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K-Drama Stars Show Off Their Ink

BY Julie Jones | May 12, 2014 11:07 AM EDT


Tattoos have played a role in several k-dramas lately. Kim Jaejoong sported a tattoo while soaking in a tub and in his now-famous running scene when he wore  only boxer shorts. And then there's the tattoo worn by Lim Soo Hyang, playing Gaya in "Inspiring Generation." Her co-star singer-actor Kim Hyun Joong was covered in tattoos for the release of his latest album Breakthrough.

Although they are now becoming more accepted in Korea, traditionally tattoos were associated with gangsters and some older people still tend to view them unfavorably. If you're meeting prospective in-laws or applying for a job in Korea, you probably want to cover them up. But increasingly more k-pop and k-drama stars are proudly sharing their tats with the world.

For example, Jaejoong admitted that his real tattoos include the names of his fellow JYJ members who inspire him. He designed the tattoos and got them with fellow JYJ member Park Yoochun. 

Cha Seung Won, who stars in "You're Surrounded," is also proud of his tattoos. One is a tattoo of an angel with his daughter's name, Rachel, on his upper arm. He has a smaller tattoo of a sun on his leg.

So Ji Sub, star of The Master's Sun," has several tattoos and describes getting them as the "baddest thing" he has ever done in his life. He explained that one of his tattoos means he won't change even if he is reborn. Another tattoo features "51K" inside a diamond. That's the name of his agency and it is significant because he believes that one extra percent of commitment can mean the difference between success and failure. He also has a tattoo of a building on his shoulder to remind him not to forget his dreams. His latest tattoo says "Enjoy and love life."

Gong Hyo Jin, his co-star in "The Master's Sun," has two tattoos but the easily visible ones are so small you probably never noticed them. She has a small peace sign on her index finger and a star on her ankle. She does have larger one on her lower back that's easier to hide.

BoA, who recently starred in the 3D film "Make Your Move, has a tattoo of the letter B on her back. She says it stands for big and brash.

Jang Dong Gun recently spoke about his tattoo at a press conference for his new film  "Crying Man." Audiences have seen it but he's not sure his son should. In that film he plays Gon, a professional killer. In one of the film scenes, viewers could see his tattoo. He did not want his son to see it because he said his son was not aware that he had a tattoo and he did not want his son to emulate him.

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