Rooted in symbolism
Japanese tattoos are colorful, intricate, widely recognizable, and expressive. They are meant to stand out and aren’t easy to forget. Pretty much like the people and sights you see right here along the Vegas Strip. So if you’re considering getting a Japanese tattoo, you’re in the right place.
Japanese tattoos have a complicated history. But considering how far these tattoos date back, it’s to be expected. Think of Japanese tattoos as the OG of tattoos—like the REAL OG, dating back to the Jodom period (10,000 BCE - 300 CE). This tattoo style is commonly referred to as Irezumi, the Japanese word for tattoo. Drawing inspiration from folklore and tradition, Irezumi is deeply rooted in symbolism, which makes it extremely important to understand the images to avoid misinterpretation. While beautiful and expressive, some Irezumi have a negative connotation because they are associated with Yakuza. This criminal gang would ink their entire bodies to demonstrate loyalty and the ability to endure pain. Because of this, there was actually a time when tattoos were illegal in Japan.
But as long as you do your homework, Japanese tattoos are probably one of the most aesthetically stunning tattoos out there. The best Japanese tattoos are intricately designed with meticulous detail. Irezumi requires an extremely skilled tattoo artist. Find the right artist, and the results are spectacular.
Many Japanese tattoos are done on large portions of the body. Full or half sleeves that often wrap around the chest are very common.
Rich in symbolism, flowers, warriors, geishas, animals, fish, and dragons are typical elements of Japanese tattoos. One of the most popular elements in today’s Irezumi art is the Japanese dragon which represents strength, wisdom, and the power of all things good in the universe.
Traditional Japanese tattoos can be recognized by Gakubori, a background of waves or clouds. The scene or element is then placed over the Gakubori. Flowers are another common element in tattoos and hold a distinct meaning in Irezumi, but the underlying theme represents life, death, and rebirth.
In addition to the elements of Irezumi, bright colors are an important factor and make these tattoos so identifiable. Color carries as much symbolism as the subject. For example, a black dragon symbolizes wisdom, while a black cat is said to ward off evil.
Black is often used for Lettering and Script in Japanese tattoos and represents mysticism and mourning. Some of the other meanings behind colors include purple representing royalty, pink beauty and health, green nature, and yellow prosperity.
As you can see, Japanese tattoos have a rich history. And there’s a lot to consider when choosing an Irezumi. But don’t stress. That’s why the artists at Hart & Hunt Las Vegas are here. Set up a consultation, and they can help you find the right Japanese tattoo.
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