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Categories: Japanese Tattoo Designs | Author: admin 14.01.2016

Japanese dragons are not simply beautiful design choices for tattoos, they are ancient symbols full of meaning. In Japanese myth, the dragon Ryujin held sway over the power of the ocean, regulating the tides with magical jewels from his undersea palace of coral. This is why in Japan, dragons have long been associated with water, which helps to explain the reptilian, serpentine appearance of Japanese dragons. Guardians: Japanese dragons are akin to the angels of Western culture, possessing superhuman strength, a fearless spirit, and divine wisdom. Symbol of immortality: their ability both to create and to destroy represents the eternal cycle of life and death, as witnessed in nature.
Black, white, blue and red colored dragons are described as corresponding with the four elements (wind, earth, water and fire), as well as with the four directions (north, south, east and west). Yellow dragons are considered a rare occurrence, with a reputation for staying aloof from humanity, only appearing at opportune moments. Armband tattoos can be a very versatile option, as you can do them in almost any style from flowers to tribal, Native American to Japanese, and pretty much everything in between.
You can work with your tattoo artist to incorporate ideas you have into an armband tattoo design to make it your own. Koi fish are a species of carp (Koi is the Japanese word for carp) that are specially bred to have wild, brilliant color schemes. The Japanese word Koi translates as carp, but also as love, therefore koi fish are a symbol of love (the kind of love you have for your lover, not for your parents for example). Since they are considered to be extremely energetic, koi fish tattoo designs usually have very lively colors and lots of movement.
First, koi fish tattoos depicting the animal swimming upstream may represent strength during trying times. Second, and perhaps more influenced by Western thought (the Japanese had and have a very close-knit society), is the koi fish tattoo for someone who is very independent.


Any carp able to climb to the Dragon Gate along the Yellow Riverwill be transformed into a dragon. Sharing much of its imagery with the Japanese for the koi's strength and determination, the Chinese koi is also associated with life-long good fortune. More often than not koi tattoos are very large tattoos, with intricate shading and colors to depict their rainbow of scales and their strong swimming motion against the current.
Koi fish designs are also used in zodiac tattoos, more specifically in Pisces tattoos (pisces is the Latin word for fish).
The story itself is often modified and altered depending on the area where it originates from, but the moral is always the same: the bird does rise again and again. The mythology of the phoenix probably originated in India, where the immortal bird is called Garuda. The phoenix was often used in Catholic art as a symbol of the resurrection of Christ and life after death.
Understanding the different types of dragons, and what qualities they represent, can help you select a design that will best suit your personality. Like the Chinese dragon, the anatomy of a Japanese dragon is a combination of parts from a number of animals, with each part symbolizing a quality from the animal it represents. The only real difference is that Japanese dragons have only three digits on each extremity, while Chinese dragons have four or (usually) five.
The association with the imperial family provides insight to the nature of guardianship that Japanese dragons can symbolize. Inking a design on the upper arm, with the dragon wrapping around the arm, then extending onto the chest or back, is another popular option.
Koi tattoo designs are often combined with splashing water, cherry blossom and lotus flowers. Originally a ravenous pet species that stirred up silt in waterways, the Japanese have inbred them and turned them into gemlike marvels.


Interestingly, the Japanese assign different symbolic meanings to the fish depending upon the way it behaves, either in the pond or in the wild. The koi fish is powerful enough to fight river currents and swim against the stream in order to reach its food sources or spawning grounds. It takes a lot to be able to go against the tide of fate if life has stacked the odds up against you. Proudly going against the grain, with little care for the opinions of others and society, a tattoo depicting a koi fish swimming through a tumultuous torrent is a powerful and personal image.
Their backgrounds are often as spectacular as the fish itself: with crashing water, suns and moons, cherry blossom and lotus petals floating along. The phoenix is a mythological firebird originating in Phoenician, Egyptian and Greek mythology. In Japanese tattoos, the phoenix is often paired with the dragon, symbolizing Yin and Yang, female and male. Koi fish tattoos often represent victory despite terrible adversity: courageous triumph over a struggle. Since koi can eat a hefty portion of their body weight every day, they were expensive to keep. The Greek phoenix looked like an eagle and is a symbol for the sun, who dies in flames at the end of the day and rises again in the morning. While inking the entire dragon is the most popular choice, tattoos featuring just the head of a Japanese dragon are another option.



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