Features of unusual Japanese tattoos

A tattoo is an interesting body decoration, and if it is made in the Japanese style, it looks especially unusual and has a special meaning. But in order for a tattoo to be really meaningful and attractive, it is worthwhile to find out some features of the Japanese art of drawing drawings.

A bit of history

In Japan, underwear patterns appeared a long time ago, and their significance changed with time. Thus, in one epoch they were used to designate certain segments of the population, in another they were purely religious in nature, they were also personified with symbolism or importance of one or another period of life or served as talismans, and some applied them only for the decoration of the body. But at all times they were special.

Masters of tattoos underwent a long training, and not all of them deserved the honor to apply drawings. By the way, in ancient times tattoos were made with natural inks using needles attached to bamboo sticks.

Features of Japanese tattoos

Beautiful and interesting Japanese tattoos have several distinctive features:

  • Extensive. Often a tattoo is not just a small drawing, but a whole picture, a real masterpiece. It can cover completely any part of the body.
  • The characteristic and dominant tones are black and red. But blue, yellow, orange, and green are also sometimes used. In any case, all the colors are very saturated and often contrasting, and this is clearly seen in the photo.
  • The Japanese tattoo is a single whole, that is, there is not a single free space left in it. And if such spaces remain, their master fills with symbolic images, hieroglyphs or phrases.
  • The main pattern is usually used as a background. And it is the small parts that carry the main semantic load, forming into certain compositions. Therefore, it is so important to think over everything to the smallest detail and put your special meaning into the tattoo.
  • Dynamic compositions. Often tattoos are scenes from some ancient legends and legends, some actions. They can also depict the emotions of the main characters in the drawings.
  • The presence of clear contours.They allow you to make out every detail of the picture, because they are all very important and carry a meaning.
  • Severe asymmetry. In Japanese patterns it is almost impossible to find symmetrical elements, because in life everything is impermanent, uneven and dynamic.
  • The use of thematic and peculiar to Japanese culture objects, symbols and characters. So, samurai, sakura branches, various hieroglyphs, geisha, dragons and so on are often found.
  • Using the dynamics of the human body. To “revive” the tattoo, the masters put them on the parts of the body with a large number of constantly working muscles, which allows to create the effect of movement.

Main directions

All tattoos can be divided into several main areas: religious, mythological, animalistic (animal) and floral (vegetable).

Earlier in Japanese culture there were several separate branches:

  • Haman - the preferred image, personifying patience, courage, endurance and courage.
  • Iredzumi - belonging to the criminal world.
  • Horimono is a classical trend, implying the use of paintings, engravings and illustrations.
  • Kakushi boro are true works of art, before they were secretly inflicted by women.
  • Bokukei. Such tattoos were applied as punishment and were considered punitive.
  • Kebory is mainly hieroglyphs.
  • Kakushibori - tattoos, hidden from prying eyes and often inflicted on intimate places.

Stages of tattooing

Japanese tattoo is traditionally applied in several stages:

  1. Suji - creating a sketch of a future tattoo.
  2. Otsumi is the fixation of all contours.
  3. Bocasi - filling parts of the picture in tone.
  4. Tsuki-hari - the creation of individual elements of the image without shading them.
  5. Hane-bari - creating halftones, color transitions, tint effects.


Symbols and images used to apply Japanese designs have a special meaning. Often there are marine motifs (the sea is of particular importance to the Japanese), land and sea animals (they are also valued and often deified), plants, and so on.

The values ​​of some of the most common elements of tattoos:

  • Karp was personified with courage, perseverance and courage, as this fish makes the difficult path along the river with shoals and rapids.
  • The dragon is the real king of all animals. Such an image is regarded as a symbol of power and strength, as well as the combination of two basic elements: water and fire. A soaring dragon is considered a symbol of freedom. Often such a picture is applied for good luck.
  • Tiger has always been a symbol of fearlessness.
  • Maple Leaf is considered by some to be a symbol of love.
  • Peony - a sign of prosperity, money, success.
  • Chrysanthemum, oddly enough, is personified with determination, dedication. Such a flower was a symbol of the imperial family.
  • Sakura flower is a symbol of the transience of life, the constant flow of time, the fluctuation of being.
  • Lotus is regarded as a spiritual principle, the significance of life.
  • Snake - a symbol of cunning.
  • The turtle is wisdom and nobility.
  • The demon mask Han, surprisingly, has nothing to do with evil forces. On the contrary, it serves as a kind of protection from demons. Long ago, this image was worn by samurai.
  • The nine-tailed fox was considered a symbol of protection from curses, as well as the personification of prosperity.
  • Bird Noi-Oi - a symbol of vitality, a harbinger of change for the better, a talisman of luck.
  • Rabbit has long been associated with the Japanese with depravity, promiscuity.

Before you decide to make a Japanese tattoo, carefully examine the finished sketches, find an experienced wizard and with him create your unique drawing. And do not forget to attach special meaning to the image.

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