Geisha Tattoos for the Yellow Feverish

August 11, 2008

I was looking at a photo essay about tattoos in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer over the weekend and came across a photo of a white man with an Asian woman that had this caption:

Josh Vogel, 27, right, with his friend, Josie Lin, 27, shows off his Geisha tattoo -- which they thought looked like Lin. "I wanted this tattoo because I like Asian women," Vogel explained. They were among the crowds at the Seventh Annual Seattle Tattoo Expo.

First of all: I don't think his friend Josie looks anything like the geisha tattoo, except that they both have dark hair. Second of all, ewwwwwwwww. Third of all, ewwwwwwwwww. It's bad enough the guy likes Asian women in that geisha-kind-of way, but he has to get a tattoo too?

Wait, on second thought, I think all guys with yellow fever should get geisha tattoos. Then there would be a clear physical indication for those ladies who don't like to be objectified by their race to stay far, far away. Countless awful first dates would be avoided.

I can't figure out how to directly link to the photo since it's in a pop-up window (sorry, not the most tech-savvy person here), but if you go to the paper's photo archive and click on "Seattle Tattoo Expo" (last item on the first row), and then go to photo # 13, you can see the photo for yourself.


Melissa Hung

Founding Editor

Melissa Hung is the founding editor of Hyphen. She was the editor in chief for the magazine's first five years and went on to serve in many other leadership roles on the staff and board for more than a decade. She is a writer and freelance journalist. Her essays and reported stories have appeared in NPR, Vogue, Pacific Standard, Longreads, and Catapult, among others. A native Texan, she lives in California. Find her on Twitter and Instagram.



