Japanese Dragon Tattoos

Interested in getting a dragon tattoo from Japan? Be amazed by the unearthing of the rich legacy associated with Japanese dragon tattoos.

The image of the dragon is something that fills the Japanese tradition of tattooing. For the Japanese the dragon is one of the most powerful and beautiful mythic beasts of all time. The physical appearance of the dragon makes it a hard to miss symbol irrespective of where it is placed.

The history of the art of tattooing reveals that the dragon has been a hot favorite amongst the commoners with regards to getting a tattoo. There is a rich history of symbolism associated with the image of the dragon itself which lends it even more mystique to couple its physical appearance.

Dragon Tattoo Meanings

When it comes to dragon tattoos the size, style and location of the tattoo design can really alter the symbolism of the image. The typical image of a dragon wrapped around a sword glaring at you with bright red fiery eyes is taken as a symbol for power and strength. Alternatively the image of a dragon flying above the clouds is intent on representing freedom.

In Japanese culture the dragon holds a revered position. The dragon is known as tatsu and ryu in Japan. The typical depiction of the dragon is akin to a mutated serpent with a long and scaly body. According to mythological beliefs dragons live in close proximity to large bodies of water. The Japanese regard these powerful imaginary creatures to be gods. This is one of the reasons why the image is so popular in Japanese culture.

The dragon is quite popular in other regions of Asia as well such as China and Korea. Dragon designs exist in various mediums ranging from sculpture to architecture and fine arts in Japan. Dragons are till date considered as being one of the most popular design elements in Japan.

Japanese alters and temples can be seen hosting large scale sculptures of dragons even today. The Isle of the Temple is one of the most popular places for its dragon statues which serve as a tourist attraction in modern times. For the Japanese the image of the dragon brings good luck and good fortune.

For the majority of the people in the west today the image of the dragon is just something that is supposed to be cool. Their liking of dragon tattoos is generally void of the cultural symbolism that it has for the Japanese. Tattoo artists in today’s times seek to give meanings to dragon compositions that are independent of their historical use. Dragon tattoos are used today in order to represent a mood, a feeling or a concept.

This new age perception of dragon art is quite alien to the Japanese who have always thought the dragon to carry great significance. The symbolism of the dragon has also varied within Japan according to the different time periods. For example for the Buddhists and Taoists the dragon represented hardships that were to be faced in order to achieve enlightenment.

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