Thursday, February 4, 2010

Japanese Tattoos and Their Meanings

Japanese tattoos have always piqued the interest of tattoo lovers. Japanese tattoos have a sense of mystique and intricacy and hence, today, have become very popular. Read on for more information on Japanese tattoos and their meanings.Japanese tattoo art has gained tremendous popularity all over the world. Unlike earlier, when Japanese tattoo art was only associated with the Yakuza, today they are associated with culture and are considered a distinctive version of tattoo art. 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 Japanese tattoos and their meanings.

History of Japanese Tattoos

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. The integral part of traditional Japanese tattoo was an elaborate system of symbols that were used to tell a story through the use of specific images that were meant to reveal the character of the individual. Read more on tattoo history.

Japanese Tattoos and Their Meanings

An integral part of the allure of traditional Japanese tattoos lie in the capacity of the designs to evolve over time, 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 following are a few Japanese tattoos and their meanings:

Cherry Blossoms: One of the most popular designs for women, the cherry blossoms are used to represent life itself. They are also called Sakura. The beauty of the cherry blossom lies in the strength it has to survive in the harsh conditions that they bloom in, along with their fragile nature, as they only last a couple of days. The Japanese view this as a direct representation of how life should be. They believe that everyday should be lived to the fullest and that the awareness of death should only make us want to seize each moment in our life. This is one of the Japanese tattoo meanings which clearly signifies power and beauty. However, one should remember to take adequate tattoo care after getting a cherry blossom tattoo.

Koi Fish Tattoos: Koi fish tattoos are perhaps the second most favored symbols in Japanese tattoos. Generally, koi fish are bright colored fish that have special symbolism in Japanese culture and you can even find them in front of most temples. 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. Read more on:
  • Koi Fish Tattoos and Their Meanings
  • Koi Fish Tattoos for Women
Dragons: The mythical dragon is something we all associate Japan with! The dragons hold a very important place in Japanese tattoos and their meanings. The dragon 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. Read more on tribal dragon tattoos.

Hanya Masks: Hanya masks is one of the most traditional Japanese tattoos. The meanings of Japanese tattoos often originate from kabuki plays, just like this tattoo. Hanya 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.

Read more on:
  • Flower Tattoos and Their Meanings
  • Nautical Star Tattoos Meanings
These were some of the most popular Japanese tattoos and their meanings. 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 Japanese tattoo meanings, but all said and done, no matter which design you select they are bound to stand out!