Small japanese tattoos

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Starting back almost 5,000 years ago, irezumi, or Japanese tattooing, began to take on its own individual and artistic style. A more traditional style of tattoo, Japanese style tattooing was a status symbol, emphasizing detail and design. Over the years, Japanese culture and tattoo styles have grown in popularity, with styles that are both traditional and modern as the popularity of cartoon/anime-type art grows.

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Known for its intricacy and attention to detail, Japanese tattoos are show-stopping pieces that can be both extremely feminine or masculine. Japanese art has always been very symbolic in nature, making it the perfect tattoo style.

Below we have compiled a list of the most unique and inspiring Japanese tattoo designs. Whether you are looking for something cute and fun or intense and intricate, we have the Japanese tattoo for you!


Best Japanese Tattoo Designs

Nurse Cat Tattoo

Nurse Cat Japanese Tattoo

Paging all nurses, I repeat, paging all nurses! This cute and cuddly nurse cat tattoo is an example of the diversity of Japanese style tattooing. A fun and colorful design, this tattoo is perfect for any cat-loving nurses out there.

Japanese Tattoo Sleeve

Japanese Tattoo Sleeve & Chest

As mentioned before, Japanese traditional tattoos were a status symbol. The more tattoos and the more intricate the design, the more impressive status you portrayed. This Japanese tattoo sleeve would have carried some major social power with its attention to detail. These bold Japanese traditional tattoos incorporate many traditional Japanese symbols including dragons and spirits.

Colorful Koi Fish Japanese Style Tattoo

Koi Fish Japanese Tattoo

This colorful Japanese tattoo sleeve is a vivid and detailed design. Known as a symbol of luck, the Koi fish will hopefully bring you good fortune for years to come. The black background causes the colors to truly pop in this eye-catching design.

Wave Japanese Tattoo Sleeve

Japanese Wave Tattoo Sleeve

Ride the artistic wave of this Japanese style tattoo! A traditional styling of ocean waves with thin and arching curves, this Japanese tattoo design brings the Sea of Japan to mind. Water is viewed as extremely spiritual in Japanese culture, which is apparent in the almost life-like appearance of the waves.

Lotus Flower Japanese Tattoo Design

Lotus Flower Japanese Tattoo

A symbol of enlightenment and rebirth, this Japanese symbol tattoo is the perfect choice for someone who has found a new path in life. The pale grey shading of the background helps the color of the flowers to truly pop. The waves and koi fish are the perfect additions to round out this Japanese tattoo sleeve.

Japanese Warrior Tattoo

Full body Japanese Warrior Tattoo

In tattooing, the body is truly a canvas as perfectly exemplified in this Japanese traditional tattoo design. A symbol of bravery, warriors have long been honored in Japanese culture. This Japanese tattoo design is extremely detailed, requiring real artistry from the tattoo artist.

Japanese Tiger Back Tattoo

Japanese Tiger Tattoo

Known as a form of protection from bad spirits and a way to ward off bad luck, the tiger has always been a symbol of strength in Japan. Symbolic Japanese tattoos are an ideal form of self-expression. Use this tattoo design to portray your inner strength and courage.

Vivid Orange Koi Fish Tattoo

Orange Japanese Koi Fish Tattoo

Are you feeling lucky? This orange koi fish tattoo is sure to bring you lots of good fortune with its vivid and vibrant coloration. This Japanese tattoo design is the perfect sleeve but could also be scaled down to a smaller size for positioning on the forearm or leg.

Japanese Style Tattooing on Leg

Full Leg Japanese Tattoo

This Japanese tattoo design will certainly give you a “leg” up. With traditional Japanese symbols and art, this tattoo is both intricate and ornate. Red and black ink also pays tribute to the traditional colors of Japanese culture.

Japanese Dragon Tattoo

Japanese Dragon Tattoo

Traditionally, dragons are benevolent sources of power that support humanity with their strength and ferocity. With its vivid colors and detailed design, this tattoo is the consummate Japanese tattoo. The dragon seems to come alive as it serpentines down your arm forming a cohesive and intriguing tattoo sleeve.

Black and White Flower Japanese Style Tattoo

Japanese Black & White Forearm Tattoo

The bold contrast between black and white in this Japanese style tattoo is stunningly eye-catching. With beauty in its simplicity, this design make a perfect forearm tattoo. Each flower has its own unique design adding to the detail of the overall design.

Blue Koi Fish Tattoo Sleeve

Blue Koi Fish Japanese Tattoo Sleeve

Japanese tattoo meaning is as important as the design itself. As we previously mentioned, the koi fish is a positive symbol of not only luck, but also strength of purpose. With tattoos lasting forever, it is important to feel strongly about the message and symbolism your tattoo art will convey.

Japanese Women Tattoo

Japanese Women Tattoo with Hannya Mask

Incorporating various traditional images, this Japanese tattoo design is a real piece of art. A detailed portrait of a Japanese women pairs beautifully with stork silhouettes and traditional flowers. A bold spirit portrait is symbolic of the pain that can also be found in beauty. This tattoo design makes a strong statement with its imagery and detail.

Rising Sun Japanese Traditional Tattoo

Rising Sun Hand Japanese Tattoo

Pay tribute to the Land of the Rising Sun with this gorgeous Japanese style tattoo. Wonderfully placed on the hand, this luminescent design is meant to represent good things on the horizon. The continuation of the sun up the forearm beautifully evokes a sense of the sun rays spreading their warmth.

Japanese Style Forearm Tattoo

Japanese Forearm Tattoo

Bold, red lines always bring Japan to mind. This Japanese style tattoo is striking with its distinct lines and vivid colors. Easily scaled to bigger and larger sizes, this tattoo could easily be placed anywhere on the body.

Japanese Landscape Tattoo

Japanese Landscape Back Tattoo Rising Sun

Bold lines and color contrast make this Japanese tattoo design a true stand-out. Small in size it could fit easily on the back, hand or foot. Deceptively simple in appearance, the creation of the landscape requires a great deal of skill from the tattoo artist.

Kanji Tattoo on Side

Japanese Kanji Tattoo

Continually growing in popularity, a Kanji tattoo is a favorite style in all areas of the world. Letters and symbols hold great and involved meaning in Japanese culture, allowing individuals to make a large statement with bold and intricate Japanese tattoo lettering. The scale of this lettering makes this an ideal side tattoo.

Japanese Traditional Tattoo on Shoulder

Japanese Shinto Tattoo

A symbol of Shinto, this tattoo has long been a part of Japanese culture. The three comma shapes represent the earth, sky, and humanity. A basic and straightforward design, this look can easily be recreated by any experienced tattoo artist. Small in size, this tattoo can be placed anywhere including the hand, foot, or wrist.

Japanese Kanji Neck Tattoo

Japanese kanji neck Tattoo

The back of the neck is under utilized when it comes to tattoo placement. What a truly wild and wonderful world we live in when it comes to having beautiful Japanese kanji tattoos like this. The bold circling around the lettering gives a finished look and the typewriter-esque font of the wording contrasts nicely with the more intricate style of the Japanese lettering.

Kanji Hand Tattoos

Japanese Kanji Hand Tattoo

The delicate approach to this Japanese kanji tattoo makes a simple, yet breathtaking, design. The artistry of Japanese lettering adds true beauty to this Japanese traditional tattoo. Choosing symbols that are important to you can make this a personal and unique design.

