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20+ symbolic Japanese tattoo ideas

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Japanese tattoos are expressive and bold, which is why they have become a popular style of the globe. The bright colors and interesting shading make these inks eye-catching and exciting. The images used are often a way to add folklore or traditionshonor, and common designs include mythical beings like dragons and phoenixes, nature, animals and the supernatural. As striking as this technique is, it is also shrouded in controversy. Synonymous with body art, the yakuza gang is synonymous with body art and colors their entire body,to show their commitment and strength. That is why tattoos carry a stigma in Japan. Find out everything you need to know about this impressive technique!

What are traditional Japanese tattoos?

Japanese traditional tattoos are also known as irezumi. It is a tattooing technique that is ancient andRich in symbolism. The body art usually encompasses several different themes that may be inspired by folklore or tradition, with common imagery such as koi fish, dragons, geishas and flowers. The style is distinctive, recognizable by the bright colors and interesting, meaningfulSubjects. These inks have become popular all over the world and many people feel inspired, however, it is important to know that some images may be considered offensive, such as:B. coloring religious motifs or those that others interpret as dark history.

Japanese Traditional Tattoos

Whatis a yakuza tattoo?

Japanese tattoos are beautiful, bright, and expressive, but have a bad rap due to their association with the yakuza. The criminal gang is known to cover their bodies with ink,which is a way to mark members for life and show their loyalty and ability to endure pain. Once, tattoos were illegal in Japan, another reason the gang adopted them. However, in the 21st century, some yakuza don’t dyetheir whole body, as they fit in more easily with the rest of society.

Yakuza Tattoo

Japanese Tattoo Inks

The subject of Japanese tattoos is incredibly important, but that’s how it isThe color. Although several black and gray combinations are detailed and meaningful, the technology can also be recognized by its brightness. There are different color schemes to choose from, depending on the theme, and each has a different symbolism. A black koi fish, for exampleassociated with masculinity, adversity, and perseverance, while a green dragon is associated with nature.


Red is one of the most vivid colors used in tattoos because they make an instant statement. In Japanese engineering, it represents many things, including strength, passion, and blood. It is also believed to ward off evil spirits and be a symbol of peace and economic success.

Red Japanese Tattoo


Blue is a popular color for Japanese clothing and is often worn in the workplace, being recruiting suitse are sold in different shades. It can involve hard work, loyalty and acceptance. As you can see, it also makes for a beautiful tattoo.

Blue Japanese Tattoo


Black is a popular color for tattoos, and you will see many black and gray designs that are both striking and detailed.Lettering is usually done in black ink and is associated with mystery or sadness; it’s an intense hue often viewed as masculine and has a rich history in tattooing; it can have even more meaning depending on the design chosenblack dragon, for example, stands for wisdom and a cat of the same color can ward off evil.

Black Japanese Tattoo


White is a popular and sacred color in Japan. It can represent mourning and death as well as purity, Friedeness and honesty. For some it is associated with new beginnings and connected with the spiritual world. In tattoos it creates an exciting contrast when inked with black or gray and is a wonderful way to add more detail.

White Japanese Tattoo


Purple is a stunning color for body art because it’s so brightBut it is also important in Japan. In the countryside, this hue is associated with royalty and strength. In the past, it was one of the most expensive colors to manufacture and was therefore reserved for those who could pay for it.

Purple Japanese Tattoo


Pink is a feminine color associated with feminine strength, beauty, and health. It is also widely used in Japanese body art, especially cherry blossoms. In Japan, eIt’s also associated with energy and vitality. The vibrant colors make for fantastic body art and add extra meaning to your chosen design.

Green Japanese Tattoo


There are few colors as striking as yellow, the color of warmth, joy and desIt is a symbol of the sunshine and is a shade that can bring a smile to your face. It is considered a sacred color in some areas of Japan while it has a negative association in others. It compliments a wide range of body arts,from flowers to dragons, and will certainly attract attention. On the other hand, gold is associated with power and the gods and adorns shrines and temples.

Yellow Japanese Tattoo

Japanese Tattoo Designs

1. cat tattoo

Cats become Often associated with wealth and luck, making for great tattoos, there are several ways to style your ink and while some people opt for the more traditional approach, others may choose things that they appreciate about Japanese culture.This can be anything from food and clothing to tattoo style. It is important not to be offensive with your design, and it is always best to avoid sacred and religious images.

Japanese Cat Tattoo

2.Cherry Blossom Tattoo

Cherry blossoms are one of the most beautiful flowers and their pretty pink colormakes them a welcome addition to any landscape. However, they do not live very long, which makes the flower a symbol of life and its impermanence. The flower is also associated with strength and persistence and is widely used in Irezumi for its beauty and importance.
In Japan the KiIt’s blooming time, when the flowers bloom, and it’s a time to be celebrated, so it can also be associated with joy.

