The Japanese tattoo art has grown in popularity over the years. Since the days when it was associated with the Yakuza, it has come a long way in representing all of Japanese culture and tradition. Japanese art always has something for everyone. Whether you want a cherry blossom design or you want to go for a fierce dragon, you will find it all in different styles, colors, and patterns. From a koi fish to a scene of deadly combat, Japanese tattoos have a variety of meanings associated with their art.
History and meaning of Japanese tattoos
There is a rich and solid historical background behind all Japanese tattoos. There are designs inspired by ancient figurines on tombs and some historical documents indicate that Japanese men used to have their faces and bodies decorated in various colors and styles. Then later in Japanese history when Chinese culture left its influence in Japan, tattooing became taboo and was reserved for criminals and outcasts. Traditional Japanese tattoos used to symbolize different types of characters in people. Today, Japanese tattoos are famous for ranging from small tattoos to oversized glittery designs that can cover the entire arm of the tattooer.
Symbolism and Japanese tattoo designs
There are various types of Japanese tattoo designs that are famous among people for their special meaning. Some of these are as follows:
Cherry Blossom: These are a symbol of life and are also known as Sakura. Although cherry blossoms are fragile, their beauty is considered to be that they can survive and flourish even in difficult conditions. Japanese culture believes that life should be lived to the fullest and awareness of death should govern good living. That is the power of a cherry blossom tattoo, and one must take good care of it when tattooing on the body.
Koi fish: Koi fish are brightly colored fish that are related to the spiritual meaning of Japanese culture and are very famous in tattoo designs. The Japanese believe that koi fish go upstream to reach the gates of heaven where they turn into dragons. Koi fish are representative of power, ambition, strength, luck, and individuality. If a tattoo has to symbolize a person’s struggle in life, then a koi fish tattoo is the perfect way to do it.
Dragons: Being an important part of the culture of Japan, dragons symbolize wisdom, strength, freedom, power, and courage. They even symbolize supernatural powers at times. However, it is important to choose the correct colors for dragons, as each one symbolizes something different. Therefore, you can design dragons in various ways after checking their meaning with your artist.
Hannya Masks: This is a traditional design where the meaning of demonic masks comes from kabuki works. These tattoos represent good luck and are believed to ward off evil.
There are several other Japanese tattoo designs that you may like, but make sure you know their meaning and significance before getting any of them inked.