Between 1600-1868 AD, tattoos in Japan were done with marks and symbolism, rather than imagery. It was from here that the “decorative” tattoo began to develop into the advanced art form for which it is known today.
Irezumi, meaning “insert ink” is the traditional name for the decoration of the body with tattoos, either for decorative or spiritual purposes.
Irezumi is done by specialized tattooists, and it is very painful, time consuming and expensive.
JAPANESE TATTOO DESIGNS
Japanese style tattoos can provide designs and symbols that work for everyone, from all backgrounds and skin tones. The designs could range from an emerald serpent, or a samurai and a lady embracing each other, or the mythological phoenix, the choice is endless.
POPULAR JAPANESE TATTOOS AND THEIR MEANINGS
- RYU (DRAGON) – The Japanese dragon tattoos symbolizes embodying wisdom, strength and the ability to manipulate the force of the universe for the benefit of people.
- LONGMEN FALLS (DRAGON GATE) – A symbol of worldly aspiration and advancement.
- TORA (TIGER) – The tiger is considered to be the supreme of all land animals. It represents strength, courage and long life. It is also said to ward off bad luck, disease and demons.
- HEBI (SNAKE) – The snake is the most symbolic animal that exists today. Belief is that they have supernatural powers to ward off illness, disaster and bad fortune and like the dragon, can bring rain. They also know the consequence that may come due to some improper actions and will leave a place if they sense that something is not right.