Cherry Blossom Tattoo

3.Cloud Tattoo

If you want a stunning, decorative tattoo, you may be from the Japanese Cloud design attracted. The bold strands are known as kumo and can be colored alone or as a filler with other images. The clouds are an admiration of nature and a symbol of important ideas, masculinity, impermanence and change, they usually look the bestwhen they are kept dark and put a very bold statement.

Japanese Cloud Tattoo

4. It is also consideredan otherworldly creature and is deeply respected and admired and has been the subject of interesting legends. The bird can bring good luck and luck, but also stands for longevityThe design is usually detailed and may include other images such as a sun or flowers, so it requires a placement option with enough space to accommodate these details. The arm or thigh are great places that are often seenbut you also have more space to create eye-catching and colorful works of art.

Japanese Crane Tattoo

5. Demon Tattoo

A demon tattoo may not be a design that appeals to everyone, but it has a very interesting meaning. The most popular image is Oni, a kind of ogreor demon depicted in Japanese folklore. Their ink can represent the balance between good and evil and could be a reminder that harmful acts do not go unpunished. The wearer may also wish to intimidate others with their body art and create the impressionthat you don’tThese pieces are also exceptionally detailed and often feature other images such as cherry blossoms or a snake, which make for meaningful ink.

Japanese Demon Tattoo

6.Dragon tattoo

Dragon tattoos are one of the most popular designs because they are so interesting and symbolic. The mythical creature has great significance in JapaneseCulture and represents bravery, strength and wisdom. This is a stark comparison to what dragons represent in the west and are often viewed as evil or greedy. When it comes to placement, the arm or leg are the top spots,to get it colored as the shape of the creature looks like it is wrapped around your limbs; this makes for a particularly interesting color scheme. There are also many colors to choose from, each with its different meaning. Black is associated with wisdom andGreen with nature, while gsame dragons are noble. You can decide what suits you best, but red and black are a very eye-catching combination.

Japanese Dragon Tattoo

7. Flower Tattoo

Flower tattoos are fantastic choices for both men and women. You can choose whether you just want themcolorize one or more flowers, or want to make them part of an intricate design that includes other images such as a dragon, phoenix, or koi fish. Several flowers are important in Japanese culture; these include the lotus, peony, and cherry blossom, each of whichhas its own symbolism, but the plants are generally associated with life and beauty. The Japanese style uses bright colors so your ink is hard to miss and is a fantastic option if you’re looking for something that makes a statement.

Japanese Flower Tattoo

8. The fablenature resembles a lion and is important in Japan. It is an architectural ornament used to guard important buildings and shrines. They represent prosperity, luck and protection and are a fantastic choice for a tattoo. This interesting animal also inspires thosePeople in the western world, and if you love the symbolism associated with it, it will be a great choice for your next ink.

Foo Dog Tattoo

9. Frog Tattoo

Japanese frog tattoos are not your average amphibian design! They are bright, colorful and often look particularly fierce. Some works of art can also contain gold coins. They areInteresting to look at and rich in symbolism, the choice is yours in how you want to represent your frog or toad and the imagery you use can change the meaning of your piece, but in general it is considered a lucky bull, which is wealth, success andLuck brings.

Japanese Frog Tattoo

10. Japanese Women Tattoo

Geishas have a significant history in Japan and are often associated with attractiveness, femininity and grace. A tattoo of a geisha or a Japanese woman styled as such is an ink for men and women and represents perfection, respectand intense beauty. It is also considered a symbol of Japanese culture. Most of these pieces are large and detailed, with the back being a popular placement option to leave enough room. Depending on the meaning, you can add other traditional images like a cherry blossom or aAdd Samurai.

Japanese Women Tattoo

11.Koi Fish Tattoo

If you want a body art that represents strength, achievement, success, determination, good luck and much more then a koi fish tattoo is a perfect design for youre next coloring. In Japanese body art, this is one of the most popular images due to the meaning and symbolism of the carp. Depending on the color, they can also have different meanings. For example, red stands for love, power and motherhood, while black stands for adversity and the struggle forsuccess is associated.

Traditional Japanese Koi Fish Tattoo

12.Letter Tattoo

Sometimes people want to colorize a word or phrase but they don’t want others to easily understand the meaning. For this reason, foreign languages ​​and symbols are often preferred. Kanji isbeautiful and makes for an interesting and symbolic tattoo. However, there are some downsides to getting this type of design. If you are inspired by Japanese culture, this can also be a way to honor it.

