Which Japanese female entertainers have tattoos?

Tattoos are still a somewhat taboo subject in Japan. In short it mainly stems from it’s association to organized crime, the Yakuza. Many public gyms, pools, and baths do not permit any customer who has a tattoo. Despite that as time goes on many people, especially the younger generation, do not see them as a very big deal at all.

Naturally, tattoos on celebrities, especially women has been a popular topic among entertainment fans for many years now. Entertainment website Naver complied a list of people entertainers who took the plunge and got some permanent ink. While the list is quite low when compared to the west, it might surprise you how many top stars actually have tattoos. Check out the full list below (and click here for some optional BGM)

Namie Amuro

Namie is probably the most well known and famous example of a female Japanese entertainer with tattoos. She got her first tattoo as the top teen idol, which is just something you did not do back then. If that were to happen today it would still be a considerably large scandal. She has a tattoo on her left arm in memory of her mother, who was murdered in 1999. Under that she has “HARUTO”, the name of her son. On her right arm she has a tribal bracelet design and a barcode signifying her birthday. She also has “Love Peace World” near her right wrist.

Rie Miyazawa

One of Japan’s most prominent actresses, she has a small folded crane tattoo on her shoulder blade.

Koda Kumi

Kumi has a tattoo of  a butterfly. As pictured it was highlighted in a magazine during the release of her third studio album “feel my mind”, but she has mostly kept the tattoo hidden throughout her career. It can be spotted in some live performances due to her outfit.

Rimi Natsukawa

Rimi is an enka and folk singer. She has a bracelet shaped tattoo on her wrist and a tattoo on her right ankle.

Kudo Shizuka

Kudo has a snake tattoo on her left ankle, matching with her husband Takuya Kimura. The design was taken from Native American traditions, it’s said that the snake symbolizes eternity and when done in pairs it represents an oath that’s going to be kept forever.

Ayumi Hamasaki

Ayumi got a tattoo with former boyfriend Tomoya Nagase. After they broke up she modified it fully finishing the heart and adding a crown.

Kyoko Kano

Kyoko Kano is the eldest sister of the infamous duo Kano Sisters. She has two small tattoos on her hand, apparently there are 8 other men who all have these same hand tattoos. Probably human sacrifices.


The alternative queen has a bird tattoo on her shoulder as well as a violet flower flowing down her neck.

Noriko Sakai

Formerly troubled singer and actress Noriko Sakai had tattoos on her left finger and left ankle, they have apparently been removed around 2010 when she was recovering from her 2009 drug scandal.

Rikako Murakami

The veteran actress has a tiny tattoo behind her left ear.

Minako Hayashishita

Minako is a tv personality, she has an elaborate back tattoo adorned with flowers and a phoenix.

Mika Nakashima

Mika has two tattoos. A purple lotus flower that starts at her lower back, and text on her wrist that says “TRUST YOUR VOICE”


The tv personality turned professional wrestler has a various assortment of tattoos ranging from a tribal tattoo on her wrist, a star on the back of her neck, and a heart tattoo. She has 13 tattoos in total.

Naoko Iijima

The former Gravure model turned actress has a rose tattooed on her left arm.


BoA isn’t Japanese, but Naver decided to include her on the list anyway seeing as for her entire career she has been active in Japan. The singer has a “B” on her back with an angel peering through the hole. She also has “Chiara” on her wrist.

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  • Comments

    • Sakura Harano

      I don’t think Namie has the tattoos anymore, she had it slowly removed for a good amount of time.

      • Thomas
        • Thomas

          (or they actually photoshop them / cover them up with makeup for every concert and photoshoot but I honestly doubt that)

          • yacchaitai

            they photoshop the leftovers of the tattoos. 2015-2016 tour https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f0192dc63adb688f90e055b3440f3fecf2e9abd5ca182ceb483144d64d64b0ef.png
            it’s almost completely gone by now.

            • jui

              so it’s covered in makeup there? or did she get treatments to remove them

              i didn’t even know she had the “love peace world” tattoo is that one newer

              • yacchaitai

                she’s getting them removed

                • aisasami

                  Noooo, those tattoos had meaning too and weren’t shit.

                  • Sakura Harano

                    I believe she started removing them once she felt closure to what happened to her mother.

          • Christina Gmiterko

            It’s possible. Ayu covered her tattoos with massive amounts of makeup for years until she stopped giving an eff and now lets them all fly freely (she has more than the one in the article); tramp stamps both front and back and I want to say a couple more even.

    • Ryusei

      did nagase remove his tattoo or did he modify it like ayu?

      • bailey darbii

        i would cry every night if i was nagase and still had it.

    • K

      Amuro started removing hers in 2012 though. Hers had really significant meaning but it sucks after reclaiming her throne naysayers were using the tattoos to call her a DQN/yanki, etc.

      • micah

        it’s not just her tattoos though. pre-decline ayu had a much more ‘tacky’ tattoo and she wasn’t called a DQN (at the time). it was amuro’s partying/flings/attitude that made people call her that.

        • Skai

          Namie Amuro’s partying/flings/attitude?
          Has that been reported in the media at all ? I haven’t read about that.

    • Brett

      Why is Arama so obsessed with Kudo Shizuka? Please stop harassing her!

      • aisasami

        Because she is a goddess? I don’t see harassment in this article?

    • honey girl

      My purity queens Utada and Mai remain classy.

      • elsupertai

        Mai aka the artist formerly known as Ruppina? Omg it’s been awhile since I’ve listened to her music.

        • Skai

          I assumed honey girl was talking about Mai Kuraki….

          • elsupertai

            Lmao I completely forgot about her, obviously Mai (Kuraki) is way more relevant than the other one.

            • Skai

              Oh! LOL xD
              I got confused there. Never heard of Ruppina so I Googled her and it seems she’s sung one of the ending songs for One Piece! Nice (^-^)

    • hasawa

      Lol they are all so basic, tacky or ugly~ They represent everything i don’t really like with tattoos in the first place lol
      I like Kiko’s back ear tattoo though: cute and discrete

    • fucking arama


    • circe154

      You can tell that tattoos are still taboo because most of them are in places that are easily hidden.

      • vorpax

        Except for Namie’s. Damn son, I love that woman.

    • Namie Amuro

      I respect Namie Amuro so much. At first I became a fan for her voice (“Baby Don’t Cry” is one of the best songs ever), her beauty and charisma, but knowing what she went through, knowing she is a single mother who’s a successful artist at her age and that she is doing her best to have her own (sub-)label is just amazing. There are many little things about her that I truly love and respect, she’s beautiful.

    • Skai

      This isn’t really related to this article but does anyone know what happened to the collaboration poll Namie had on her website?
      It’s been over a year and we’ve not heard anything about it.

      • Zakiyya Amajida

        I’ve already forget about that.

    • relmy

      Ayu also straight up has a tramp stamp, both the front and back type lmao

    • Guest

      Which Arama readers give a fcuk

      • Vee

        clearly you do?

    • Hana