Cherry Blossom Kanji Tattoo

Japanese Sakura Tattoo

Elegant cherry blossoms and delicate kanji lettering come together in this dainty and feminine tattoo. The soft pinks of the flowers add a romantic feel. The size of this cherry blossom tattoo makes it possible to fit almost anywhere on the body.

Kanji Neck Tattoo

Japanese Kanji Neck Tattoo

Japanese lettering is an art form in and of itself. This unique and striking neck tattoo requires a steady hand. You want to ensure that the tattoo artist has a mastery of Japanese lettering in order to make sure everything is done correctly.

Japanese Imagery Leg Tattoo

Japanese Leg Tattoo

With well-defined images of Japanese culture, this Japanese symbol tattoo is a great choice for any Japanophilia. Showing a clear appreciation for the different elements of Japanese culture, this tattoo is detailed without being overwhelming.

Colorful Floral Tattoo Sleeve

Japanese Floral Sleeve Tattoo

Vibrant and tropical colors give this Japanese tattoo sleeve a more modern feel. The pops of pink and teal really stand out against the dark background in a perfect contrast.

Cherry Blossom Wrist Tattoo

Japanese Wrist Tattoo

Gentle, rosy hues of pink create an arresting Japanese tattoo. Meant to represent the fragility and beauty of life, this cherry blossom tattoo is a meaningful design. Beautiful as a standalone tattoo, this look would also make a wonderful addition to a Japanese style tattoo sleeve.

Japanese Cat Tattoo

Japanese Cat Tattoo

Symbolic Japanese tattoos create meaningful pieces of body art. Long a symbol of good luck, cats have been a popular animal in Japanese culture. This colorful tattoo is a cute design that could fit on the hand, foot, or shoulder.

Falling Cherry Blossoms Tattoo

Japanese Cherry Blossoms Tattoo

Further symbolizing the fragility of life, the cherry blossoms appear to gently float down the back in this beautiful symbolic Japanese tattoo. Bright pinks make this a striking tattoo, and the detailed branch adds visual interest to this engaging design.

Dazzling Cat and Cherry Blossom Tattoo

Japanese Cat Tattoo

Gentle strings of beading weave the elements of this lovely Japanese tattoo design together into a cohesive work of art. Thin lines and small details make this an exquisite and intricate tattoo. Its height makes it a perfect tattoo for the arm or leg.

Red and Black Japanese Style Tattoo

Japanese Red & Black Tattoo

An intense eye stares out at you in this striking Japanese tattoo. Darker than some of the other tattoos on this list, it evokes a much more grim feeling. The dark red and black further develop the severity of this design.

Japanese Spirit Tattoo

Hannya Mask tattoo

Macabre faces are common in Japanese artwork, representing different spiritual beings. This Japanese tattoo design utilizes bold colors to draw the eye to the intense expression of the spirit’s face. Small in size, this tattoo works on most locations on the body.

Komodo Dragon Tattoo

Japanese Komodo Dragon Tattoo

With an expression of fierceness and savagery, this Japanese traditional tattoo is powerful and bold. Rich and vibrant colors add to the strength of this design. The length of the dragon make this an ideal tattoo for the forearm or leg.

Pink Cat Tattoo

Japanese Pink Cat Tattoo

A cute and fun design, a cat and pink flowers come together for an adorable and appealing Japanese tattoo. While small in size, this tattoo is more elaborate than it may appear and requires attention to detail from the tattoo artist.

Cat in a Kimono Tattoo

Japanese Tattoo of Cat in a Kimono

Two mainstays of Japanese culture, cats and kimonos, collide in this detailed and unique tattoo. The complexity of the kimono’s patterns is spectacular and creates a level of sophistication that you may not expect for this tattoo image. This Japanese tattoo is a real showpiece.

Naruto Japanese Symbol Tattoo

Naruto Japanese Symbol Tattoo

Passionate anime fans will instantly recognize the Naruto symbol in this Japanese tattoo design. The leaf background plays on the meaning of this symbol, which represents the Hidden Leaf Village. This tattoo is a great size for the hand, foot, or wrist.

Hidden Leaf Japanese Style Tattoo (Konohagakure)

Japanese Konohagakure Tattoo

While the palm is definitely one of the more sensitive places to get some ink, cool designs like this symbolic Japanese tattoo can certainly make it worthwhile. You can sport your true anime fandom by toughing out the pain to mimic this tattoo idea. The hidden leaf is a symbol of Konohagakure, one of the more powerful ninja villages.

Anime Cat Mask Tattoo

Japanese Anime Cat Mask Tattoo

Anime has grown significantly in its mainstream popularity amongst teens and adults in recent years. This Japanese tattoo sleeve has an elaborate design that is a perfect way to display your fandom. Ideally, your tattoo artist will have some experience with anime art in order to give this design an authentic feel.

Daruma Doll Tattoo

Japanese Daruma Doll Tattoo

Created in the likeness of Bodhidharma, founder of Zen in Buddhism, Daruma dolls are a popular symbol in Japanese culture. Vivid red and black ink pays tribute to the traditional colors of the daruma doll. The blue flowers add brightness to the overall design.

Daruma Doll Foot Tattoo

Daruma Doll foot tattoo

To the unknowing viewer, this tattoo may seem unfinished with the blank eye of the Daruma doll. However, this is done intentionally in tribute to the tradition and history of this symbolic Japanese doll. Seen as a symbol of good fortune, a wish is made as the right eye is painted while the left eye remains unpainted until the wish comes true. So, remember to make your wish as this tattoo is created!

Traditional Japanese Tattoo Sleeve

Japanese Tattoo Sleeve

The bright pops of red in this grey and black Japanese tattoo sleeve add an edgy feel to this striking tattoo. It is almost hypnotic with the different geometric shapes spiraling around the spirit portrait. The level of detail is very involved in this design and will require patient skill on the part of the tattoo artist.

Black and White Cherry Blossom Tattoo Sleeve

Japanese Sakura Tattoo Sleeve

Classic in coloration and design, this Japanese style tattoo will stand the test of time. Bold without being garish, this cherry blossom design makes a lovely and visually satisfying tattoo.

With myriad symbolism and detail, Japanese tattoo designs make for truly intricate and meaningful pieces of body art. They are a perfect opportunity for self-expression and offer a variety of different ideas and designs. This list provides a collection of the most detailed and intriguing Japanese style tattoos. All you need to do is decide which one is the right fit for you!

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Japanese Flower Tattoos

With tremendous respect for the natural world and the circle of life, Japanese flower tattoos typically appear exotic with brightly saturated colors and detailed line work.

As one of the oldest and most popular styles of tattoos, Japanese tattoo designs are widely recognized and deeply symbolic.

For ink that really stands out both in appearance and meaning, create your tattoo design with a Japanese flower motif.

Japanese Flower Tattoo Meanings

Across the world, flowers are known to be multifaceted tattoos with all sorts of designs and symbolism attached.

Not only do they decorate and brighten up interiors and exteriors alike, but they are also known for their health-benefits.

These meanings are translated onto the skin with Japanese flower tattoos, bestowing beauty on the wearer but a variety of underlying meanings, too.

As a mindful nation, the Japanese culture especially embraces the life cycle of birth, end, and rebirth and the beauty within it that is represented by flowers.

Although many people believe that flowers are feminine tattoo motifs, Japanese flower tattoos are known for promoting manliness in their designs.

Main Themes in Japanese Flower Tattoos

Japanese tattoos are tremendously symbolic with every element of the embedded ink bearing its own meaning, including the tattoo colors.

For example, black is used for mystery, while yellow is for positivity, prosperity, and optimism.