Japanese Letter Tattoo

13.Lion tattoo

A lion tattoo represents courage, royalty and strength to many people, but they are not depicted in Japan as you would see them on the African plains. Instead, they have pointed ears and a thin manewhich give a somewhat intimidating but also mythical appearance. They are common statues that are used to guard the entrance of important places and to ward off evil and provide protection. Their body art can have the same meaning. It is a strong design, often with baredTeeth is shown for those who want something wild and powerful to protect them and remind them to stay on the right track.

Japanese Lion Tattoo

14.Lotus Tattoo

A lotus tattoo is a popular choice as it is richThey are valued in Japan and you will often see them either individually or with aFor example, a piece depicting a koi fish. The flower is often associated with enlightenment and spiritual awakening. But it also stands for purity and strength. The beautiful flower grows in muddy waters and many people areinspired by it, as it reminds you that even in tough life you can still find beauty in it. Or it can be interpreted as a way to never give up and keep going.

Japanese Lotus Tattoo

15.Mask Tattoo

There are several Japanese masks, some of which are worn for religious events and others for theatrical purposes and festivals Your inspiration will determine your design. A popular choice for body art is the Hannya mask. You may find it dark or scary when you see it, but it is a symbol of good luck and is used to ward off evil. There isalso a businessichthe how it portrays a woman consumed with passion and love, which is an appealing interpretation for those who have been heartbroken or rejected.

Japanese Mask Tattoo

16. Peony Tattoo

In many Japanese tattoos, you may see designs likethe peony. It is a beautiful flower and often inked in various bright colors which makes for a bold and meaningful piece. It symbolizes prosperity and good fortune, but is also associated with life, perseverance, bravery and honor. You can choose whether you arewant to paint yourself with a number of these flowers or add various other images, for example a geisha or a crane, which adds even more meaning to your body art.

Peony Tattoo

17. The Japanese phoenix, known as Hou-ou,is a mythical creature representing fire, justice and power. It was also used to decorate houses and it is believed that those who lived there were honest and loyal. It is a beautiful bird and rich in symbols andis for this reason one of the most popular options for being colored.

Japanese Phoenix Tattoo

18.Skull Tattoo

A skull is a widely recognized symbol of death, and it may seem like a morbid choice for a tattoo. However, this is not necessarilythe case as it can also depict how fleeting our existence is and the importance of cherishing our lives and living well. The Japanese skull tattoo is a symbol of change. It can be accompanied by various other images, with popular options such asFlowers that can add to the overall meaning of your ink. Color also plays a rolee, so choose carefully.

Japanese Skull Tattoo

19.Snake Tattoo

One of the most popular symbols you will see in Japanese engineering is the snake tattoo. It can be a symbol of change, protection from disease and disease, and it can also prevent bad luck. This may be given the intimidating appearance of the snakesurprise, which is often shown curled up and apparently ready to strike. However, the creature is not considered evil and instead brings the wearer good luck and strength.

Japanese Snake Tattoo

20. Sun Tattoo

Japan’s rising sun, the bold red design, was inFlags are used and is a symbol of divinity, courage and life. It is a symbol that for some represents the land. There are many different designs, and some involve warriors while others include wellIt is a very controversial image, however, as an important clue, this design can be incredibly offensive to some people, it was used as the flag of the military and represents a very dark part for the countries that were invaded during that timehistory.

Japanese Sun Tattoo

21. Temple Tattoo

ManyJapanese temples are architectural masterpieces that have lasted for centuries; they are a place of spiritual awakening and growth and indicate a connection between this life and the next; it could be a way to honor your beliefs by showing respect for cultureor a reminder to stay on track and do good in life. It’s not hard to see why a picture of a temple would be such an appealing tattoo, but inking religious images can be offensive to some people. Hence, it isit IAlways best to do your research beforehand.

Japanese Temple Tattoo

22. In Japanese tattoos, they are seen as a way to keep negative energy, evil spirits, sickness and sickness away, these beautiful big cats are depicted as wild and intimidating which makes them the perfect body art for someone who wants a meaningful ink the othersIt’s best to complete the design in color, which makes for a stunning and eye-catching piece. It also requires a large area of ​​skin to allow for full detail and grandeur. Because of this, back or thighs are good options.

Japanese Tíger Tattoo

23.Wave Tattoo

Waves are a fantastic picturefor tattooing because they represent strength and life. They are also a symbol of change, since water is a recurring pattern of the comingThis can be related to life as we experience ups and downs and we live and die, or for some it could be interpreted as a way to go with the flow and accept the situations in which you find yourselfare located.

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