130+ Best Japanese Tattoos With Meaning and History (2018)

Japanese tattoos are not just popular in Japan but in fact world-age. The history of Japanese tattoo dates back to 300 BC when they were considered a symbol of power and wealth. However, in the next few centuries, the tradition of tattooing changed drastically in Japan.

Later tattoos were inked on criminals and dacoits to identify them from normal people. Here are 65 Japanese tattoo design that you can try –

Japanese Tattoos Meanings

1. Japanese tattoos were not considered cool throughout the history. However, one tattoo design that was adored in all periods was the koi fish tattoo design.(getting a tattoo after and before)
cool japanese tattoos


2. If you are going for Japanese armband tattoos then be aware that they were mostly inked on criminals and slaves so that they can be distinguished from other people of society.
japanese armband tattoos


3. Japanese art paved way to many tattoo designs. Japanese tiger tattoos for example are symbolic to courage and fear.
japanese art tattoo


4. People try full back tattoos only if they find a meaningful design. This oni mask tattoo is a good choice because it shows how demon tricks us to do evil things.
japanese back tattoo


5. Japan is known for its varied flora and fauna. There are many beautiful birds that inhabit Japan. My favorite is Japanese quail.
japanese birds tattoos


6. Buddhism is the second major religion in Japan. People who have faith in Buddhism opt for Japanese Buddhist tattoos like this.
japanese buddhist tattoos


7. Most Japanese are cat people and they consider cat as their lucky charm. Maneki-neko is the most popular cat figure that is believed to bring good fortune. Here is a Japanese cat tattoo.
japanese cat tattoo


8. Cherry blossom is the most common flowering plant in Japan and they can be found outside every Japanese school or office. Here is a beautiful Japanese cherry blossom tattoo.
japanese cherry blossom tattoo


9. If you want a bigger size cherry blossom tattoo then try the tree version just like this.
japanese cherry blossom trees tattoos


10. As Tiger and Samurai, both are associated with fear and courage in Japanese culture so a cool idea would be to try Tiger holding Samurai sword inked on the chest.
japanese chest tattoo


Japanese Tattoos For Men

11. Japanese depicts clouds as the door to heavens and they are elegantly showed in the background of all popular anime and manga series.(3d name tattoos)
japanese cloud tattoo


12. The red-crowned crane or the Japanese crane is also the logo of Japanese airlines. They represent freedom and beauty. So they are ideal tattoo designs for those who love to live freely.
japanese crane tattoos


13. If you are going to try Japanese demon mask as tattoos then let me warn you that a lot of kids are going to run away from you. Here is the reason why –
japanese demon masks tattoos


14. Most artists love to give dragon eyes to demons especially in Japan. Here Is a Japanese demon tattoo that represents that death always awaits you.
japanese demon tattoo


15. The Fu-Dog in Japanese culture were considered heroes and courageous. You can try them if you believe yourself as a hero.
japanese dog tattoos


16. Japanese dragon is derived from Chinese dragons, therefore, there is not much difference between the two. However, most mythical Japanese dragons can swim in the sea as well.
japanese dragon tattoo


17. If you want a fullback tattoo then the best choice for it is the Japanese dragon tattoo. Look for yourself how majestic this tattoo is.
japanese dragon tattoos


18. One cool thing about Japanese flower tattoo is that the outline of the petal is inked in such way that it gives a distinct look to the whole design.
japanese flower tattoo


19. Even though I would suggest trying flower vine instead of just one flower tattoo but if you insist on having just one flower then bicep is the best place for it.
japanese flower tattoos


20. If you want to try a sleeve tattoo inspired by Japanese art then dragon is the best option for it because the size and shape of dragon perfectly suit sleeves.
japanese forearm tattoos


Japanese Tattoos for Women

21. Kitsune or Japanese fox are said to have magical abilities. If you are a foxy lady then try the fox tattoo design.(Dove tattoos on arm)
japanese fox tattoo


22. Sadly Japanese geisha are portrayed in a bad light but they are most important part of their culture. If you respect them then try Japanese geisha tattoo.
japanese geisha tattoo


23. Japan is an island country. You will find a huge diversity in Japanese marine life. Here is a half sleeve tattoo inspired by Japanese sea plants.
japanese half sleeve tattoos