White is the symbol for truth, purity, and soothing others, while green represents energy and life, and pink symbolizes femininity and good health.

With so many tattoo designs and meanings for everyone to relate to, it’s hard not to love the look and symbolism of Japanese flower tattoos.

Also known in Japan as “botan” or the “King of Flowers”, peonies are so well regarded in the Eastern culture.

These florals are known for being masculine flowers, suggesting an “all or nothing” kind of attitude.

However, it is also the symbol for weddings in Japan, along with richness, pleasure, fruitfulness, and the success of life.

Peony tattoos in the Western world have another range of similar meanings, from good fortune to courage, honor, abundance, prosperity, beauty, and fragility.

These gorgeous flowers are also often given as a good omen for newlyweds, as a sign of prosperity and happiness.

With all things considered, peony tattoos are beautiful symbols of hope, wealth, and good luck that make for gorgeous imagery as Japanese tattoos.

Japanese Peony Tattoo
Japanese Peony Tattoo
Japanese Peony Tattoo
Japanese Peony Tattoo
Japanese Peony Tattoo
Japanese Peony and Tiger Tattoo
  • Japanese Chrysanthemum Tattoos

Strongly associated with royalty, perfection, and honor in Japan, the chrysanthemum also depicts happiness, joy, and longevity.

The emperor’s throne in Japan is even referred to as the Chrysanthemum Throne, further driving home the regality behind these flowers.

In the Western world, the chrysanthemum is often given to mothers and/or friends, so this flower is a great choice for a matching tattoo with a close pal or mom.

On a different note, many people get chrysanthemum tattoos as a stunning memorial as they are at times associated with grief and loss.

Like most flower tattoos, the tattoo color changes the meaning behind them.

  • Red or pink chrysanthemum tattoos: Love and passion
  • Yellow chrysanthemum tattoos: Unrequited love
  • White chrysanthemum tattoos: Loyalty, truth
  • Turquoise/Green chrysanthemum tattoos: Ambition, vitality, youth
Japanese Chrysanthemum Tattoo
Japanese Chrysanthemum Tattoo
Japanese Chrysanthemum Tattoo
Japanese Chrysanthemum Tattoo
Japanese Chrysanthemum and Snake Tattoo
Japanese Chrysanthemum and Snake Tattoo
Japanese Chrysanthemum Tattoo

As an exceptional flower that emerges from murky, muddy conditions, the lotus tattoo symbolizes resilience, purity, inner peace, self-control, enlightenment, and spiritual awakening.

The lotus is mostly found tattooed as fully blossomed, potentially because they are quite frankly, beautiful to look at, but also because it symbolizes someone’s achievement of enlightenment.

Many tattoo fans choose the lotus flower tattoo to signify their journey as a statement that they have discovered a new path in life.

The different colors of the lotus tattoo also affect the meanings behind them.

  • White and pink lotus tattoo: Purity
  • Red, purple, and blue lotus tattoos: Enlightenment and/or rebirth, ascension
  • Green lotus tattoo: Self-improvement
  • Black lotus tattoo: Power, authority, or ephemerality

In a Japanese style, you will often find these paired with water designs and koi fish tattoo designs, as a symbol of determination, strength, and desire to succeed.

Japanese Lotus Tattoo
Japanese Lotus Tattoo
Japanese Lotus Tattoo
Japanese Lotus Tattoo
  • Japanese Flower Tattoo Sleeve

Japanese flowers are faultless options for a sleeve tattoo.

Irrespective of whether you opt for cherry blossom tattoo only or decide on a diverse sleeve of scores of full blooms, a Japanese flower tattoo sleeve is an impeccable showstopper.

A sleeve tattoo in itself symbolizes power and patience, with your ability to handle twinges showcased in the artwork adorning your limb.

They also give you the freedom to choose multiple illustrations that you feel personal connections to, rather than narrowing your sights to just one.

The best part of a sleeve tattoo is the lack of boundaries when it comes to creativity and uniqueness.

You can make your sleeve 100% your own, combining all of your favorite elements of Japanese flower tattoos into one large, intertwining, sensational piece.

Japanese Flower Tattoo Sleeve
Japanese Flower Tattoo Sleeve
Japanese Flower Tattoo Sleeve
Japanese Flower Tattoo Sleeve
Japanese Flower Tattoo Sleeve
Japanese Flower Tattoo Sleeve
Japanese Flower Tattoo Sleeve
Japanese Flower Tattoo Sleeve
Japanese Flower Tattoo Sleeve
Japanese Flower Tattoo Sleeve
  • Japanese Dragon and Flower Tattoos

Plenty of people prefer to have the florals as solo pieces of art but in many cases, blossoms don’t appear alone.

One of the most commonly inked symbols alongside Japanese flowers is the dragon.

Bringing a sense of courage to your tattoo, a dragon tattoo symbolizes strength, wisdom, and wealth.

Despite being fierce, they are considered guardians that use their strength and power for good as generous creatures.

People often get a Japanese dragon tattoo alongside a flower to show both their power and vulnerability.

The two contrasting tattoo motifs blend into a beautiful tattoo with significant meaning.

Just as the tattoo color alters the meaning of flowers, so too does the hue of the dragon tattoo.

If you wish to depict compassion and forgiveness, choose a blue tint, or for relations to nature and life, opt for a green complexion.

To make sure you achieve your intended meaning, it is best to look into the significance of each tattoo color before getting your permanent ink.

Japanese Dragon and Flower Tattoo
Japanese Dragon and Flower Tattoo
Japanese Dragon and Flower Tattoo
Japanese Dragon and Flower Tattoo
Japanese Dragon and Flower Tattoo
Japanese Dragon and Flower Tattoo
Japanese Dragon and Flower Tattoo
Japanese Dragon and Flower Tattoo

More commonly known as a cherry blossom, the Sakura is popular across the entire world for both its beautiful appearance and the things they represent.

As the national flower of Japan, they are incredibly popular in Japanese tattoo designs.

One of the most obvious connections is to springtime and the positive feelings associated with spring blossoms, new beginnings, rebirth, and renewal.

As a flower which only blossoms for two weeks of the year, these delicate blooms translate to feelings of impermanence and the fragile, fleeting nature of life.

The Sakura serves as a reminder that life is short. Always live life to the fullest.

On a related note, the cherry is sometimes meant to represent the emptiness of human existence.

However, sakura tattoos are most commonly known for more optimistic metaphors and reminders that nothing lasts forever, whether positive or inequitable – if it’s tough right now, it’ll get better and if it’s great, enjoy it while it lasts.

In Samurai traditions, fallen cherry blossoms were used to represent fallen Samurai, and as such, some choose to get a few fallen cherry blossom tattoos as memorials to lost loved ones.

Sakura Tattoo
Sakura Tattoo
Sakura Tattoo
Sakura Tattoo
Sakura Tattoo
Sakura Tattoo
Sakura Tattoo
  • Small Japanese Flower Tattoos

Although medium to large size tattoos are usually chosen for Japanese flowers, you can make these look fabulous even as a daintier piece.

Often found on the hand, limb, neck, or foot, small Japanese flowers are perfect choices for someone that prefers to keep their artwork more compact or as a little addition to a larger piece.

Small Japanese Flower Tattoo
Small Japanese Flower Tattoo
Small Japanese Flower Tattoo
  • Black & Grey Japanese Flower Tattoos

Although classic Japanese tattoos typically showcase lots of contrasting colors, you can have an equally gorgeous and vibrant tattoo from shades of black and grey – not all Japanese tattoos need to be colorful.

