History of Japanese Tattoos
The Japanese tattoos have a long and rich history. The first evidence of Japanese tattoos can be seen on 5000 year old figurines recovered from tombs. Also, texts from the 3rd century A.D. speak of Japanese men decorating their faces and bodies with tattoos. Centuries later, mainly due to the powerful cultural influence of China, tattooing became a taboo, and was largely reserved for outcasts and criminals. The integral part of traditional Japanese tattoo was an elaborate system of symbols that were used to tell a story through the use of specific images that were meant to reveal the character of the individual.
Cherry Blossoms: One of the most popular designs for women, the cherry blossoms are used to represent life itself. They are also called Sakura. The beauty of the cherry blossom lies in the strength it has to survive in the harsh conditions that they bloom in, along with their fragile nature, as they only last a couple of days. The Japanese view this as a direct representation of how life should be. They believe that everyday should be lived to the fullest and that the awareness of death should only make us want to seize each moment in our life. This is one of the Japanese tattoo meanings which clearly signifies power and beauty.
Koi Fish Tattoos: Koi fish tattoos are perhaps the second most favored symbols in Japanese tattoos. Generally, koi fish are bright colored fish that have special symbolism in Japanese culture and you can even find them in front of most temples. The myth states that the koi fish swim upstream to a bridge or gate of heaven where they were transformed into dragons. This design symbolizes luck, strength, power, ambition and individuality.
Dragons: The mythical dragon is something we all associate Japan with! The dragons hold a very important place in Japanese tattoos and their meanings. The dragon tattoo is associated with many meanings, from freedom, courage, wisdom, power, strength to even supernatural powers. When it comes to choosing a dragon tattoo, let your imagination fly, as there is no concern of making it look realistic. And each color dragon has a different symbolization, so choose the color carefully.
Hanya Masks: Hanya masks is one of the most traditional Japanese tattoos. The meanings of Japanese tattoos often originate from kabuki plays, just like this tattoo. Hanya masks are demonic masks which come from the famous kabuki plays in Japan, and it depicts a woman who has been consumed with rage over her lover. These tattoos are believed to ward off evil spirits, and bring good luck to the person sporting them.