Japanese Symbols: Tiger, Dragon, Snake & Rooster

Thinking about a Japanese animal tattoo? Want to know what the most common symbols are and what they stand for? Discover the meaning and importance of some of the most popular animal symbols in Japanese culture.

The Japanese people are known for their artistic sense, creativity and great craftsmanship amongst other things. Art and designing has been an imperative part of the colorful culture of the land of the rising sun. The Japanese tattoo symbols that exist today can actually be dated back thousands of years.

Japanese Tiger Symbol

Symbolizing invincibility, power and might the tiger is a highly potent symbol used across many cultures in Asia. It is a particularly popular symbol in the art of tattooing in Japan. Passion, ferocity, sensuality, speed and beauty are some of the things that the tiger is associated with in Japan. The animal is also known for its cruelty and wrath. According to Japanese tradition if you see a tiger in a dream it denotes the coming of a new power your way.

The tiger pretty much takes the kingly position held by the lion in Europe. The tiger symbol has been used for many different purposes in the Japanese tradition. From being a symbol to ward off evil it has also been a symbol that represents the destructive qualities of evil. It is also given as a gift to the newly married couples as well as children that reach the age of puberty.

People born in the year of the tiger are believed to be emotional, sensitive and loving. At the same time they are considered to be stubborn and self centered.

Japanese Dragon Symbol

The Dragon symbol is yet another very popular symbol from Japan. The history of Japan shows us that the dragon was a common symbol for tattoos. It is considered to be one of the most beautiful mythic beasts. The fact that their physical appearance is so enthralling is what makes them popular tattoo designs.

The dragon has a deep history and symbolism in Japanese culture. In Japan dragons go by the names of tatsu and ryu. They are long, skinny and scaly almost like a mutated serpent and are believed to live around water. According to Japanese tradition the dragon held the position of a god.

Japanese Snake Symbol

The snake is naturally one of those animals that are considered to have a negative character. Even though the Japanese tradition has always been void of the biblical representation of the snake as the original sin it still had negative connotation associated with it. Snakes can be seen incorporated in the full body suit tattoo designs of Japanese culture. Although the snake is meant to portray a negative character it is looked upon as something “cool” by the youth of today.

Japanese Rooster Symbol

The rooster symbol can be found in many cultures of Asia but it happens to be most venerated in Japan. For the Japanese people the rooster is a sacred animal. Therefore it is allowed to roam freely and even enters the Shinto Temples where it is believed according to the Japanese tradition that the rooster gives the morning call to the goddess Amaterasu.

The rooster is meant to exemplify a number of virtues. The comb symbolizes civil merit whereas the spurs are taken as military merit. The fighting ability of the rooster makes it a symbol of courage whereas its cocking gives it the representation of reliability. Those interested in the martial arts & combat might be interested in reading the page on Japanese bushido symbols.

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