Extensive shading and detail create a stark contrast that can make a black and grey Japanese flower just as eye-catching as a brightly colored blossom.

One thing to note with all black and grey imagery here is that they often incorporate dark backgrounds and elements.

Black and Grey Japanese Flower Tattoo
Black and Grey Japanese Flower Tattoo
Black and Grey Japanese Flower Tattoo
Black and Grey Japanese Flower Tattoo
Black and Grey Japanese Flower Tattoo

Body Placement

Japanese tattoos are known for requiring a lot of space for these over-the-top designs to look their best.

They include extensive detail with plenty of loops, scallops, and linework that help your ink come to life by using a bigger template.

This is why you most often see this type of tattoo sprawling across limbs or even the entire back, to ensure they come out crisp and clear.

With that said, flowers come in all shapes and sizes, and as such, Japanese flower tattoos can be scaled down to the tiniest of images that can even fit on your hand.

No matter where you choose to get inked, your Japanese flower is guaranteed to look phenomenal.

  • Japanese Flower Hand Tattoos

When wonderfully placed on the hand, Japanese flower tattoos are outstanding pieces that you can confidently display at all times.

The back of the hand is an ideal spot for a flower tattoo, providing a perfect canvas for circular blooms while yielding constant reminders of the significance behind your tattoo.

Japanese Flower Hand Tattoo
Japanese Flower Hand Tattoo
Japanese Flower Hand Tattoo
Japanese Flower Hand Tattoo
  • Japanese Flower Neck Tattoos

Neck tattoos are bold statements that demand attention.

They show that you’re willing to take risks, adding a level of adventure and daring confidence to your Japanese flowers.

For anyone unafraid of twinge or having a tattoo almost always at the display, the neck is a great place to flaunt your Japanese floral ink.

Japanese Flower Neck Tattoo
Japanese Flower Neck Tattoo
Japanese Flower Neck Tattoo
  • Japanese Flower Back Tattoos

As the optimal canvas for a massive Japanese piece, place your ink on your back.

You could have a more delicate feel with cherry blossoms making their way down your back or cover every inch of skin with copious interlocked petals and pigments.

Whether you include several varieties of florals, a bunch of the same flower, or a singular blossom, a Japanese floral tattoo on your back will be an absolute masterpiece.

Japanese Flower Back Tattoo
Japanese Flower Back Tattoo
Japanese Flower Back Tattoo
  • Japanese Flower Shoulder Tattoos

The shoulder is one of the most desirable placements for Japanese flowers, big and small alike.

A shoulder tattoo is flexible in terms of placement, with the possibility of growing it up or down, around to the chest or back, or even as a band wrapped around the upper limb.

As a statement piece on its own or as part of a sleeve, the shoulder is well-suited for larger Japanese flowers with plenty of detail.

For a fairly painless spot that can be easily covered with a long sleeve, get your shoulder inked.

Japanese Flower Shoulder Tattoo
Japanese Flower Shoulder Tattoo
Japanese Flower Shoulder Tattoo

Japanese Flower Tattoo Designs

Whether you get a stand-alone piece or opt for a multitude of blossoms, or even implement a dragon or koi fish, your creative options are endless to make it your own.

Japanese Flower Tattoo
Japanese Flower Tattoo
Japanese Flower Tattoo
Japanese Flower Tattoo
Japanese Flower Tattoo
Japanese Flower Tattoo
Japanese Flower Tattoo
Japanese Flower Tattoo
Japanese Flower Tattoo
Japanese Flower Tattoo
Japanese Flower Tattoo
Japanese Flower Tattoo
Japanese Flower Tattoo
Japanese Flower Tattoo
Japanese Flower Tattoo
Japanese Flower Tattoo

Conclusion

Floral Japanese tattoos make for spectacular body art with their bright, bold, beautiful images.

The combination of freedom in color choices along with several elements in every design makes these tattoos as unique as they are breathtaking.

Regardless of body placement, color, or size, Japanese flower tattoos are incredibly meaningful, magnificent works of art you can be proud to exhibit.


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131 Best Japanese Tattoos Meanings, Ideas, and Designs

Japanese tattoo has made a difference in society today.  It may be a taboo in Japan, but Japanese Tattoo turned out to be a positive influence on all the parts of the world. Some say that it is a beautiful work of art. Most of the western ink tattoo artists upgraded the Japanese tattoo and made it so creatively that it became a passion of everyone who is into it! They even considered this as a masterpiece.

Urban Body Jewelry

Contents

Japanese Tattoos Meaning

According to the Wikipedia, the traditional Japanese Tattoo is called Irezumi which signifies the inserting of ink to the skin where it is the Japanese traditional way of tattooing. The Nara ink (special ink used in Japanese Tattooing)used is then applied to prick the area of the skin with a wooden handle with a metal needle. The process of having this kind of tattoo will take a long time. The needle is dipped in active charcoal(Nara ink) and pricked to the skin to form the art. The person who wants to have this kind of tattooing will experience pain! While it is time-consuming, the process will not harm the soft tissues in your skin unlike the modern way of tattooing.

131 Best Japanese Tattoos

There are lots of Japanese tattoos that one can consider a masterpiece! But here are the few ones that are one of the top choices. They have this distinct look, making them the most recognizable tattoos around the world. The art does have originality, authenticity, and dignity. Of course, it is one of the appealing work of art too!

1. Japanese Tattoo Sleeve

Japanese Tattoos Sleeves

2. Japanese Half Sleeve Tattoo

Japanese Tattoos Half Sleeve

3. Japanese Tattoo Forearm

Japanese Tattoos Forearm

4. Japanese Tattoo Hand

Japanese Hand Tattoos

5. Traditional Geisha Tattoo

Japanese Tattoos Traditional

This Geisha tattoo is one of the popular images of Japanese culture. Clothed in silk maroon robe with yellow borders. The geisha is standing in a blue lotus flower in the dark and cloudy night with the surprised expression in the face.

6. Japanese Tattoo Meanings

Japanese Tattoos Meaning

7. Cherry Blossom Tattoo

Japanese Cherry Blossom Tattoos

8. Koi Fish Tattoo

Japanese Coi Fish Tattoos

Koi fish tattoo designs a cultural symbol for overcoming adversity because with its ability to climb waterfalls that have strong currents it is said that it persevered and succeeded. With this fish with a bright orange color and yellowish touch is such a beauty. Moving its way up splashing in the light blue water and surrounded by a lotus flower that dignifies purity and divine beauty.

9. Japanese Characters Tattoo

Japanese Character Tattoos

10. Small Japanese Wave Tattoo

Japanese Small Tattoos

11.Japanese Dragon Tattoo

Japanese Dragon Tattoos

12. Japanese Flower Tattoo

Japanese Flower Tattoos

13. Japanese Geisha Tattoo

Japanese Tattoos Geisha

14. Ideal Japanese Tattoo

Japanese Tattoos Ideas

15. Japanese Tiger Tattoo

Japanese Rib Tattoos For Guys

16. Japanese Samurai Tattoo

Japanese Samurai Tattoos

The man who holds his samurai so fiercely.; A masterpiece that one can die for. With falling red rose petals that indicates that death might be in his way but still motivated to fight. Made with bold black ink and rich red, no question this has captured tattoo lovers.

