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Thread: JET 2014 and Tattoos

  1. #1

    Default JET 2014 and Tattoos

    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.

  2. #2
    chill yo coop52's Avatar
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    Default Re: JET 2014 and Tattoos

    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.

  3. #3
    Lost in a Strange Land lilyanphino's Avatar
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    Default Re: JET 2014 and Tattoos

    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.

  4. #4

    Default Re: JET 2014 and Tattoos

    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?
    Last edited by ckhushrenada; October 5th, 2013 at 11:00.

  5. #5

    Default Re: JET 2014 and Tattoos

    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.
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    Feckless Manchild Otaku word's Avatar
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    Default Re: JET 2014 and Tattoos

    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.
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    Senior Member zombiekelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: JET 2014 and Tattoos

    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).
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    Sociopathic Scroogemcduck MJN's Avatar
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    Default Re: JET 2014 and Tattoos

    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.
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  9. #9

    Default Re: JET 2014 and Tattoos

    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.

  10. #10
    Feckless Manchild Otaku word's Avatar
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    Default Re: JET 2014 and Tattoos

    Quote Originally Posted by MJN View Post
    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by Page View Post
    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).
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    It's festivals days like these on which I really try really hard to make up for not partying in college.
    yeah, because who needs free flowing drugs and alcohol fueling adventorous sex with taut, lithe young bodies when you could wander around a dying town in the freezing cold with a can of asahi super dry in your hand while some toothless old farmer shouts at you.

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    Default Re: JET 2014 and Tattoos

    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.

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    chill yo coop52's Avatar
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    Default Re: JET 2014 and Tattoos

    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."

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    Default Re: JET 2014 and Tattoos

    Quote Originally Posted by coop52 View Post
    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.

  14. #14

    Default Re: JET 2014 and Tattoos

    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.
    Last edited by Page; October 7th, 2013 at 10:11.
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  15. #15

    Default Re: JET 2014 and Tattoos

    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.

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    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Default Re: JET 2014 and Tattoos

    Quote Originally Posted by Page View Post
    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.
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    Default Re: JET 2014 and Tattoos

    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.

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    Default Re: JET 2014 and Tattoos

    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.

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    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Default Re: JET 2014 and Tattoos

    You should be able to buy clear studs at any piercing shop. If you're Canadian, go to CLAIRS, they'll have a few.
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  20. #20

    Default Re: JET 2014 and Tattoos

    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.

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