A series exploring the history of tattoos and body markings, including symbolism and techniques.
Premiered: August 27, 2009
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No criminal group in the world is more closely identified with tattoos than the largest: Japan's Yakuza, 80,000 strong. Go deep into Japan's underground for an exclusive look at the stunning full body-suits of ink that mark the skin of today's yakuza. We hear from yakuza as they share stories of their criminal pasts, the significance of their tattoos, and the pain they experienced in getting most of their bodies tattooed the old fashioned way: by getting poked over and over again with needles fastened to the ends of sticks.
From the shores of France and the jungles of Vietnam, to the treacherous mountains of Afghanistan and dusty streets of Iraq, soldiers, sailors, and Marines have been willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for their country. In this episode we explore the origins of military tattoos, from the ancient warriors of the Roman Empire to the Western sailors who brought ink to these shores. We hear from veterans and men currently serving, as they share their stories of combat and survival--and decode the ink that decorates their bodies.
In Russian prisons, tattoos tell all. From crimes committed to time served and even ranking within the strict hierarchy, these dark and detailed works of art are a secret language that contains all vital information and can mean the difference between power and subjugation. MARKED goes deep inside the world of Russia's infamous prisons, revealing how these illegal images are controlled by the ruthless Thieves in Law, the notorious gang that rules the prisons with an iron fist. We decode the mysteries and meanings behind the ink through the accounts of violent ex-cons and career criminals who reveal their terrifying deeds and the brutal conditions inside Russian prisons.
In Southern California, black and grey tattoos connect a culture that started in the barrios of Los Angeles in the 1940s and survives on today's rough streets. Amid the sun and palm trees, ink marks territory and serves as a reminder of blood spilled on neighborhood streets. Marked dives into the origins of this distinctive tattoo style, born in the violent, gang-saturated California prisons and refined on the streets of LA. Artist Freddy Negrete, one of the originators of the Chicano style, takes us on an exclusive journey, deep into this unknown world where we decode the ink that decorates the bodies of current and former Chicano gangbangers.
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- Premiered: August 27, 2009
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- Premise: A series exploring the history of tattoos and body markings, including symbolism and techniques. (more)
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