Tattoos and Crime

We got in the zone looking at corrupt cops and tattoos recently…

Crazy movies like Eastern Promises tend to paint a grey picture over Russian crime and tattoos.  Black and grey, shaded, whatever, we’re not afraid to go there! This is your friendly neighborhood Waikiki Tattoo Shop bringing you a little some, some about Russian tattoos and crime

Tattoos are rights of passage for many around the world.  In criminal networks, tattoos serve as symbols, reminders, and warnings about who, what, where, why and how the person the tattoo came to be.

“What’s the story behind the piece?”  Tattoo Adam, Owner of Award Winning Honolulu Custom Tattoo Studio, 434 Tattoo, has often said to this Writer and many customers who have come down for 434’s free consultations and to book tattoo appointments on Oahu.

As we scoured the Internet for information about Russian tattoos, it was hard to find anything new, they all seemed to say the same things, which gave the feeling that the history behind the Russian tattoos is almost secretive just like the movements of criminal organizations. There were a few things though that came up repeatedly.

Depictions of Jesus, and in the past Stalin and Lenin, were considered Sacred so prisoners would put these over places of their body that they didn’t want hit, like vital organs for examples.  Guards often times give prisoners body shots because they tend to be less visible than strikes to the face.  For someone with Sacred ink around the body, it makes it a little hard to hit.   Like the Asian tattoos rocked by members of the Yakuza, different tattoos represented achievements such as being a Leader or having committed certain acts.  Also, to get a face tattoo while in prison meant that the incarcerated tattooee did not have much hope to get out due to a long to lifetime sentence.

The history of Russian Mob tattoos is rich and exploring it in a blog merely scratches the service.  If you want a history lesson about tattooing in general, come on down to our Hawaii tattoo studio and talk with Tattoo Adam, who has 20 years of experience in the industry.  He’s met and tattooed his fair share of folk from all walks of life and as much as this writer loves writing, you can’t beat good old fashioned conversation!

Our shop is open every day from 10a to 10p and features three other talented Hawaii tattoo artists with strengths in different styles.  Our team would be more than happy to assist you!

Aloha no!

Adam Siehr, President and Proud Owner
434 Tattoo
Custom Tattooing LLC.

434 Ena Road
Honolulu, Hawaii


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