Former Yakuza Vtuber “Jailbird Taro” Talks about the Horrifying Tattoo Situation of the Yakuza | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Former Yakuza Vtuber “Jailbird Taro” Talks about the Horrifying Tattoo Situation of the Yakuza

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Modern tattoos have adopted foreign tattoo techniques to produce beautiful colors (courtesy of Taro Shikibunka).

The image of yakuza in movies and TV dramas is that they always have tattoos.

The “Jogakko Taro,” a virtual youtuber (VTuber) under the name “Jogakko Taro,” which refers to a person who has been in prison many times and is himself a former yakuza, talks about the tattoo situation of yakuza.

There are various theories as to why yakuza started getting tattoos, such as when yakuza who ran gambling halls started getting tattoos on their left arms, or to hide the ink that was put on their arms when they were imprisoned in prisons. Many yakuza began to get tattoos after the image of yakuza having tattoos became commonplace. Tattoos are so hard to get that they are called ‘endurance’ among yakuza, so having a tattoo makes it harder to be bullied.”

Tattoos came to have various roles in the yakuza, including tattoos as bindings to keep those who joined a gang from escaping, and tattoos to prevent licking in prison.

One of these is a tattoo that implies the clan to which one belongs. In the Showa period (1926-1989), yakuza united their gangs to enhance their cohesion.

The reason for this custom, however, is related to the convenience of the tattoo artist, who is called an “engraver.

In the old days, when a yakuza wanted to get a tattoo, they asked an engraver to come to their gang and stay for several months to work on it. Tattoos back then took a lot more time and money than they do now. So, young yakuza who had no money would get tattoos done in their spare time when their superiors were getting inked. They would put in the same ink as their boss, or put in the ink that their boss told them to put in. Some of them even had their elder brothers’ names engraved on their bodies.

Because of this, it took a lot of time and money to get a complete tattoo, and few yakuza had complete tattoos.

The higher you got, the more half-finished tattoos you got,” he said. In order to become a big man, you have to go to jail for a certain period of time for your gang, so it is difficult to get a complete tattoo.

Now that the Violence Against Boryokudan Law (Law Concerning Prevention of Unjust Acts by Members of Organized Crime Groups) has been passed, the yakuza culture is disappearing, and people are being arrested for showing tattoos to katagi.

After the enactment of the Anti-Riot Law, they had to cover their tattoos with long sleeves and supporters even in summer in order not to show them to the yakuza. So now, many yakuza do not have tattoos, and those who do have tattoos now have designs of their own choice.

Now that many swimming pools and public bathhouses do not allow tattoos, and even after quitting the yakuza, having a tattoo reduces one’s employment options, the relationship between yakuza and tattoos may be slowly fading away.

(Courtesy of Taro Chibinaka)
(Courtesy of Taro Chibi-naka)
(Courtesy of Taro Chibinaka)

Read “Gokudo Rakuen,” an ultra-realistic Gokudo manga supervised by “Shogun Taro,” who knows all about the yakuza world.

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