Dragon tattoo meanings are different in various cultures. In the East, these tattoos have a positivity attached to then, while in the West, they are considered to be negative, destructive creatures.
Dragons are mythological creatures, which are both beautiful and fearsome. This creature is usually seen in mythological books as a scaly, winged beast, with huge claws, and the ability to emit fire from the mouth. Etymologically, the dragon comes from two Greek words, namely Drakon and Drakein.
Dragon tattoo meanings differ from culture to culture. In the east, tattoos are said to be harbingers of fortune and fertility, on the other hand, in the west, dragons are looked at as an incarnation of the evil spirit and destroyer of home and hearth. Dragon tattoos can be found in various tattoo arts, like Celtic, Japanese, and Chinese dragon tattoos. They are commonly inked onto the shoulders, upper arms, chest, lower back, and ankles.
- In Japan, dragons are a water deity. Hence, Japanese dragon tattoos are depicted in the clouds.
- There is a belief that the first Japanese Emperor is a descendant of the dragons.
- Dragon tattoos are made as a representation of protection of the royal family of Japan.
- Japanese dragon tattoos do not have wings, are serpentine, have the head of a camel, paws of a tiger, claws like an eagle, scales of a carp, long whiskers, and a jewel below their chin.
- They symbolize power, family, protection of home and family, and also longevity.
Types of Japanese Dragon Tattoos
Sui-Riu: This is the king dragon. He is said to be the controller of rain.
Han-Riu: This is the biggest dragon of all and he has stripes on his body.
Ka-Riu: It is a small dragon, which is red in color.
Fuku-Riu: The harbinger of luck is the Fuku-Riu dragon.
- The dragons in Chinese culture have a masculine nature and are associated with the biggest possible single digit number 9.
- Chinese dragon tattoos represent intelligence, strength, good luck, health, harmony, and benevolence.
- Like the Japanese tattoos, Chinese tattoos are also associated with rain.
- Chinese dragon tattoos have a flaming pearl under their chins, have snake-like appearances, and have scales all over their body.
Types of Chinese Dragon Tattoos
Horned Dragon: The meaning of this tattoo is that the wearer chooses to be mighty, both in his words as well as actions.
Earth Dragon: This is the ruler of earth and represents a connection with the earth or with land.
Yellow Dragon: This is a hornless dragon that represents scholarly knowledge.
Celestial Dragon: This dragon is said to protect the Gods. People who want to confirm their spiritual path or who have strong spiritual beliefs, choose to get these tattoos made.
- Tribal tattoos are either surrounded by or composed of the curving lines that are typically associated with the tribal communities. Hence, the dragon tattoos done using the tribal tattoo style are simplified.
- However, these tattoos do not lose their impact. They are, in fact, very large and fierce-looking, and also deliver a very strong visual impact.
- The meaning of the tattoo will depend on which tribal tattoo art is combined with these dragon tattoos.
Tiger and Dragon Tattoo Meaning
- In the oriental culture, dragons are seen as the defenders, and the tiger are said to be the offenders.
- If a dragon is placed over the tiger, it symbolizes that the wearer of the tattoo will triumph over dark forces, and they will continue to defend the same.
- If a tiger and a dragon are shown wrestling, it is a representation of the individual’s aggressiveness, coupled with a disregard for others and their property.
- On the other hand, if the dragon and the tiger are facing off on the same level, it is said to be the Yin Yang symbol, because opposing forces equal each other out.
Now that you are armed with dragon tattoo meanings, choose a dragon tattoo, which suits your personality the best. You can also seek help from the tattoo artist for the same. Remember, it is going to be a permanent imprint on your body, so be sure of the tattoo symbolism and then get it made.