Japan is the land of Samurai warriors, mythical beasts and, not to forget, beautiful works of art. Tattooing is an ancient art here, and historians have traced the origin back to 5000 B.C. They also have evidence which can prove that this art may have existed even before that. The traditional name for tattooing is irezumi. Literally translated it says, "decorating the body by inserting ink". Previously, they were done with hand using 'Nara ink', which is a permanent dye. The dye was hammered into the skin skillfully using a sharp object. Similar to most other designs, these tattoos also have symbolic representations and philosophical meanings attached to them. There are a number of designs which are popular like koi fish, samurais, geishas, flowers, especially, cherry blossoms etc. Flower tattoos have been popular since olden times. To make Japanese flower tattoos, the pattern was outlined on the skin and, later, it was filled using permanent dye.
Ideas and Designs
These designs are intricate and are made in bright colors. The most common and traditional floral designs are cherry blossoms, lotus, chrysanthemum , peony, etc. These are not only beautiful, but they also have wonderful meanings attached to them. The lotus represents estranged love and yearning. They are also associated with Buddhism and it is taken as a symbol of spiritual awakening to the reality of life. It is a very popular design, especially, for those who have gone through hardships and are now coming out of the problems. It also means that although the flower grows in the muddy dirty water of the pond, it rises above all of this and goes on to become an object of beauty. On the other hand, both chrysanthemum and peonies are symbols of fragility and beauty. The peony is also a symbol of wealth, prosperity, and good fortune. Often, this is used as a filler with some other design.
Cherry blossoms are one of the most favorite designs for girls and guys, though they are often said to be feminine. Cherry blossoms are delicate flowers, which blossom only for a short time. It is looked upon as transience of life and it denotes female beauty in China. This idea is deeply tied with the fundamental teachings of Buddhism. According to Buddhist teachings, all life is suffering and transitory. The Japanese have for long been very attached to the Buddhist belief of transitory nature of life and it is noble to not get too attached to a particular outcome and become emotional, as everything good or bad will all pass in time. Fallen cherry blossom represents beauty of snow. There is another meaning attached to fallen cherry blossom. The meaning is extended to the life of a warrior, whose life came to end early in the battlefield.
Tattoo sleeves incorporating flower patterns are very popular among the men. These can be made on almost any part of the body. Most common regions, however, are wrists, arms, shoulders, back, ankles, etc. You can also combine them with other designs. You can opt to get temporary designs made initially. If you do like the design, you can choose to get it permanently tattooed as removal is a painful and time-consuming process. Once you have a tattoo made, taking care of it is important so that you are successful in keeping possibilities of skin infection at bay.