Tattoos mean different things to everyone. Some people love them, and some people think anyone with a tattoo is a criminal.
In the past, they were viewed as the mark of a dangerous criminal. This is due to their origin. Hundreds of years ago, the Japanese marked their criminals with tattoos on their forearms that described the crimes they had committed. These “marked” criminals covered the incriminating tattoos with beautiful “sleeves” of colorful art, to hide their crimes. So, if you had tattoos, chances were, you were, or had been, a bad guy.
Nowadays, tattoos are considered “body art” and displayed with pride by people from all walks of life. It is not unusual to find a tattoo under the shirt of the most corporate business man.
They can represent the wearer’s views on life events such as romance, or children’s births, and as memorials for lost loved ones. Tattoos can also represent hobbies, beliefs, and memories from childhood.
Though the reason for getting tattoos varies greatly from person to person, the symbolism behind the art can actually be quite specific. When it comes to tattoos of koi, and aquatic plants, you might be surprised at their meanings.
Koi tattoos, as a whole, symbolize strength, determination, perseverance, power, prosperity, long life, independence, worldly aspiration, and good luck. This is all based on the deep respect and love that the Japanese culture has for koi.
The variations of direction, color, and surrounding plants come into play. If the koi is swimming in an upward direction on the arm, leg, or torso, then the wearer may be in a struggle to overcome an obstacle in their life, but they will not give up the fight. The koi represents their inner strength to get them through the struggle.
A koi facing down on the wearer can mean two different things. On meaning can be that in the face of past adversity, they used their inner strength and overcame their challenge successfully. Another reason can be that they do not have the inner strength to fight a current or upcoming battle.
The color of the koi adds another dimension. Red koi symbolize love and are the most energetic and strongest of all the colors. Black means the wearer successfully overcame great pain or adversity. Blue symbolizes masculinity and is frequently used to represent the birth of a male child. The well known Yin Yang koi symbolizes a life of balance and harmony.
Koi are often displayed with flowers, each species symbolizing something different. A frequently used flower is the Lotus, a gorgeous aquatic plant that grows in mud and muck. The spectacular bloom of the lotus represents great beauty and strength, while the mud it grows in represents coming from an extremely adverse beginnings and still overcoming the odds. Another commonly used flower is the Cherry blossom, which signifies spring, or rather, new beginnings.
Arguably the most majestic of all representations of the koi is the strong and mighty dragon koi. This koi has gone through a lifetime of struggle, and upon reaching it’s lofty goal, was granted the honor of being turned into a dragon koi.