17. Japanese Kanji Tattoo

Japanese Kanji Tattoos

18. Japanese Yakuza Tattoo

Japanese Tattoos Yakuza

19. Japanese Oni Tattoo

Japanese Oni Tattoos

Extremely common in Japanese Tattoo, this unique and terrifying image that resembles the image of the devil himself in human form. This demon is extremely powerful. This pertains to the spirit world which demons care out their roles of punishing the unjust and evil, as well as spreading sickness.

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20. Japanese Crane Tattoo

Japanese Crane Tattoos

21. Japanese Snake Tattoo

Japanese Tattoos Snake

22. Japanese Lotus Tattoo

Japanese Flower Tattoos Designs

23. Japanese Wave Tattoo

Japanese Wave Tattoos

24. Japanese Back Tattoo

Japanese Back Tattoos

25. Japanese Mask Tattoo

Japanese Art Tattoos

26. Japanese Leg Tattoo

Japanese Leg Sleeve Tattoos

27. Japanese Foo Dog Tattoo

Japanese Dog Tattoos

28. Japanese Phoenix Tattoo

Japanese Phoenix Tattoos

29. Japanese Thigh Tattoo

Japanese Girl Tattoos

30. Japanese Demon Tattoo

Japanese Tattoos Demon

31. Black Japanese Cloud Tattoo

Japanese Black And Grey Tattoos

32. Japanese Chest Tattoo

Japanese Chest Tattoos

33. Japanese Sun Tattoo

Japanese Shoulder Tattoos

34. Japanese Cat Tattoo

Japanese Sleeve Tattoos

35. Japanese Warrior Tattoo

Japanese Warrior Tattoos

36. Modern Japanese Tattoo

Japanese Tattoos For Men

37. Japanese Hannya with Cherry Blossoms Tattoo

Japanese Tattoos Back

38. Japanese Kitsune Tattoo

Japanese Tattoos Arm

39. Japanese Buddha Tattoo

Japanese Buddha Tattoos

40. Japanese Peony Tattoo

Japanese Peony Tattoos

41. Japanese Skull Tattoo

Japanese Skull Tattoos

42. Japanese Daruma Tattoo

Japanese Arm Sleeve Tattoos

43. Japanese Chrysanthemum Tattoo

Japanese Leg Tattoos

44. Japanese Kokeshi Tattoo

Japanese Arm Tattoos

45. Japanese Temple Tattoo

Japanese Temple Tattoos

46. Japanese Fan Tattoo

Japanese Tattoos

47. Japanese Cover up Tattoo

Japanese Cover Up Tattoos

48. Japanese Monkey King Tattoo

Japanese Body Tattoos

49. Japanese Minimal Gingko Leaf Tattoo

Japanese Plant Tattoos

50. Japanese Maple Leaf Tattoo

Japanese Blossom Tattoos

51. Japanese Kanji Meaning Tattoo

Japanese Tattoos Kanji

52. Japanese Beautiful Neck Tattoo

Japanese Neck Tattoos

53. Japanese Titanic Kislitsyn Tattoo

Japanese Upper Back Tattoos

54. Japanese Best Koi Fish Tattoo

Japanese Tattoos Koi Fish Meaning

55. Japanese Enso Meaning Tattoo

Japanese Tattoos With Meaning

56. Japanese Yin Yang Tattoo

Japanese Yin And Yang Tattoos

57. Japanese Genko Tattoo

Japanese Themed Tattoos

58. Japanese Yakuza Dragon Tattoo

Japanese Yakuza Style Tattoos

59. Japanese Watanabe No Tsuna Tattoo

Japanese Reaper Tattoos

60. Japanese Calligraphy Rooster Tattoo

Japanese Rooster Tattoos

61. Japanese Black and Grey Tattoo

Japanese Tattoos Full Sleeve

62. Japanese Panther Tattoo

Japanese Panther Tattoos

63. Japanese Raijin Tattoo

Japanese Religious Tattoos

64. Japanese Aquarius Tattoo

Japanese Zodiac Signs Tattoos

65. Japanese Octopus Tattoo

Japanese Octopus Tattoos

66. Japanese Blue Lantern Tattoo

Japanese Lanterns Tattoos

67. Japanese Sakura Tattoo

Japanese Tattoos For Women

68. Best Japanese Tattoo

Black And Grey Japanese Tattoos

69. Japanese Finger Crossed Tattoo

Best Japanese Tattoos

70. Japanese Mountain Tattoo

Japanese View On Tattoos

71. Art and Beauty Japanese Tattoo

Japanese Remembrance Tattoos

72. Japanese Dragon Eye Tattoo

Japanese Forearm Tattoos

73. Japanese Irezumi Tattoos

Japanese Inspired Tattoos

74. Japanese Tebori Tattoo

Japanese Culture Tattoos

75. Japanese Sculpture Tattoo

Japanese Tattoos History

76. Japanese Combine Tattoo

Japanese Tattoos Full Body

77. Japanese Namakubi Tattoo

Japanese Tattoos Instagram

78. Japanese Quince Flowers Tattoo

Japanese Tattoos Drawings

79. Japanese Inspiration Tattoo

Japanese Traditional Tattoos

80. Japanese Catfish Tattoo

Japanese Upper Arm Tattoos

81. Japanese Rat Tattoo

Japanese With Tattoos

82. Japanese Geisha Bunny Tattoo

Japanese Animal Tattoos

83. Japanese Frog Tattoo

Japanese Tattoos Small

84. Japanese Tengu Tattoo

Japanese Tattoos Tumblr

85. Japanese Hyottoko Tattoo

Japanese Tattoos Background

86. Japanese Maneki Neko Tattoo

Japanese Tattoos Characters

87. Japanese Red Panda Tattoo

Japanese New School Tattoos

88. Japanese Kozuchi Tattoo

Japanese Oriental Tattoos

89. Japanese Fujin and Raijin Tattoo

Japanese Rip Tattoos

90. Japanese Okame Tattoo

Japanese Half Sleeve Tattoos

91. Japanese Kitsune Mask Tattoo

Japanese Dragon Sleeve Tattoos

92. Japanese God Tattoo

Japanese Water Sleeve Tattoos

93. Japanese Ghost in the Shell Geisha Tattoo

Japanese Warrior Face Tattoos

94. Japanese Kimono Tattoo

Japanese Tattoos And Meanings

Japanese Tattoos History

Japans tattooing can be traced thousands of decades before. There were clay figurines seen with a cord-marked pattern which confirmed that tattooing originated in Japan 10,000B.C. Tattooing during those time was intended for a spiritual and for decorative purposes. Noted that the Ainu people who are one of the indigenous people living in Hokkaido in Japan were the ones seen to have practiced tattooing on themselves. Back to history, they suffered under Japan’s reign over them. They were then considered criminals over time. Life was so hard for the Ainus people! Until in the Kofun Period (300-600 AD), the negative connotations for tattoos began. Criminals have this as a sort of punishment. It was just in the Edo Period( 1600-1868 AD) tattooing was changed into decorative intentions and has flourished until now. It is like a worldwide phenomenon that captured the western culture!

How Japanese Tattoo Influences the Modern Times?

In a research made by Pew Research Center, it shows that 38% of the young people ages 18-29 have at least one tattoo. By that information, teenagers nowadays are really into this. Tattooing has evolved into a fashion as well as an inner expression and beliefs of one’s self nowadays. Some tattoo enthusiasts have inked themselves with Japanese tattoos due to the beauty and art in it.

Japanese tattoo motifs are so popular and in-demand that it has a phenomenal influence worldwide. It dominated both East and West when it comes to a contemporary tattoo.  A lot wanted to get inked with the Japanese tattoo designs because of its cultural and spiritual meaning, as well as exploring the traditional and modern techniques that Japanese artists have used over the centuries. Body art with a masterpiece indeed!

