Tattoos can have a very significant meaning to both the artist and recipient. The artwork and style may be particularly captivating. Or you may be deeply interested in the culture. For any of these reasons, or all of them, it is very important that you feel happy and excited with the artwork you have done.

Keeping that in mind, it is important to remember that Japanese tattoos are deeply rooted in traditional symbolism and art history. This is why they have such a distinctive style that is easily recognizable and often emulated. There are many artists outside Japan that go to great lengths to reproduce traditional Japanese tattoos, often to great effect. However many artists in Japan are quick to point out that there are symbols, styles, or images that would not be applied in certain manners or locations on the body for various historical and cultural reasons. The iconography can have various levels of meaning that are not initially known without greater cultural context.

When choosing to have a traditional Japanese tattoo done with a Japanese artist it is important to keep these motifs, symbols, and traditions in mind. You may want a particular image, symbol, or picture tattooed in a specific place, in a specific manner. This may not be possible for one reason or another. Please don’t look at a refusal to tattoo a particular piece as a roadblock but an opportunity to learn more about traditional Japanese tattooing and the inherent meaning behind the artwork. They love the opportunity to explain the symbolism and meaning behind their work. After all it is something in which these artists have invested themselves and are passionate about.

Please keep these motifs in mind when choosing a tattoo and seeking out a Japanese artist that suits your vision and style. If you would like a greater understanding of the artwork do not hesitate to direct your questions to us. Every artist wants to make the customer a unique piece of artwork that they will be excited about.