Tattoo punishments were used as a payment for a committed crime. Currently they are not used. Tattoos of this kind were applied to the face or hands and served as a warning for law-abiding citizens. Punishment of a tattoo was considered very difficult, since it led a person out of the circle of a normal, not criminal society. In each country, drawing and meaning were different, but everywhere their goal was to brand the person.
So, for example, in France in the time of Louis IV, signs on the body were branded by fallen women, priestesses of mercenary love, criminals. The most famous sign was the lily on the left shoulder. However, not always the flower was tattooed, often it was applied with a hot iron.
In ancient Rome, China and Greece, tattooed slaves and captives. This greatly simplified the search for those who managed to escape.
Tattoo punishments were widely spread in Japan. There is evidence that already in the VIII century in the country of the rising sun this type of tattoo was used. One of the conspirators who decided to overthrow the existing authorities, tattooed right near the eyes, so that everyone knew what a terrible crime he had planned. Four centuries later, the separation of criminals from the law-abiding population through the use of tattoos became widespread. And in different princedoms and provinces stigmatized in the form of punishment in different ways. In the place of Chukuzen, who had been guilty of the first crime, they applied a horizontal line to the forehead, the second line was arcuate, for the third one – another line. These 3 features were the hieroglyph “inu”, which means “dog” (in the poor dictionary of Japanese curses this word is one of the most terrible). Also, the criminals were tagged around on the left shoulder, and with a double line around the biceps of the left hand (each new crime added along the line), and the hieroglyph “auk”, which means “villain” in the translation.
Tattoos have also been used to brand deserters. This practice existed in Britain during the First World War. Those who escaped from the battlefield were put on the body of the letter D.
Despite the variety of tattoo punishments, they were all used to brand a person and warn law-abiding citizens about who they are dealing with.