Friday, November 25, 2011



Sunday, November 20, 2011

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Koi Fish Tattoo symbol and what it symbolizes

There are many different opinions as to what Koi Fish symbolize in tattoo art, many feel that there is a sexual symbolism to the styles and colours of Koi, some feel that the direction which a Koi swims in the tattoo symbolizes sexual orientation whereas others believe that the Koi is an expression of perseverance and achievement.

By far the strongest and most popular interpretation is that of aspiration, determination, achievement, ambition and perseverance in a journey to ones goal in life. This is continually reinforced by the tale of Dragon Gate and the arduous journey to be at one with ones destiny, perhaps the most recalled version of the meaning of the Koi Fish Tattoo. Any research will return a fairly constant result with regards to the meaning of this popular tattoo art form so in effect this almost pre conditions our opinion on the subject.

The Kois symbolism of sexualty in Tattoo art is not widely understood or believed, there are groups of people who try to reinforce the belief that the direction that the Koi swims along the body symbolizes ones sexual orientation, heterosexual or gay? This adoption of the belief is not so widespread as the perseverance interpretation.

In other cultures the Koi represents wealth, although this is not ersentially within the tattoo community, the Kois symbolism of wealth is represented in the charm market, charms of Golden Koi represent wealth and good fortune, but this hasn't been replicated in the tattoo world.

Other belief states suggest that the Koi is a symbol of uncompromising bravery, used in direct comparison to a Samurai warrior, the Koi is said after being landed by the fisherman, to lay rigid on the slab embracing its fate with the knife, this si the absolute symbol of the Samurai...accepting his fate in life or death in an honourable fashion. The Koi Fish is known to be the only creature that directly reflects the stoic heroism and strength of a Samurai.

Many other associations with the Koi are made directly with Yakuza members. The Yakuza are the feared gangs of Japanese organised crime who adopt a certain style of tattoo amongst their 'gangs' and cultures. The Yakuza have no direct association purely with Koi, although this doesn't mean that they do not represent themselves in this art form. In the main, the Yakuza style of tattoo is reflected in modern day art forms using the stronger and more dangerous symbols such as the tiger or the snake, these are far more prominent in the Yakuza tattoo art forms. In fact more prominient is the style of the Japanese warrior in the act of slaying Japanese mythical beasts, this style is very popular and far more prominent than that of the koi fish art.

The greatest weight of evidence with regards to the Koi in tattoo art forms leans towards the perseverance, strength, endurance and struggle in achieving ones goal in life, this is the most popular reason for acquiring this ink style.

In essence there is no direct association with Koi Fish Tattoos and no right or wrong. The decision to have a Koi fish tattoo is purely based on an individuals desires and preferences, after carrying out independent and exhaustive research into the tattoo styles one will end up even more confused than when they started out. The choice is yours, the colour, the style the length and position are purely a matter of your own interpretation of the symbol.