How to take good care of your Japanese Tattoo

It is a must that you have to take good care of your Japanese Tattoo. Maintaining your good skin will help preserve the color of your tattoo and make it last. Here are some helpful tips for you!

Keep it out from the heat of the sun

As much as possible, do not expose your tattoo under the heat of the sun. It will not fade immediately; but it gradually will if not taken cared of, which will add another cost.  People often forget that the sun got harmful effects on their tattoo. Wearing protective clothes, putting high-quality sunscreen product during exposure to sun or staying in the shaded area is helpful.

A mild soap is good for the tattooed skin

Make sure that you will use a mild soap for this. Better use baby soaps or a specially formulated tattoo cleanser to clean the area. The skin will not be irritated and will not be breaking. It will keep a moisturized skin that will also preserve the rich color of the tattoo.

Moisturizer is a must

Keep moisturized! Dry skin will cause breakouts. Your tattoo will be ruined as it will make your skin sag. There are a lot of moisturizers in the market that you can use. Better if you can have a moisturizer with an SPF too! The higher the SPF, the better the protection from the sun you can have. Keeping your skin moisturized will preserve the beautiful tattoo you have!

Urban Body Jewelry
Avoid taking steam baths.

Steam will make your skin pores to open, and this is a threat to your tattoo. It will gradually discolor the ink in your skin. You cannot see the effect immediately; but if you often steam yourself when taking a bath, your tattoo will gradually fade away.

What to consider before getting a Japanese tattoo

Take your time on deciding to have it on your body as a permanent Tattoo and be amazed on the art it brings, a kind of tattoo that is a combination of light and bold colors that will look good and eye-popping designs that will look good on you!  With its sacred meaning, it will give you security wherever and whenever you wanted to go. But, you need to be of legal age to have one as your skin needs to go through needles! With this wonderful work made by trusted tattoo artists, you can have it within minutes or an hour or two and see the beauty of art in you! More things to consider below!

Make sure you are at the right age.

Age really matters. Your skin is going to experience the needles. This is the reason why you need to be at the proper age. Not yet of legal age? Need to consult your mom first to get your parents consent.

You should be healthy.

You should not have even a slight fever or colds. During your tattoo session, make sure to bring with you something that will divert your attention to. This will be in preparation to strenuous tattoo session that you will be getting. There are health problems that are not allowed to have a tattoo. It is a necessity that you are healthy so that when the needles go through your skin, everything is well and no complications.

Make sure you made a final, good and firm decision.

Make sure that what you have decided will be your final decision. Remember that you are going to have this in a lifetime. So make decisions clearly.  Do not be double-minded. You have to think about this all over again.

Urban Body Jewelry
Decide on what is the design you wanted.

It would be easier for you if you can choose the design as early as possible. Remember that there are no changes to reconsider especially when the tattooing has started already. Choose the design and think of that tattoo (its relevance the meaning to you). For first-timers, it would be better if you can have a small one tattooed on your wrist so that you will get to experience if how can you endure the pain.

Final Thoughts…

Japanese Tattoo has culturally influenced the world and has become a trend. This tattoo art has paved its way up to the other continents of the world and is greatly adored! Almost all of the tattoo enthusiasts liked to have the Japanese tattoo design as it is so unique and there are stories behind these designs. Truly, an art that is in you! 

Hello! My name is Emily and I obsessed with piercings (and tattoos) since I was a little girl of 6 years old. I was fortunate enough to make my passion my work after meeting my amazing husband Jeffrey who owned his own tattoo shop. I just recently finished my internships at some of America’s most famous piercing shops and a dream to start something together was born. After falling in love with each other (and each other’s piercings and tattoos) we decided to expand his tattoo shop and I got to manage my own piercing shop in the same space! I’ve never been so happy being able to share my love for piercings through my shop and this blog I started back in 2013. We love to share models and inspiration, so feel free to email me your suggestions, pictures or if you just want to say hi!

Sours: https://www.piercingmodels.com/japanese-tattoos/

The Top 121+ Best Japanese Tattoos in 2021

Nothing has had a greater impact on Western body art illustration than Japanese tattoo design, collectively known as Irezumi.

Irezumi tattoos are used as a blanket term to describe various tattoo-by-hand styles originating in Japan.

Tattoo technology has caught up to tradition and most designs are now done by a tattoo artist using a machine, however the mystique of traditional Japanese tattooing remains.

When American GI’s left Tokyo after World War II, they brought back to the US a love for the taboo tattoo tradition of the Japanese Yakuza (mafia crime families), who bore large, brightly colored and elaborate body suits depicting Japanese mythology on their skin.

Famed tattoo artists such as Sailor Jerry and Don Ed Hardy incorporated the Japanese style into their tattoos and wider art, changing the complexion of tattoo culture world wide almost completely.

Now, every tattoo studio should have a tattoo artist versed in Japanese decorative tattooing or be left behind by competitors with such a visible tattoo style advantage.

The following collection of brilliant designs feature some elements of the expansive Japanese tattoo style, but they showcase beautiful symbolic body art and decorative tattooing that is as good as any that you will ever see.

Toward the end of the gallery and breakdown you’ll find useful insight into Japanese tattoo terminology, and a FAQ section to help you learn more about the often complex culture of Japanese ink you can apply to your next tattoo design.

1. Koi Fish Tattoo

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In Japanese art the koi fish is a symbol of masculinity. Flags of the fish are raised on May 5 every year when a new son is born to the household, in the hope they grow strong.

In Japanese mythology every koi that swims up the Chinese Yellow River and bests the waterfalls known as the “Dragon’s Gate” is transformed from a fish into a mythical dragon Many Irezumi feature Koi and dragons together negotiating turbulent waters to signify toughness and durability.

Koi are also associated with flowers such as the lotus, chrysanthemum, and sakura (cherry blossom).

2. Samurai Tattoos

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Samurai warriors followed the practice of Bushido and pledged themselves to moral principles such as courage, honor, and respect.

In times of life and death, these were the guiding values that kept them strong in times of chaos, which is why samurai warriors remain a source of interest to rival medieval knights in allure and grandeur.

3. Traditional Japanese Tattoos

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While not deemed illegal any more, tattoos remain heavily stigmatized in conservative Japan despite the younger generation picking up body art as a mean of self expression and defiance against the hugely conservative Japanese government.

Japanese traditional designs feature rich color, heavy single fill and bold outline designs often covering large areas of skin.

The elements – wind, fire, earth, water, wind – are greatly important for filling out and supporting the major theme (shudai) of the large and complex Irezumi tattoos.

4. Japanese Dragon Traditional Tattoo

Ribcage Japanese Tattoo Ideas For Guys

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To some the Japanese dragon tattoo represents strength, power, masculinity, or sexual passion. For others, the dragon depicts longevity, good luck and great wisdom.

They are symbols of forces that use their strength for the good of others, and are held in equal parts awe and respect.

A sleeping dragon means that the wearer possesses quiet strength and power that rises to the occasion when necessary, while a dragon rising toward the sun signifies progress on life’s journey.

A dragon’s claw – generally depicted with 3 claws, against 5 for Chinese dragons -might represent the battle of good over evil, destruction, fearlessness, and power.

5. Geisha Tattoo

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Geisha played an important role in Japanese society, and while there is no denying the carnal origins of their cultural role, these aspects were soon overshadowed by the more wholesome duties of hostess and entertainer.

