The Japanese tattoo style has gained more and more influence these days, although its long and glorious history goes back many centuries. Japanese tattoo artists began to practice their art from the Yayoi period (from about -300 before D-C to 300 after D-C). At that time, Japanese tattoos were a symbol of spirituality and social status that differentiated the master of the slave. However, during the Kofun period (from 300 to 600 after J-C) things changed and the tattoos began to have negative connotations because they were used to mark criminals. It is a native population of Japan, the Ainu people, who lived in Japan for thousands of years and generally wore drawings on their arms, mouth and even sometimes on the forehead, which firstly influenced the Japanese activity of the tattoos. That's why they integrated into modern Japanese civilization.
The traditional tattoo images from these past generations are "floating world images" (called ukiyo-e in Japanese). These are reproductions of wood prints created by the most influential ukiyo-e artists like Kuniyoshi, who is also the creator of Suikoden's masterpieces of illustrations. This illustrated story depicts 108 corrupt Chinese whose skin has been marked. Different gangs used different design patterns and applications. Despite this rich tradition of tattooing today, the Japanese do not accept as openly the idea of having permanent drawings on their bodies as the inhabitants of the Western world, because the tattoos are intrinsically related to Yakuza (the mafia Japanese). The social stigma of the association between criminals and body art prevents those who wear them from entering fitness centers or baths.
Japanese tattoos meanings
It is impossible not to recognize a Japanese tattoo. His great unique drawings are an unmistakable signature of the oriental model. The rich complex details and texture of this type of tattoo is impossible to place in a small work. Full members or even a whole body are the appropriate backdrops to place these masterpieces. During their long years of existence, the Japanese tattoos have preserved their dignity, authenticity and original style, which have caused the enthusiasm of all lovers of tattoos, even in the modern world of art.
The rich, intriguing and powerful images characterize the designs of Japanese traditional tattoos. Dragons from a mysterious mythology, exotic animals such as snakes and tigers, koi carp and birds are common and extremely popular basic designs. The flowers, which are drawn by means of a repetitive method that makes them intertwine, are often cherry or lotus flowers, or chrysanthemums. Folklore and literature have their own entries into Japanese body art and introduce people like Buddha, Suidoken characters (Samurai, criminals and Geishas), Buddhist gods like Fudo Myo-o and Kannon and Shinto kami deities like Tengu, bringing a rich history and special meanings to the drawing.
Types of Japanese tattoos
The subjects of the Japanese tattoos are as rich and varied as the ancient culture and tradition of the country. Funds are important and even crucial for drawing and follow very strict investment rules. The winds, the waves and the clouds are like textiles in the background, to have a complete rendering and almost 2D exclusively. Placing the Buddha figure under the belt is a lack of respect, so you must respect the correct location. Flowers and animals combined must follow a particular pattern. Kooi carps swimming against the current go well with maples or chrysanthemums, because these plants are associated with autumn in real life.
1. Tattoos of Japanese-inspired dragons
The dragons have not only been a source of curiosity and admiration in the East in the past but they remain so until today and have reached the imagery of the Western world. Hollywood movies like "Games of Thrones" are global hits where dragon characters steal the show and almost outperform actors in popularity. Dragons give an image of strength and ferocity that humans aspire to have. These creatures have wings to fly and can spit fire. In addition, dragons symbolize beneficial forces always ready to protect humans. The popularity of dragons in Japanese mythology has spread to the West and spread around the world.
2. Tattoos of Japanese-inspired tigers
Tigers, lions or lion dogs represent courage and protection. Lion dogs are very common creatures in China and Japan and their statues are very common in sanctuary entrances. A person wearing this picture is willing to protect his dignity, property and rights. Many cultures think that this animal keeps evil at bay and protects people from evil spirits. The tiger tattoo alone is particularly suitable for individuals who wish to flaunt their individual strengths. A solitary tiger can represent fighting for a cause or for different battles of life individually.
