Japanese Tattoos - Ideas, Meaning, History

Written by: Pete

The Japanese tattoo represents centuries-old oriental traditions and techniques. These tattoos are difficult to confuse with other styles because of the originality of the object depicted and the color palette.

Most of the tattoo designs are in ancient style, and most of them carry the meaning of gods or demons, which symbolize power or maybe cruelty.

Japanese tattoos contain a colorful mixture of ink patterns.

Take note! The popular “sleeve” tattoos today originated from Japanese tattoos. Samurais used to tattoo their entire arm as they wore sleeveless kimonos. These inked sleeves represented power, courage and bravery of the owner of such a powerful image.

Japanese Tattoo Ideas

Japanese Dragon Tattoos

Dragon is the most believed myth in Japan, and in most of the parts in Japan believe in dragons and fairytales. Dragon is known for their power and anger, as this means that the man having a dragon tattoo feels like a powerful man.

Even dragons were known from the happens takes being told in most of the villages in Japan, and further, it increased its story base all over the world.

Floral Japanese Tattoos

Japanese Koi/Carp Tattoos

Koi is a type of fish. This fish is most loved in Japan. This koi design will power strength and bravery.

Koi is the only existing fish that can swim upstream. When the fish reaches God’s hate, then gods transform the koi fish to the golden dragon.

Japanese Phoenix Tattoos

Japanese Tiger Tattoos

Tigers are the lovely design in Japan as they show fear, strength, and anger in these designs. Japanese tiger design is a unique design in Japan.

It had its design and has a unique mixture of colors adding black and white and the primary color.

Japanese Snake Tattoos

Snake designs are the most amazing designs for Japanese tattoos. As the smaller represents the should against calamity and ailment.

By giving a unique floral touch for the design, the tattoo will be looking decent.

Japanese Samurai Tattoos

Samurai were the old Japanese soldiers, and samurai were also ancient bodyguards for the total family. These ancient samurai designs go for their power and discipline.

Some of the samurai were wizards, and most of the Japanese people also wish to have Japanese wizard samurai designs. These tattoos have taken in arms, chests, or back. Kids and adults treat ancient samurai culture for discipline.

Japanese Tattoo History

The Japanese tattoo is one of the oldest types of body paintings.

The appearance of tattoos in Japan dates back to the Zemon period (10,000 BC-300 BC).

A 3rd century Chinese manuscript which first mentions the existence of Japan also alluded to the drawings that the Japanese made on their faces and other body parts, most likely for a ritual.

A Japanese book which dates back to 712 AD contains the first mention of tattoos and says that there are two types: one is as a sign of high social status while the other signifies involvement in crime.

The history of the development of Japanese tattoos is linked to criminal activity. In 1720, Japan began to use tattooing as a punishment, replacing amputation of body parts like the nose and ears. For extortion, forgery, and fraud, criminals were tattooed on the arm or forehead, which symbolized the mark of the criminal. There was a special tattoo reserved for traitors—an image of the Japanese character which stands for “dog”. The custom existed for 150 years.

During the dictatorship (17th century), tattoos were banned in Japan. And though people still had them done in places hidden by their clothes, the popularity of these body drawings subsequently decreased. It was during this period that tattoos began to be popularly applied to parts of the body generally unseen such as the chest and legs.

Japanese Tattoo Characteristics

  • Colors usually include shades of red, gold, black, and purple
  • Large details are preferred because small ones are considered to distract from the essence
  • Clear contours
  • The drawings haven’t dynamics, but the central objects are usually depicted in motion, e.g., a flying dragon, a floating Koi fish, a dancing geisha
  • Symbolism is the main feature of this style. Each image is endowed with a deep meaning, and often – even the plot

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