24. I must say that this Japanese oni mask tattoo on the hand of this guy is very impressive – Kudos to the imagination of the tattoo artist.
japanese hand tattoos


25. This Japanese inspired tattoo will look even better in a smaller size. You can even try is behind the ear.
japanese inspired tattoos


26. Koi fish is the favourite pet animal of Japanese people. Koi fish is considered lucky. Here is a sweet and neat koi fish tattoo design.
japanese koi tattoo


27. If you want to try a Japanese tattoo on the leg then two best choices are dragon and oni mask. Here is the oni mask version for you for consideration.
japanese leg tattoos


28. Try Japanese lettering tattoos only if you know the meaning of those letters. Here is one great design for you.
japanese lettering tattoos


29. Even though lion are not given much importance in Japanese culture but still Japanese lion can be easily distinguished from real lions because of their distinct facial features.
japanese lion tattoo


30. Lotus is considered a spiritual flower by Japanese people. The consider it a way of enlightenment. Here is a beautiful Japanese lotus tattoo on the chest of this boy.
japanese lotus tattoo


Japanese Tattoos Designs

31. Japanese maple is one of the most popular gardening plants that is grown worldwide. If you love gardening then this is ideal choice for you.(harry potter tattoos meaning)
japanese maple tattoos


32. If you opt for Japanese mask tattoos then be sure that you give the eyes of the devil a distinct color as they are considered hypnotizer.
japanese mask tattoos


33. Japanese folklore is full of stories that describe the mythical animal. One mysterious creature that Japanese love to eat is the octopus. Don’t eat it. Tattoo it.
japanese octopus tattoo


34. Owl is considered wisest bird in Japanese culture. If you are a geek then try Japanese owl tattoo.
japanese owl tattoos


35. The Japanese peony flower often gives illusion of animals. If you like to have illusion tattoos then try Japanese peony tattoo.
japanese peony tattoo


36. The mythical bird phoenix is associated with rebirth and a fresh start. If you are giving your life a new start then try this tattoo for positivity.
japanese phoenix tattoo


37. Do you know that Sun rises first in japan? It is the eastern most country. Here is a rising sun tattoo that is good for inspiration.
japanese rising sun tattoos


38. The samurai culture in japan is popular worldwide. In fact Samurai Jack is one of my favourite cartoon series. Here is a majestic Japanese samurai tattoo on the back of this man.
japanese samurai tattoo


39. Here is a cool shoulder tattoo idea where a golden koi fish is inked on one side of the shoulder.
japanese shoulder tattoos


40. Just like other culture Japanese art is also full of human skull portrayals. However they like to illustrate it along with flower vines as shown in this picture.
japanese skull tattoo


Japanese Tattoos Ideas

41. If you like to try Japanese sleeve tattoo then try it on both sleeves as they will look better on both hands.
japanese sleeve tattoos(Lion tattoos on shoulder)


42. Japanese snake are drawn very much similar to the dragons. Therefore if you try a snake tattoo then make it similar to a dragon.
japanese snake tattoo


43. If you want to give a normal tattoo a Japanese style then base it on anime. Here is one example of a lighthouse tattoo.
japanese style tattoos


44. Here is a Japanese symbolic tattoo. To be honest I do not know the meaning of this tattoo design but I found it very attractive.
japanese symbolic tattoos


45. This flash owl tattoo inspired from Japanese art is scary. The artist brilliantly focused on giving eerie look to it.
japanese tattoo flash


46. The eyes of this sea snake can be improved a bit otherwise this is a great looking Japanese sea snake tattoo.
japanese tattoo ideas


47. Giving colors to Japanese tattoos give them a unique meaning. Mostly they are used to give beauty to the tattoo design.
japanese tattoo meanings


48. This Japanese geisha tattoo can be tried on shoulder or back as well.
japanese tattoo


49. Whoa. This Japanese woman tattoo design is jaw dropping good. Can anyone imitate it?
japanese tattoos designs


50. If you try Japanese dragon tattoo on sleeve then either give it green color or try purple or blue ink.
japanese tattoos for men


Small Japanese tattoos

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japanese tattoos sleeves for men


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japanese warriors tattoos


japanese water tattoo


japanese wave tattoo


japanese wolf tattoo


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Which Japanese tattoo design from the above photo gallery you liked the most?