How ironic that the culture who created the largest, most vivid and eye-popping tattoos in the world is also among the most intollerant of it!
From the ancient past of tattooing criminals as marks of shame, to the criminal element of society adopting tattoos as part of their culture, and the times that government attempted to wipe out the art among it's people, it's no surprise that those dark connotations reverberate through time to the present day.
The Yakuza or Japanese Mafia is still deeply feared in society. Tattooed individuals are suspected of being connected to organized crime, and so many businesses bar entry or otherwise turn them away. More and more, Japanese people who desire tattoos are getting smaller, western-style designs, and making sure to only get inked in places that they can easily hide under clothing in public. Health clubs and gyms present an especially big challenge for tattooed Japanese, as their ink is more easily seen and their memberships revoked.
Instead of getting better, in some cases the intollerance is only getting worse. In Osaka, the mayor has declared that every government worker must voluntarily "out" themselves if they are tattooed. Admitting to having a tattoo will allow a worker to maintain employment, though they may be moved to less high profile positions. Not disclosing a tattoo that is later discovered is grounds for termination. Workers are in an extreme bind with this rule, connected to a very questionable attempt to root out Mafia influence in society.