Japan is a land of culture and tradition, which is why tattoos in Japan are so fascinating. There are many different styles to choose from and many different meanings behind them. But before you get one, it's important to know what the designs mean. Each tattoo has its own set of symbols, and a slight change in the symbol may affect the whole meaning of your tattoo.
Japanese tattoos are popular as they are often seen as a symbol of strength and courage. Besides, their designs are intricate and unique as they are centuries old. The traditional Japanese tattoo methods involve creating an imprint by hand using a wooden handle with a metal needle.
It is believed Ainu people started tattooing, giving rise to traditional Japanese tattoos among their tribe. Their main belief was to prepare their body for the afterlife.
Apart from this, the face and body tattoos enhance their looks. Over the years, the designs have changed; however, you will find various tattoos that draw inspiration from old tribes, dragons, and other traditional things in Japan.
In this blog post, we will focus on the most popular type, traditional Japanese tattoos or irezumi, translated to “insert ink” in English. Moreover, we will cover some important things to consider before getting inked. We hope you enjoy reading about these fascinating pieces of art!
Ideas For Getting a Japanese Tattoo Sleeve
Japanese tattoos have exciting designs, such as dragons and phoenixes. Moreover, the tattoos in Japan honour their culture and history. Japanese traditional tattoos are also called Irezumi. They have been around for a long time and have many symbolic meanings.
The tattoos often involve different themes, like folklore or tradition, and are usually colourful. These tattoos have become popular around the world, with people feeling inspired by them.
In America, cats are often associated with wealth and good luck; therefore, they make great tattoos. There are many ways to design your tattoo: some people wish to have traditional tattoos, but others might consider Japanese tattoos because they like the style and food of the Japanese. However, keep in mind not to offend people with your tattoo design. Avoid using sacred images on your body in an offensive way.
Colourful Crane Tattoo
The bird crane is an important symbol in Japan, and it is seen as a sign of peace. It can bring good luck or fortune. It also represents longevity and wisdom. The design may be detailed and include other things, such as flowers or the sun. You can put the crane on your arm or your thigh to have more space for the large design. As a result, this tattoo design is a huge commitment.
Cherry Blossom Tattoos
Cherry blossoms are beautiful flowers. They have pretty pink colours that make them look good in the landscape. But they only live for a short time, which makes them symbolic of life and how it is impermanent. The flower also has connections to strength and perseverance because it is often used in Irezumi art because of its beauty and symbolism.
In Japan, cherry blossoms appear when the flowers bloom from March to May, and people celebrate this time with parties or other events. That's why people can also associate cherry blossom tattoos with joy because of their connection with life changes for birthdays or graduations.
A demon tattoo may not be something that everyone likes. But it has a special meaning. The most popular one is the Oni, which is an ogre or demon in Japanese folklore. Therefore, your ink may represent the balance between good and evil, and it could also remind you that harmful acts will not go unpunished. These tattoos are also very detailed and often have other images such as cherry blossoms or snakes on them, making for a statement piece of ink.
Fierce Japanese Dragon Tattoos
Dragon Tattoos are popular because they are interesting and can have a lot of meaning. They represent bravery, strength, and wisdom in Japanese culture. In the West, dragons are seen as evil or greedy. When people get dragon tattoos, it is common to get them on their arms or leg because that looks as if the dragon is wrapping around them.
Moreover, you can choose from many colours, each with its own meaning. For example, black is associated with wisdom and green with nature. Yellow dragons are noble, red and black are the most striking colour combination. You may also pick a dragon tattoo from an anime movie.
Snake tattoo designs are famous as they are a symbol of change, protection from illness, and bad luck. This may be surprising because many people think of the snake as evil, but it brings good luck and strength to those who get it. You may choose a snake tattoo with flower designs to balance the colours.
Koi Fish Tattoo
A koi fish tattoo is a good idea for arms and legs. In Japanese tattoo art, this is one of the most famous images used because of its symbolism. However, they can also have many meanings depending on what colour they are. For example, red means love, power and motherhood, while black is associated with adversity and struggle to succeed.
If you wish to get a tattoo that represents protection and brings good fortune, then consider getting a foo dog. It looks like a lion and is traditionally important in Japan. Besides, it is an architectural ornament designed to guard important buildings and shrines. So if you love the symbolism of foo dogs, it will make a great choice for your next tattoo!
Some people who get tattoos want to have their tattoo be something that is special and not easily understood by others. For Instance, kanji tattoos are beautiful and unique. But, they are hard to decipher for someone who does not understand the Japanese language. Moreover, you may find inspiration from Japanese literature, such as a quote. However, do your research before getting these tattoos, as they are prone to mistakes.
Things You Should Consider Before Getting a Japanese Tattoo
Getting a tattoo that covers a large area is always a little intimidating. You may need to consider how the pattern may look after a few years. Besides, keep your career in mind, as some people may consider tattoos unprofessional. You may need to cover some of the body tattoos in public.
Apart from this, research the design in advance so that it is culturally acceptable. Listed below are more things to consider before getting a Japanese tattoo.
A Lifelong Companion
Tattoos will stay forever on your skin. Getting tattoos and visible areas may make you feel bored at times. Besides, your outlook may change with time, considering the design, colours, and size of your tattoo. Therefore, be very careful before getting a massive colourful tattoo on your arm or legs.
You may need to consider laser tattoo removal in case you wish to get rid of the tattoo. Moreover, you may find a job that has a no tattoo policy. Hence, consider all the possible outcomes before committing to something permanent.
Cost of the Tattoo
Tattoos are charged by the details, colours, and size in a square inch. The cost can vary because it depends on how famous the artist is. Look for the best tattoo parlour with experienced artists. You should not go to a cheaper artist just because you want to save some money, because tattoos are permanent, and someone who knows how to do them has to do it.
Read reviews of tattoo artists to learn about their credibility and costs. Moreover, finding an authentic Japanese tattoo artist may be challenging. The more detail there is in your design, the more work for your tattoo artist will make your tattoo cost more.
Your Pain Tolerance
The process of tattooing is painful; however, it is bearable for many people. Some describe it as normal scratching pain. Besides, the pain of the whole process will depend on the area you choose to tattoo. More bony areas will pain as they have less flesh to cushion the pain. Therefore, consider your own pain threshold before getting a tattoo.
Understand More About Tattoos in Japan On Superprof
If you still feel sceptical about your Japan-inspired tattoo design, you may need a professional to help you with it. Enrol on Superprof to contact a professional who knows about the Japanese culture and language. This will help you eliminate any possible mistakes from your tattoos.
Besides, if you are considering a letter tattoo, the Japanese scholar-teacher will confirm the accuracy of the design. Since a tattoo is a forever thing, this will help in preventing any silly mistakes. Furthermore, when you are choosing a design, the tutor will guide you towards an appropriate design.
Some designs and places may be considered derogatory for cultural tattoos; therefore, it is always a good idea to contact a professional. You may also get to learn more about the culture and understand the deeper meanings of tattoos. Moreover, you may learn how to read, speak, and write Kanji or Kana from a professional tutor.