God it's a good thing you didn't see my little boys tattoo. That one the poor kid is all tied up. No seriously I'm glad all of you are flaming me. I think it's hilarious. I picture you short, fat, and pimpled writing about me. Now me being a narcissist I love talking about myself and hearing (reading I should say) others doing it too. What's missing is substance. So I'm going to e-mail all of my friends so that they can flame me here as well. It will be like a Comedy Central Roast of me.As for me speaking for my girlfriend, well I'll let her comment here herself...She has her own opinions and doesn't hesitate to share them.Alright much love
I'm glad the world is so perfect we have time to bag on this guy for being a little creepy. I'm glad the real problems of the world have been solved so we can find a picture on the internet of a guy and his girl at a tat convention and comment on his "sexual perversions". Of Course I think he is a little off his rocker because he likes Asian women, they get a little psycho, but that is besides the point. I think if he had a tat of a rainbow over a pink triangle or something and was snuggedled up to a guy named Joe with a quote, " I like the cock," you would have just skipped over it, or added him to your friends list or something. Come on people get a life. It's some good tat work anyway.
Back when I was on the force, I once had Mr. Vogel in a standoff. We had him surrounded by many officers in Vancouver, BC. The force was almost entirely female and almost entirely Asian. I'll never forget that fateful day... The day when a Mr. Josh Vogel exposed himself to the entire Vancouver Asian Police Force and received the most epic, multi-mouthed, inter-racial b.j. I've ever witnessed.He didn't have that tattoo then though...Maybe he just got it to help him remember one of the most pleasureable moments in his life...?Nah... I mean how could you forget that many lips on your genatalia?
You guys are total fucking wusses. rip on a guy who has tattoos, when i bet 90 percent of you have no tattoos. as for yellow fever, to each his own i say. the internet is rad for one reason only, you nerdy fat out of shape pimple faced [ed: deleted word. no name calling yo] can talk shit and feel safe about it. grow up pussies.
Lame lame lame and LAME!I find it hilarious you morons have nothing better to do then talk shit about someone who is obviously happier with life then any of you.So the man likes Asian women - BIG DEAL!So he has a tattoo of a Geisha - BIG DEAL!At least he is man enough to say what he likes and enjoys displaying it on his body. Josh is fucking awesome - you guys? Not so much. Enjoy!
Wow, Josh has some really mature and articulate friends who apparently have superpowers, as they know what people look like AND how happy they are.You know, they say a man is judged by the friends he keeps.
tattoo and yellow fever aside (seeing how some people will never get it, and will not even attempt to educate themselves about the issue at hand), all i have to say is please, have a little respect for yourselves.also, if you want to talk about blow jobs, please do that somewhere else. hyphen is not a place to share your sick sexual fantasies.
Assymmetrical haircuts, eating disorders, terrible retro thrift store fashion sense. Hip shoes, fixed gears and white guilt by the bucketload. Indie rock hobbits. Josh is a colossus compared to you and your puny, untermenschy hangups.
Listen here this is the girlfriend. I have a couple of things to say to all the haters are you all that bored that you have to settle for attacking someone you don't even know. Plus I thought Asians spent their time studying to get A's, I had no idea how much extra time you have on your hands.And so what if Josh loves Asians I love the white men I will get a tattoo of a white pin up man and see how you like that. Don't ever try to speak for me or any other Asian women unless you get your facts straight.
if asians spent their time studying to get a's, then wouldn't that be what you should doing now instead of commenting on this blog? oh wait, did you forget that you're asian, and that you look asian, and everyone's going to look at you, and think "asian"... perhaps.and i think the blogger did get her fact straight: you love white men. you just confirmed that yourself.
untermenschy? wow. you are a sick fuck.
congrats hyphen... you sound like a whiny old man on his front porch. nice job, melissa. way to bash people so you feel better about yourself. apparently there aren't enough good things going on in the world today that you have to talk about everything that makes you sad.get on with your life! I'm getting off the internet now to get on with mine:)
i realize that, feeling attacked, y'all would very much like to think that we're pimply player-haters, because that makes you feel better. well, you'll be disappointed to learn that many of us who find the fetish and the tattoo distasteful are actually considerably better looking than girlfriend. we just happen also to be educated and enjoy better taste.
I'm sorry I must apologize for my friends. They missed the point of this exercise. They were supposed to be bashing on me because they know a lot more shit about me than any of you and could come up with better insults. Seems they all have decided to attack you instead.Maybe if I give you guys some more ammo you could do better. I'm 27 almost 28, a Virgo, I am finishing my B.A. in Mathematics. I work 40 hrs. a week for Fred Meyer (the only reason I have time for this blog is because I started my vacation), I play drums in a local band called Our Fallen Heroes. Um I fucked your sister in the face. I have four other tats that have nothing to do with my "fetish".Actually I'm gonna stop there to discuss my fetish. Why Asian women? Well to start with they've cot little arms and legs. Which means that they can't out run me and when I catch them they can't fight me off. I like dark hair. I like the way my semen looks when I shoot it in your hair. I like petite women, its like I'm molesting a child but one that is of age. I like hearing "no" screamed in different languages. And lastly, I dated a Vietnamese girl way back in high school and thought it would be cool if in my lifetime I could sleep with a girl from every Asian country. I'm doing well so far.Anyway that's all I've got. I don't think I'll be coming here again because I don't think this is really worth any of my time, so have fun hopefully I've given you the edge you need to really make me hurt. Maybe I'll repent and "know my rank" as one person put it, but I highly doubt it.Much love.
