You may be having a tattoo on your body. If not, you are probably considering getting one. Often, people get tattoos that they relate with. It’s nearly impossible for someone to get a tattoo that he or she doesn’t know the meaning or its origin. There are some people who use tattoos as a form of art to express a given status. In Japan, for example, every tattoo (popularly referred to as Irezumi) has a symbolic and artistic meaning.
If you visit Japan during the spring, you may be surprised by how many people with tattoos try to hide them. This is more prevalent in public places, more so where there are kids. The reason is that most tattoos are associated with a mafia group called Yakuza. Surprisingly, the tattoos are seen as trendy in other parts of the world. Before you decide to have the Japanese tattoo of your choice and check a Japanese tattoo shop you should be aware of the status symbol that it carries.
Here are illustrations to help you:
- The Dragon Tattoo: Symbol of Strength, Wisdom, and Protection
Dragons have historically been a part of the Japanese folklore. While the creature is seen in some countries as evil, the Japanese people see it as a caring force that uses its strength and power to protect. The creature generally has the desire to help, especially against attacks. The other outstanding status quality of the dragon tattoo is wisdom. Dragons are not only strong but they are also witty. They know how to solve problems that they face. Therefore, getting this tattoo paints an image of a strong, wise, and protective person.
- The Lion Tattoo: Symbol of Courage, Heroism, Strength, and Power
The lion is called the “King of the Jungle” for a reason. It’s a powerful, brave, and determined animal. Such a tattoo shows a person with similar traits. In some cases, the Fu Dog is used in place of the lion. The Fun Dog is also a strong and brave animal. Additionally, the tattoos are believed to protect against evil and misfortunes.
- The Tiger Tattoo: Symbol of Strength and Bravery
Tigers are generally strong and courageous animals. Somebody with this tattoo demonstrates the traits. The Yakuza believe that the tattoo protects them against evil and misfortunes. There are also those who believe that the prints protect them against diseases. In this case, it gives them the strength and bravery to face their enemies and harm in general.
- Koi Tattoo: Symbol of Strength, Bravery, and Ambition
Koi, a fish, is a popular creature in Japan. The fish has masculine qualities which make it powerful and courageous in the waters. It’s always determined to survive the challenges of the sea. That’s why a Koi tattoo shows a person who is strong, courageous, and determined in life.
- The Phoenix Tattoo: Symbol of Rebirth and Triumph
This Irezumi is used to demonstrate the power of the mysterious Phoenix bird. The bird is believed to possess the will to be consumed by its own fire and be reborn from the ashes. The tattoo shows someone who has triumphed above serious adversities. It’s used to inspire people that success is real—though you may ‘die’, there is hope for a rebirth. Moreover, the Phoenix is known to be a bird of high moral standards and prosperity. Thus, the tattoo is also worn by people of similar traits.
- Water-themed Tattoo – Symbol of Life and Triumph or Power and Destruction
So many Japanese tattoos feature water themes such as waves and cool waters. Waves are particularly used to show power and destruction. The Japanese people have always feared strong waves such as the tsunamis. On the other hand, gentle waters symbolize calmness and life. The tattoo also shows hope for overcoming the waves.
- Cherry Blossom Tattoo – Symbol of Life, Love, and Beauty
The Cherry Blossom is a beautiful flower that has a short lifecycle. Just like life, the flower only blossoms for a while before it fades away. The tattoo expresses mortality, physical look, and feelings as they all fade with time. The cherry blossom is considered a good omen even though its provisions are short-lived.
So, before you walk into a Japanese tattoo shop to have a body print, you should know what the image symbolizes. The above illustrations will guide you in getting the tattoo that shows your ideal status. Do not just wear a tattoo for the sake of it.