According to the Chinese and the Japanese cultures, the dragon represents the four elements of the Earth, Wind, Fire, and Water and the four directions on the compass, which are the North, South, East, and West. They are also known to be the symbols of the Water, Earth, Underworld and the Sky.
There are a few differences between the Chinese and the Japanese dragons and their symbolic meanings. Thus, these tattoos are always made after these differences are cleared and the person knows which style of dragon tattoos he is getting inked.
In the Chinese culture, the dragon is made up of nine entities, where it is a chimera between head of camel, the eyes of a demon, the ears of a cow, the horns of a stag, the neck of a snake, it's belly a clam's, the claws of an eagle, while the soles of his feet are that of a tiger, and the 117 scales that cover it's body are that of a carp.
These tattoos are very colorful and they look vibrant on arms. The tribal ones are however black in color and the can be combined with scripts in various tribal languages.
In ancient Japanese culture, the Emperor was said to be a descendant of the dragon himself and was considered the most powerful ruler on the ground.
These tattoos are beautifully made with every detail of the dragons made in bright noticeable colors. The wings of these dragons are larger and more accentuated than the others.
Very few people like to have their dragon sleeve tattoos made in black as this doesn't give the liberty of making the tattoo majestic and large. It is best to choose a design and think carefully about it for a considerable period of time, before getting it inked.