Well, it seems I did get my facts straight. Ewwwwww still stands. Especially now.Josie, I'm not claiming to speak for you. I'm speaking for myself. Personally, I don't like being objectified and stereotyped by my race. But hey, you like white men. He likes Asian women. That's great you found each other. You can fetishize each other all you like.And Josh, you and your friends shouldn't take it so personally. You guys are right in that I know nothing about you. (Well, before you guys made your comments on this post.) All I knew was that you like Asian women and you got a geisha tattoo and the creep factor goes sky high for me with *any* man who likes Asian women and gets a geisha tattoo (or a T-shirt for that matter. In case some of you don't get it, this has nothing to do with tattoos).You know, you should really treat women better. Someone's going to Lorena Bobbitt you one of these days, especially with some of us Asians knowing martial arts and all.
it is really really noticable that so much criticism is heaped on the white guy and ms. lin - who seems to have a fetish too, and not an uncommon one - is barely a topic of conversation except as the object of mr. vogel's objectification. why? do you deem her incapable of being partly responsible for this situation? she's kind of creepy too, maybe even creepier because she seems to enjoy Vogel's creepiness.
You should be able to embed the image like so, replacing the () with the greater-than and less-than signs that I am unable to write in this comment box:(img src="")Assuming they don't have any hotlink preventions. Also, agreed on the ewwwwwww as well as the ewwwwww part.
Oh god that's stupid and hilarious.
I agree: eww and let them get tattooed so we know who to avoid. Being half, I get the "ewww" feelings from anyone who objectifies either heritage but much more from white men into yellow women. Perhaps because my yellow side keeps their fascination to Engrish on products, not ink on the body.
This kind of reminds me of Sailor Jerry tattoos of women of Pacific Island decent. I mean do you think a ultra curvy hula dancer tattoo on a male (white or any other color) can be offensive to females of Hawaiian, Tahitian, and Samoan decent?If you don't know what Sailor Jerry tattoos are check out:
<sarcasm>wonderful how he speaks for her too. this is the best photo and caption EVAR!</sarcasm>white people. always running to jump on some bullsh!t.
the nasty factor in this is indeed quite high on my scale.
Gross gross gross. What's even better is how flattered & enamored Josie Lin looks as she snuggles up to this D-bag. Gag me.
i say we all hunt down mr. douchebag vogel, kidnap him, take his @$$ to get lasik to remove the tat, and then retat him with a picture of a white woman. know your rank homes.
Y'all are tripping! That tat is awesome! It's extreme! And it looks EXACTLY like his girlfriend. She's Chinese, the tat is a geisha, it's perfectly fitting! I love that couple and the tattoo! You know what else I love? Miss Saigon! Great play, incredible special effects, perfect ending. You know what else? Kelly Hu. I agree with her, Asian guys totally have small winkies. I would know. Which reminds me, did anyone watch Rush Hour 3? LOVED it! And know, if you don't mind, I gotta go get my new tattoo. It'll say "prosperity" in Gaelic, on my upper back, House of Pain style. Extreme!!!!!!
haha. i must also add that this dude has no right to wear a sleeveless shirt because of his lack of muscle tone.ok let's move on...
you know im in the market for a new tattoo myself. i have always had a fascination with asian culture. and i am planning to get a dragon tattoo half sleeve with a geisha on the inside of my arm. this tattoo for me will be a piece of art and will be tastefully done. i love the differences between all cultures and enjoy to learn from them. for the record i dont have a fetish for asian women, i have a fetish for all women of any race and color...i find it sad that in this day in age that anyone is bashed for their preferences... i understand if you cant see yourself with any other race other than your own, but to belittle someone because they are attracted to another race and celebrate it by decorating their body with images of that culture is what i find disgusting. some people are more traditional in their opinions and beliefs and others are more open. try not to be so judgemental just because someone doesnt share the same views as you. if everyone believed the same thing and had the same views this would be a very sad and boring world. before you presume to judge me i live in miami, florida. my father is european (spain) and my mother cuban. my grandmother believes like you, that every race should be with their own. shes not racist but this is her belief. i am currently dating a very beautiful domincan who is lightly mixed. my grandmother im sure doesnt like it, but she loves my girlfriend and would never disrespect me or my girlfriend just because my beliefs differ from hers. i hope you take something from what i wrote here. i dont expect you change your beliefs but maybe open your mind so that you can understand how someone could enjoy a culture other than their own.i know this was an old article, but i had to stop and leave a comment. if anyone actually reads this and would like to see the sleeve it will be finished july 27th. you can also check out my photography at you are welcome to comment on any of my photos. all criticism is appreciated, good or bad.