Geishas were often well-educated. Many were well trained in the art form of calligraphy, painting, tea service and Ikebana, and the mastery of musical instruments.

In the world of modern geisha tattoo, the painted visage of the courtesan has come to represent grace, beauty, and femininity, all while offering the tattooist a motif that can be incorporated into a wide range of interesting styles, designs, and concepts.

6. Godzilla Tattoos

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For cold-blooded cinematic supremacy the renowned King of Monsters will demolish your opponent’s ink in an effortless show of power. Eastern sensibilities are naturally loaded into the concepts of the city wrecking monster.

Of course, this scaly demon is not the only violent creature that the series has to offer. In fact, there are dozens of competing “kaiju” tattoos that can be used in a tattoo of this kind.

If you love the cinematic Japanese art form or retro action, then a Godzilla tattoo is right up your alley.

7. Kitsune Tattoos

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Kitsune are iconic entities from Japanese lore that exist as wise foxes with shape-shifting abilities. Tattoos that feature these enigmatic and bold creatures are said to represent both trickery and friendship.

Kitsune literally translates to fox in English, but the term is much more descriptive of the elusive and magical nature of these forest-dwelling creatures who were often used as spirit messengers between those alive and dead.

8. Japanese Tiger Tattoos

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In Japan, the tiger represents courage, longevity and strength. While they may appear ferocious, the animals are thought to ward off bad luck, evil, and illness.

Japanese tigers commonly flow naturally and possess bright colors, often to depict autumn in the northern hemisphere.

Tigers, whether serene or snarling, might feature the head alone, elongated full bodies, or multiple animals and can represent the great beast supine, standing, walking, prowling or pouncing.

9. Samurai Mask Tattoos

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A Japanese samurai mask was typically unique to the man who wore it. In many senses, the skull armor was considered to embody the swordsman’s soul.

Several superstitions believe that these awe-inspiring helmets contain the long-deceased spirits of Japan’s original conquerors.

10. Japanese Wave Tattoos

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Japanese wave tattoos are typically representative of power, fluidity, and movement, and can represent the ever-changing nature of life.

Just as with water and the ocean, life can be gentle and breezy during the simple times and tumultuous during the hard.

Some Japanese artistic pieces have been translated directly into tattoos, like the famous ‘Great Wave’ by Katsushika Hokusai.

11. Japanese Cherry Blossom Tattoos

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Masculine Men's Japanese Tattoo Ideas

The cherry blossom, or sakura, represent beauty and the fragility of life. It is often used to pair off with many masculine tattoo themes to provide harmony, since the sakura is often associated with femininity and grace.

This pink and yellow flowers of the sakura bloom briefly during spring time in Japan, and are one of the most important and integral part of culture and mythology.

12. Japanese Sleeve Tattoos

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There’s no denying the appeal of the artistic Japanese tattoo culture with its beautiful floral designs, deep meanings, and complementary motifs.

The style is more popular now than ever, especially when it comes to sleeves. By adopting yobori style and the machine, artists can now make Japanese sleeve tattoos to life quicker and more effectively, despite losing some of the mystique.

13. Japanese Flower Tattoos

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Japanese flower tattoos represent the top-notch tradition of ancient Asian art. Representing the complete life cycle as well as sexual prowess and beauty, the flower tattoo promotes a surprisingly masculine motif.

With a Japanese flower tattoo, you can draw from this solid tradition in the form of motivational body art, either as the shudai – central theme – or secondary piece of the design (keshoubori).

14. Enso Tattoos

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The Enso symbol is a Zen Buddhism staple and favorite in Japanese design. It is an almost completed circle designed to show there is emptiness both within and outside the circle.

The symbol also depicts the vastness of the universe and its ultimate power.

It is regarded as a sacred symbol in Zen schools. The circle represents the ultimate void or nothingness, which is the most perfect state of meditation as well as Satori – the idea of total enlightenment.

15. Hannya Mask Tattoos

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The most recognizable facet of a Japanese Noh play seems to be the Hannya mask. These purposefully terrifying countenances were meant to signify the spirit of a scorned female lover and now comprise some of the best examples of Japanese tattoo art.

Because the original masks required ample care and attention during construction, they are also ideal symbols of discipline and dedication.

16. Japanese Cloud Tattoos

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Japanese cloud body art often portrays your love for adventure and expansive vision for the scope of your life goals. The cyclical and transformative nature of clouds reflect the process of where you have been, and the progress as you attain where you are going.

Cloud tattoos make ideal filler pictures (gakoubori) for sleeve tattoos, intricately aligning with more dominant imagery to link spaces, themes, or augment shape.

17. Japanese Demon Tattoos (Oni)

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Japanese demon (Oni) tattoos represent power and strength. In esoteric Japanese culture, dragons and demons remain related, with both representing good fortune and generosity.

Far from simplistic fiends, these complex and majestic tattoos impart your ultimate control over any challenge that comes your way.

As a perennial reminder about the eternal struggle between good and evil, Japanese oni tattoos provide a solid foundation for understanding the struggle one has to overcome.

18. Japanese Back Tattoos

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Japanese back tattoos have been used as symbols for the wealthy, marked upon slaves, inked on the Yakuza, and used as a means of self-expression for Westerners with a fascination for elements of Japanese culture and mythology.

These tattoos are unique, timeless, and complex. A Japanese back tattoo is imbued with meaning; a way of showing spiritual devotion, delineating character traits acquired or aspired to, and honoring a long-standing tradition boldly with full commitment.

19. Japanese Phoenix Tattoo Ideas

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The symbolism of rebirth and everlasting life is a massive part of Japanese phoenix tattoo. The bird rising from the ashes stronger than ever represents tenacity in reaching goals and overcoming struggle.

The Japanese phoenix tattoo also symbolizes healing and purification. Not only does the phoenix emerge from ashes immortal, but its legendary tears heal wounds.

20. Japanese Snake Tattoos

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One of the more popular Japanese tattoos for men is the snake (hebi). Snakes often represent rebirth and eternal life by virtue of regularly shedding their skin.

The Japanese pit viper, or the “mamushi,” is a beautiful animal with a circular pattern in the scales on its back and a more detailed black and white mosaic on its belly.

While generally small, this venomous snake is excellent at sneaking up on its prey when they least expect it, and a popular sub genre of wider serpent designs.

21. Rising Sun Tattoos

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This ancient Japanese icon has been around since the Edo Period, so you will be getting in touch with your samurai roots. The simplest incarnation is a blood red sphere, but the most distinctive variations showcase corresponding rays of light.

Mt. Fuji is a focal point of many rising sun illustrations, and the artwork sometimes replicates old-school woodblock prints. The peak can be maximized with fluffy clouds and tasteful cranes, or Shinto features incorporated to add meditative calm and cultural cachet.

22. Japanese Skull Tattoos

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Skulls have famously been used to represent a huge spectrum of themes revolving around death, growth, and life itself. Japanese skull tattoos are unique in that they are respected and revered as a form of positive remembrance for deceased relatives and ancestors.

In Japanese culture, skull tattoos are seen as a way to honor the greatest progression man can experience. Death is revered in Japanese culture, and that symbolism has spread throughout the world of tattoos.

23. Raijin Tattoos

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As the god of lightning, thunder and storms in the Shinto religion and in Japanese mythology, Raijin is a fearsome god. His formidable appearance and power is what makes him the perfect tattoos for those who have a deep respect for the Shinto philosophy.

Raijin was formed shortly after the creation of Japan by Izanami and Izanagi. He is said to have a drum, which he uses in order to make thunder during storms.

