Russian criminal tattoo documentary on YouTube

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9 Responses to “Russian criminal tattoo documentary on YouTube”

  1. Nadreck says:

    This is the exact opposite of the Yakusa’s history. There, the Cops would tattoo you with your record – which might be as long as your arm! They were the only people allowed to employ tattoo artists originally but the Yaks got their own to embellish the tattoos to the point where they were unreadable. It became a tradition that continued after the criminal record system stopped using tattoos. This is why your guide books warn you about groups of young Japanese hanging around the outside of bars on a hot day with long sleeved shirts on: they’re someone’s Yakusa bodyguards hiding their tattoos.

  2. Anonymous says:

    In America, you get tattoo.

    In Soviet Russia, tattoo gets you.

  3. CatherineCC says:

    “I don’t know how it ever got made”

    Bribery. Their entire system is built on it.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/09/world/europe/09iht-russia.html

  4. jenb43 says:

    This is a fascinating movie, although it doesn’t focus solely on tattoos but looks at Russian prison life in general, both for men and women. Look for the tap-dancing psychopath.

  5. dole says:

    While loitering around a book store a few months ago, I ran across the book “Russian Criminal Tattoo Encyclopaedia Volume I” (of which there seem to be 3 volumes) and was pretty fascinated. Very large book, lots of pictures and background, available on Amazon.

  6. Anonymous says:

    If you watch this film, you’ll realize it’s really more about the prison system in Russia than it is about tattoos. I think focusing on the tattoos was more of a vehicle to get inside and once they were there, they were able to document the conditions incarcerated Russians are subjected to.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Do you have a source for this being CC licensed, other than the comment of the anti-abortion nut who posted it on youtube? I ask because I was looking for a higher-resolution version, and there doesn’t seem to be one out there.

  8. Ian says:

    30 million people tattooed in the last generation. Out of a national population of 140 million. That seems to suggest that at least one Russian in five has been in prison. (If we’re being generous about ‘last generation’ then perhaps we’re only talking one in ten, but still…)

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