Japanese tattoos always have something for everyone, whether you want a fierce dragon, a delicate cherry blossom, a beautiful koi fish swimming across your back, or the intricate scene of Samurai warriors locked in mortal combat. Besides the variety in tattoo designs, the main beauty lies in the meaning it conveys.
The integral part of traditional Japanese tattoo was an elaborate system of symbols that were used to tell a story with specific images that were meant to reveal the character of the individual.
Japanese tattoo art has gained tremendous popularity all over the world. Unlike earlier times when it was only associated with the Yakuza, today they are associated with culture and are considered a distinctive version of tattoo art. These tattoos have always piqued the interest of tattoo lovers. They have a sense of mystique and intricacy and hence, today, have become very popular. Let’s find out what each tattoo symbolizes.
The Japanese tattoos have a long and rich history. The first evidence of Japanese tattoos can be seen on 5000-year old figurines recovered from tombs. Also, texts from the 3rd century A.D. speak of Japanese men decorating their faces and bodies with tattoos. Centuries later, mainly due to the powerful cultural influence of China, tattooing became a taboo, and was largely reserved for outcasts and criminals.
An integral part of the allure of traditional Japanese tattoos lies in the capacity of the designs to evolve, from smaller separate individual tattoos, to brilliant motifs that can embrace the entire arm as a sleeve. Each Japanese tattoo has a different meaning.
The beauty of cherry blossoms lies in the strength that they possess to survive in the harsh conditions that they bloom in, along with their fragile nature. The Japanese view this as a direct representation of how life should be. They believe that every day should be lived to the fullest and that the awareness of death should only make us want to clutch each moment in our life. This is one of the meanings which clearly signifies power and beauty.
Koi Fish Tattoos
Generally, koi fish are bright-colored fish that have special symbolism in Japanese culture. The myth states that the koi fish swim upstream to a bridge or gate of heaven where they were transformed into dragons. This design symbolizes luck, strength, power, ambition and individuality. So if you are looking for a tattoo that symbolizes the struggle faced by humans in life, the perfect choice is a koi fish tattoo.
The mythical dragon is something we all associate Japan with. The dragons hold a very important place in Japanese culture. The tattoo is associated with many meanings, from freedom, courage, wisdom, power, strength to even supernatural powers. When it comes to choosing a dragon tattoo, let your imagination fly, as there is no concern of making it look realistic. And each color dragon has a different symbolization, so choose the color carefully.
Hannya masks are demonic masks which come from the famous kabuki plays in Japan, and it depicts a woman who has been consumed with rage over her lover. These tattoos are believed to ward off evil spirits, and bring good luck to the person sporting them.
There are infinite designs and meanings of Japanese tattoos. If you are a tattoo lover, then you are bound to be enticed by them all! When getting a Japanese tattoo, it is extremely crucial to know and understand the message it conveys, but all said and done, no matter which design you select, they are bound to stand out.