Japanese Dragon Art

Thinking about a Japanese dragon tattoo? Discover the Japanese dragon art legacy as we take a look into the history and significance of the art.

Amongst the many different themes that the Japanese make use of in their art there is none that stands in comparison to the dragon theme. The dragon is considered to be the most beautiful as well as powerful mythic beasts of all times. Their beauty and magnificence makes them extremely hard to miss.

Dragon art work has a long and rich history behind it. It has been used for the purpose of creating tattoos for a very long time. The image of the dragon has intense symbolism associated with it. The legacy of the dragon coupled with its physical appearance makes it a very intriguing image irrespective of where it is placed.

Dragon Representations

The historical tradition of tattooing in Japan shows us various possibilities in which the Japanese have used the dragon. You will be able to find dragon tattoos in all sizes and styles and in various places as you browse through the history of the tradition. The typical dragon design featuring a dragon with red fiery eyes wrapped around a sword is meant to represent power. Alternatively a dragon flying in the clouds is meant to depict freedom. Thus it is the whole composition that determines what the dragon symbolizes.

The dragon occupies a special place in Japanese tradition. In their local language the dragon is known as tatsu and ryu. The typical depiction of the dragon is like that of a mutated serpent with a skinny long body and scaly texture. In Japanese traditions the dragon is considered to be a god due to the might that it possesses. Hence it is an image that they revere. They even believe that the first Japanese emperor descended from a dragon!

Dragons in Asian Cultures

The popularity of the dragon is not just limited to Japan rather it can be found in the Korean and Chinese cultures along with other Asian countries as well. You will be able to find dragon art in a wide range of mediums throughout Asia such as statues and architecture. In Japan the dragon is still a very popular and commonly used motif.

Temples and alters in Japan can be seen hosting huge sculptures of dragons in today’s times. The Isle of the Temple is one of the most popular of these worship places that is known for its dragon art. Pilgrims come here in huge numbers in order to pray to the dragons.
The dragon is also an eminent part of Japanese literature. Generally it is a prevalent image in the culture of Japan. The tale of Yamata-No-Orochi is one of the most famous literary works featuring an eight headed dragon.

The fact that dragons occupy such a special place in Japanese tradition also led them to develop a wide range of tattoo designs using the dragon. You will find many examples of Japanese people with full back tattoos featuring a dragon. Other places where the Japanese would place the dragon tattoo are the calves, sleeve tattoos as well as the shoulders.

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