3. Tattoos of Japanese-inspired snakes
Snakes have long been associated with many negative things. Many stories show it in a bad light, making it a negative symbol, despite the fact that the graphic image of the snake has a strong visual impact that gives shivers to anyone who dares to take a closer look. The snake has medical value in real life and some cultures consider it a symbol of luck and protection against bad luck. Snakes also represent wisdom and the ability to change for a better one. Snakes regularly lose their old skin to acquire a new one.
4. Japanese-inspired phoenix tattoos
The phoenixes, like the dragons, are mythical creatures that provoke an unparalleled fascination on humans. Unlike the mighty dragon, the phoenix is initially an ordinary bird that ignites and reborn much more powerful from its ashes. This type of dramatic ascent is very inspiring and motivating for humans. A triumphant and proud person will be more than happy to wear a phoenix tattoo, if it can serve as a constant reminder of his resilience in the face of adversity.
5. Tattoos of water and Japanese-inspired waves
Water and waves are familiar to the Japanese, as their country is an island and people have depended mainly on the benefits of water for sustenance and sustenance. Water has a positive connotation because it represents life, but the waves have a more negative one, because they are a sign of danger. A tattoo of water and wave therefore generally represents, in most cultures, if not all, life and death. He portrays this constant truth: life changes like the waves of the sea and it concerns everyone. The optimists, on the other hand, see this symbol as a reminder that in life we must remain calm in the face of danger and adversity.
6. Japanese-style Kooi fish tattoos
Kooi fish is one of the most popular icons of Japanese tattoos, the main reason being that this fish is native to Japan. The characteristic of this carp is that it goes up the current of the Yellow River. The stories in the myths tell that any Kooi carp that can trace the entire Yellow River changes into a dragon. This is his reward for successfully taking the challenge. Mythology aside, the difficulties faced by the Kooi fish serve as inspiration and lesson to people who are in extreme conditions of adversity. A person who has conquered a disease like cancer deserves a Kooi fish tattoo.
7. Tattoos of Japanese-inspired trees and flowers
Trees are excellent options for representing strength and power combined with qualities of heart. The design of the tree is flexible at the placement of objects on its entangled branches. Colors and shapes leave a lot of possibilities for drawing choices.
Flowers, on the other hand, represent the wearer's beliefs, aspirations, and character. They usually reflect a bright and positive side of life. It would be incongruous to use flowers to represent an aggressive character.
8. Tattoos of Japanese-inspired skulls
Skulls represent death and danger in many cultures but, at the level of Japanese corporal works, they symbolize the appreciation of life and its cycle or the concept of yin and yang. A skull tattoo will always remind the wearer and the viewer of the value of life, the desire for a complete life and the acceptance of the inevitability of death. Skulls can also represent loved ones who have died.
Ideal placement of Japanese tattoos
The peculiarities and size of the tattoos generally determine the placement of Japanese drawings. Individuals who can not afford highly visible areas like the neck and forearms pose a problem to tattoo artists. Larger and more complicated designs are reserved for the back and upper body.
Japanese tattoos are rich in subjects whose placement can be solved by adapting the desired subjects to the size of the part of the body concerned.
Preparation tips before the tattoo session
Make sure you are in good health, without even a slight fever or cold, before going to the tattoo artist's studio. Have a good meal to prepare for an exhausting tattoo session. Bring your favorite distractions to pass the time during the long procedure. Books and gadgets (mp3, tablet) are ideal and their size is adequate.
Estimation of realization costs and standard prices of Japanese tattoos
We could say that the Japanese works are much more expressive than the other tattoos. One can also think that artists tattoo artists of this type of art have perfected their talent and discipline with masters in the field. The truth is that tattoo artists like this are also subject to the standard prices of this discipline – € 150 to € 200 per hour of work, depending on the location and € 50 minimum for a small simple tattoo.
Maintenance Tips for Japanese Tattoos
People are generally unaware of the disastrous impact of the sun on their tattoos. This not only discolours the ink but can also irritate the skin. Protect as much as possible your Japanese drawings from the sun's rays.
The best solution is to avoid it as much as possible and to stay in the shade; wearing protective clothing is also helpful. Applying good quality sun creams with a high index in case of direct sunlight exposure is not only a healthy practice but is also beneficial for your tattoo. You will enjoy your magnificent body work longer without having to retouch it if you take good care of it.