Awe Inspiring Chinese Tattoo Designs with Meaning

December 06, 2017   3210

From Buddha to Koi Fish, here we have listed the popular Chinese tattoo designs with meaning.

Awe Inspiring Chinese Tattoo Designs with Meaning

Image Credits: Pinterest.com

China has a rich history of tattooing, which dates back to 12th century. The practice of tattooing in China is known as CiShen or Wen Shen, a term that means “puncture the body”. The tattooing has also been mentioned in Water Margin, a classic novel of Chinese literature.

The most famous reference to tattoos in Chinese history is associated with the legend of the Chinese general YuehFei, who served the South Song Dynasty. The Field Marshal of YuehFei betrayed the South Song and joined enemy forces.

Left dejected and discouraged, YuehFei resigned and returned home where he was reprimanded by his mother. She told him that his first duty was to protect his nation above anything else. To remind him of his duty, she tattooed four characters on his back with a sewing needle –jinzhongbaoguo, which stands for something like “Serve his country with ultimate loyalty.”

Then, Chinese tattoos are also associated with criminals at some point in Chinese history. At that time, convicted criminals were tattooed on the face followed by their exiled into a faraway land. It would help the people know that the person is convicted if he appeared publicly. Be gone is by gone.

Nowadays, Chinese tattoos are taking the world by storm. They are extremely popular in the west. They are known for their beautiful characters coupled with the exotic and deeper meaning.

Here we have rounded up the trendy Chinese tattoos you can choose from.

Dragon Tattoo:

Dragon is one of the major highlights of Chinese tattooing art. Arguably, it is a face of a Chinese tattooing. Whereas dragons are viewed as sinister beasts or monsters in the west, Chinese people consider them as the symbol of good fortune and prosperity. There is plethora of dragon tattoo designs; with each one has its own meaning. Here we have decoded the meaning of some popular dragon tattoo designs so that you can choose the one according to your taste.

  • Asian Dragon is a traditional Chinese dragon or a Jade dragon, and this tattoo stands for wisdom, prosperity and power.
  • Fairy Dragon symbolizes males and female duality in nature.
  • Gothic Dragon is a dark styled dragon designs representing strength and power.
  • Koi Dragon represents ambition and persistence.
  • Moon Dragon indicates relationship between nature and the sub conscious.
  • Ourobouros Dragon denotes the cycle of life.
  • Rising Dragon represents overcoming of tough phase.
  • Skull Dragon stands for mortality and death.
  • Sleeping Dragon is all about potential or strength and power that are resting.
  • Tiger Dragon denotes a conflicting duality, like yin and yang. The tiger symbolizes femininity while the dragon represents masculinity.
  • Tribal Dragon stands for spiritual connection of ones with a nature.

Chinese Characters:

Like dragon tattoos, Chinese characters have been in a constant rage among tattoo fans. However, you should be extremely careful while getting a Chinese character tattoo. This is because a slight twist in the phrase can turn the entire meaning into something offensive or ridiculous. Therefore, it is better if you get it done from trustworthy Chinese tattoo parlor in your locality.Some celebrities with Chinese tattoos are Allen Iverson, Mary J Blige, Sher, Melanie Brown, Natalie Imbruglia, Julia Roberts and David Beckham.

Chinese Koi Fish:

Chinese Koi Fish design stands for growth and persistence as the koi fish was believed to swim upstream until it accessed a special gate, at which point it transforms into a powerful dragon. Koi Fish designs are also popular in Japan. Koi Fish design has two forms—upstream and downstream. The fish in upstream position means that the person is struggling its way to find solution while downstream position means that the person has overcome the problems. Besides, koi fish is largely associated with prosperity, good luck, long life, power, independence and masculinity. Apart from the position, the colors of the koi fish designs carry the meanings. For example,

  • Red means connotation of love, power and bravery.
  • Black color stands for overcoming an obstacle.
  • Blue color denotes masculinity and is associated with reproduction.
  • Yellow color represents fortune and wealth as it is the color of the gold.

Chinese Buddha Tattoo:

Tattoo of Buddha symbolizes peace, love and purity of life. There is a variety of Buddha tattoos you can choose from, from a golden Buddha, Buddha with Bodhi Tree to the laughing Buddha being the popular one.

Below you will see the meaning of three most popular and distinct Buddha tattoo designs:

  • Amitabah Buddha is identified by the opened position of his hands. It embodies enlightenment in the lives.
  • The Laughing Buddha or Budai is a smiling image of a large, bald man with a belly who often carries cloth sack. However, he is not a Buddha contrary to a popular belief. The Laughing Buddha stands for joy, laughter and luck.
  • Shakyamuni is depicted Buddha as a slender man with curly hair in often gold shades. It stands for compassion.

Chinese Phoenix or Fenghuang:

Fenghuang is a Chinese mythological bird who reborn itself from its ashes after death, just like the phoenix. Simply put, it is a Chinese counterpart of the phoenix. The Chinese version of the phoenix means virtue, grace and prosperity. It is also used to mark the beginning of new era. However, make sure to add the flames in the backdrop of the tattoo as people can mistake it for some kind of exotic bird at first glance (instead of taking it as the phoenix).

Yin and Yang:

From graffitis to the logos, Yin Yang symbol is everywhere. And tattooing is no exception. They look like if one swirl is paired with another in opposite position. Yin is a dark swirl which symbolizes feminism while the yang represents masculinity, passion and growth. In short, Yin and Yang tattoo represents the connotation of man and woman.

Bottom Line:

Given the details and unfamiliar language, get it done from a Chinese tattoo studio run by a Chinese artist. One more thing—the excessive shading and detailing in these tattoo means you have to tolerate more needle’s striking, leading to pain and discomfort. So, apply a numbing cream like Dr. Numb an hour before the process to dull the pain.

 

 

 

 

 

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