During these storms, folk legends say that Raijin will eat children’s navels and take them away, lest they keep themselves covered in the presence of this terrifying god.

24. Japanese Frog Tattoos

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The frog holds a prestigious place in Japanese culture, holding infinite powers of prosperity, luck, and lifelong abundance.

The Japanese frog is heralded as the god of rainfall during the tsuyu (plum rain) season and ensurer of harvests.

The frog is often a popular good luck tattoo, gift and domestic mainstay, promising many happy returns of loved ones, success, and wealth.

Japanese Tattoo Glossary

Sanja Matsuri Festival Float Tattooed Yakuza

Image: Leo U via Flickr CC By –NC 2.0 

The following list of words are commonly used Japanese terms to describe aspects of tattooing, style or placement. They can be handy for your research when planning your design or refining an idea.

Bokashi

Gradation (multi level shading of black through gray by clearly defining and diluting the ink). Most commonly used when depicting elements to fill around the central tattoo image.

Donburi Sōshinbori

The Japanese full body tattoo without the chest opening

Gakoubori

The single or combination of filler ‘pictures’ used to flesh out and frame the whole piece. Most common examples are waves, fire, wind, and clouds.

Gobu

A half sleeve arm tattoo that starts at the shoulder and goes to just above the elbow join.

Hikae

The chest panel tattoo, most often combines with an upper arm (Hikae Gobu) or full sleeve design (Hikai Nagasode). A deep hikae goes below the nipple of the chest, while a shallow hikae stays above the nipple

Horishi

A tattoo artist. Hori is an honorific give to those who “carve.”

Irezumi

Irezumi is the Japanese word for tattoo. While referring to the distinctive poking style of Japanese tattooing, it is also used as a blanket term to describe tattoo styles originating in Japan.

Keshoubori

Secondary tattoo motif supporting the central idea, often flowers or plants

Munewari

Traditional chest tattoo with the opening strip of un-tattooed flesh running down the middle

Munewari Sōshinbori

A full body tattoo with the opening on the chest left un-inked

Nagasode

A full sleeve arm tattoo done to the wrist or right up to the hand

Nukibori

The negative space – untattooed section of the main image or tattoo background

Sanja Matsuri

Japanese Festival famous for being the one event/day of the year where Yakuza are allowed to openly display their Irezumi. Yakuza tattoo is rarely visible tattoo

Senaka

The Japanese back tattoo. Usually refers to the full back piece but also incorporates smaller designs. Those that also cover the buttocks and thighs are called Kame No Kou (the Tortoise Shell)

Shichibu

The three quarter sleeve tattoo running from shoulder to the mid forearm

Shudai

The central theme or idea of the tattoo

Sujibori

The outline of a tattoo

Sumi

Tattoo Ink

Tebori

The literal translation of tebori is “to carve by hand”. Tebori describes the umbrella of traditional Japanese techniques most often used before the incorporation of tattoo machines.

Yo/Yobori

The term for Western style tattooing which uses the machine. Yo is the commonly used slang term.

Japanese Tattoo FAQs

Are tattoos illegal in Japan?

Not currently, but they are heavily stigmatized. Attitudes are slowly changing, but body art has been linked with criminality by the Japanese government.

Yakuza organized crime gangs flaunted laws banning tattoo and adorned themselves with elaborate, full-body tattoos of exceptional detail and quality, a style now popular in Western tattoo art.

What are Japanese traditional tattoos?

Traditional Japanese tattoos that are done by hand are referred to as tebori, however tattoo technology has caught up and most designs are now done by artist’s using a machine.

Japanese traditional design feature rich patterns and heavy single fill and bold outline designs often covering large areas of skin.

What is the difference between Japanese and Chinese Dragon Tattoos?

Chinese and Japanese tattoos have developed in much the same fashion over a long period; they’re sinuous and snakelike with narrow heads and sharp fangs.

The simplest way to distinguish them from each other is Japanese dragons are most often depicted with three claws, while Chinese dragons have five.

Why are the elements important in Japanese tattoos?

The elements are greatly important for filling out and supporting the major theme of the large and complex Japanese tattoo designs. This is known as Gakoubori. Most commonly used elements:

  • Waves and water
  • Clouds
  • Wind
  • Fire
  • Rocks and earth

What is a yakuza tattoo?

In the Edo Period tattoos were applied by authorities as a means to identify criminals in Japanese society, then later incorporated into Yakuza tradition, with large, elaborate body suits depicting Japanese mythology.

What does a Japanese tiger tattoo symbolize?

For a Japanese person tigers represent strength and virility – much like everywhere else. These powerful creatures are solitary hunters and are usually depicted with teeth bared in aggressive postures often surrounded by bamboo and clouds. Few animals make for such dramatic subjects as the tigers depicted in full-color Japanese tattooing.

What do pearls symbolize in Japanese dragon tattoos?

The pearl is an important motif used in complex Japanese design. Usually the Ryu (dragon) us questing to obtain the orb which is protected by other sacred animals symbols such as carp.

One argument is the pearl represents the jewel of all knowledge, while others argue that much in a similar way as European dragons the Ryu quests for wealth.

What are the most popular themes of Japanese style tattoo?

  • Dragon (Ryu)
  • The Phoenix (Ho-ou)
  • Hannya Mask, Oni, and Nabakumi (Demons)
  • Raijin (God of lightning, thunder, and storms)
  • Kitsune (Fox)
  • Cranes
  • Koi Fish
  • Samurai
  • Geisha
  • Waves
  • Skulls (Zugaikotsu)
  • Foo Dog (Karashishi)
  • Snake (Hebi)
  • Tiger
  • Octopus
  • Kanji tattoo (lettering)

How much does a color Japanese sleeve cost?

A full color Japanese Irezumi sleeve tattoo is at the top of the pricing spectrum. A Japanese sleeve will cost at least $1500 -2000 USD, even at a comparatively cheap average price of $150 per hour.

Experienced artists and Japanese tattooing specialists will charge more, while a sleeve from a Japanese tattoo artist master like Horiyoshi III could cost upwards of $10,000 USD for a colorful nagasode arm piece at a Tokyo or Osaka tattoo studio.

What’s the difference between Hannya and Oni mask tattoos?

Japanese Oni (Ogre demon) masks differ from the Hannya mask in that the ogre describes aspects of good and evil.

Traditionally, Oni mask tattoos represent the punishment of humans for acts of evil and injustice, whereas Hannya masks used in Noh theater depict how something beautiful can change and become evil.

What are the most popular Japanese style flower tattoo ideas?

Flowers can be the main theme (Shudai) or a complementary aspect (Keshoubori) in Japanese tattoos. Most famous include:

  • Cherry blossom (Sakura)
  • Peony (Botan)
  • Chrysanthemum (Kiku)
  • Maple Leaves (Momiji)
  • Lotus flower (Hasunohana)
  • Plum blossom (Ume)

Pine trees, Bonsai, and bamboo are also popular nature themes linked to Japanese Irezumi.

What does the combination of black, red, and blue koi tattoos mean?

On May 5, Japanese households hoist koi flags to signify their hope that their male children grow strong to rival heroic figure Kintaro (similar to Hercules), who once wrestled a giant carp.

In Japanese traditional back tattoos, the black koi (magoe) is the father, red koi (higoe) is mother, and the blue carp (kigoe) is the child, while other koi are linked with wealth, success, or love.

Sours: https://nextluxury.com/mens-style-and-fashion/japanese-tattoos-for-men/

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