You can't really choose any location. It will be chosen for you. Also, tolerance of tattoos will vary by school, not just by city.

word
October 5th, 2013, 12:54
I've known lots of ALTs with tats. It's never been an issue with any of those that I've known personally. There was a girl near me who had an arseload of tats, some quite visible, including one on the side of her neck that could not be concealed. Never had a problem. Stayed for a year; her school enjoyed having her, as far as I know. Another girl had a gigantic tat on her side, extending from her hip to her side-boob area. Never had an issue. I've got one in a not-so-easily concealable place, but I keep it covered almost all the time, despite the annoyance.

I used to use these big band-aids to cover it. After a couple of weeks of wearing the bandaid in the same place over and over again, though, I got a rash. I don't recommend going that route.

Like uthink said, it's gonna vary wildly just depending on an individual school or BoE. A high-up BoE official with a thing about tats might cause problems, or a principal who doesn't care for 'em. No way to know.

I suspect the new requirement is not to keep people out, but to ensure that they don't accidentally send a yak-tatted hipster weaboo into Osaka. Don't stress too much about it.

zombiekelly
October 5th, 2013, 14:37
FYI, if you want to try Interac as a back-up route, they're actually getting pickier about tattoos than they have been. I don't remember it being on my app but the recruiter did ask (piercings, too).

MJN
October 5th, 2013, 20:51
Don't ask, don't tell. I know ALTs that have tatoos - some pretty huge ones - who didn't mention it, the BOE doesn't know about it and neither do schools.

Page
October 5th, 2013, 22:30
If it's a place where people may see it, write it. If it'll never see the light of day, fck 'em. In that case it's none of their business, IMO.

word
October 5th, 2013, 23:01
Don't ask, don't tell. I know ALTs that have tatoos - some pretty huge ones - who didn't mention it, the BOE doesn't know about it and neither do schools.


If it's a place where people may see it, write it. If it'll never see the light of day, fck 'em. In that case it's none of their business, IMO.

word

I couldn't have gotten away with it, nor could neck-tat girl, but side-boob-tat girl could; I think nobody knew about it until one of her teachers went into an onsen with her (and apparently thought it was badass).

Libellule
October 6th, 2013, 06:03
On a related note how serious are piercings? Obviously I'm going to take them out, but I have my nose pierced and I think it will be obvious even if I take it out. I also have my tragus pierced but that won't be noticeable once I take it out.

coop52
October 6th, 2013, 07:02
I know some people put clear studs in their visible non-ear piercings. It doesn't seem to be as big a deal as tattoos. I've only been told "don't wear dangly earrings."

AVN
October 7th, 2013, 08:29
I know some people put clear studs in their visible non-ear piercings. It doesn't seem to be as big a deal as tattoos. I've only been told "don't wear dangly earrings."
This has been my experience as well. I have a friend with a nose piercing and she just wears clear stud and no one has a problem. Also, obviously, don't go pointing it out and talking about it with kids.

Page
October 7th, 2013, 08:52
Take out your piercings for the interview (or put in something clear if you can't leave it open), I doubt they'll notice, even if you feel it's obvious.

As for once you start, that largely depends on the school and your P/VP. If you want to wear your piercings you should wear them from day one (as in the moment you meet your BOE and at all your first meetings at school), it's the sudden change from nothing to piercings that will catch them off guard more than anything. I came with a nose piercing and dangly earrings and never had trouble (at my ES or JHS), my current VP actually said he'd rather me wear them because I "didn't come here to blend in and be Japanese" but I imagine he's a rarity in administration. If it's important to you to wear them then try it--worst they can say is to cut that sht out. Otherwise stock up on clear studs! I took out my nose piercing after a couple years but the ES kids loved asking me to me pull the stud out.

Jiggit
October 7th, 2013, 08:57
Unfortunately this is still one of those areas where Japanese people can be at their most illogically conservative and closed-minded. They might not care at all or they might consider it to be the most dreadful thing you could possibly do. A lot of ALTs do have tattoos so it wouldn't seem to hurt your chances too much but then again I don't know if they concealed that on their interviews. I don't know many with particularly visible tattoos however.

Gizmotech
October 7th, 2013, 09:13
Take out your piercings (or put in something clear for the interview if you can't leave it open), I doubt they'll notice even if you feel it's obvious.

As for once you start, that largely depends on the school and your P/VP. If you want to wear your piercings you should wear them from day one (as in the moment you meet your BOE and at all your first meetings at school), it's the sudden change from nothing to piercings that will catch them off guard more than anything. I came with a nose piercing and dangly earrings and never had trouble (at my ES or JHS), my current VP actually said he'd rather me wear them because I "didn't come here to blend in and be Japanese" but I imagine he's a rarity in administration. If it's important to you to wear them then try it--worst they can say is to cut that sht out. Otherwise stock up on clear studs! I took out my nose after a couple years but the ES kids loved asking me to me pull out the nose piercing.

I totally agree with Page on this. I think any "good" VP/P will support it, rather than fight against it for the exact reason above. That being said, excessive piercings could cause some problems. IE if your face has more in common with a magnet run over paper clips than human flesh, well you're probably shit out of luck. If it's just a couple of small piercings, I wouldn't worry about it that much.

AVN
October 8th, 2013, 08:33
Also, I don't think this is unique to Japan. I imagine piercings might cause some concerns at Canadian schools, as Gizmo said, depending on the number, size, and visibility. Japan is a bit stricter, but remember they're also stricter with their students. One of the reasons I was given for not wearing jewelry (necklaces etc) was that the students aren't allowed, so the teachers aren't either.

Libellule
October 8th, 2013, 13:02
Thanks again everyone, great info. Now where can I find clear studs? (I really feel like I'm counting my chickens before they hatch...)

I've never had a problem with it in Canadian schools and I've taught/volunteered in a few. If you had a whole bunch it might be a problem, but even then it depends on the school.

Gizmotech
October 8th, 2013, 13:38
You should be able to buy clear studs at any piercing shop. If you're Canadian, go to CLAIRS, they'll have a few.

songbanana
October 8th, 2013, 16:44
Also, I don't think this is unique to Japan. I imagine piercings might cause some concerns at Canadian schools, as Gizmo said, depending on the number, size, and visibility.

This!! Many Western parents would be very surprised to see an elementary school teacher with large, visible tattoos. I think the reason they ask for location/size is that it's a lot easier for your CO to let slide a tattoo on your upper arm that won't be found out until you run into a student at the beach, or an extra ear piercing. But if you have a big tattoo that goes all down your leg, or you have gauges in your ears, it's going to be more difficult for the BOE to explain that to kids' parents.

Ultimately tattoos and piercings are about finding the balance between expressing yourself and abiding by a uniform. Just as you can't wear certain clothes or show certain parts of your body, it looks more professional to have fewer/less visible tattoos and piercings. And while no one can really force you to cover up or take them out, if that is a battle you pick, you will have to live with the consequences, regardless of how you think Japanese society should feel about it.