Koi Tattoo Meaning and Symbolism - The Rich History of Japanese Tattoo Designs

    One of the most popular trends and designs in the world of tattoos right now are koi fish tattoos.  It is pretty obvious to see why these designs are so sought after.  They are deeply symbolic, mysterious and beautiful all at the same time.  They are bright and colorful and when they splash in the blue water behind them they can make for a dynamic tattoo that is full of power, symbolism and movement.  If you are considering getting a koi tattoo design then you should really know what the symbolism and meaning is behind them first.
    The Story
    The koi have long been a part of the Japanese life.  At almost every temple and sacred place there is a small koi pond.  The koi also know as Carp fish is known throughout China and Japan.  Originally the story came from Buddhist teachings in Chine where it was believed the koi fish would swim upstream and go against the current and even up a waterfall.  The myth states that any koi fish that could swim up the Yellow river and up the waterfall at the mythical place called Dragon Gate would then turn into a dragon.  Therefore in China the koi fish would stand for strength and power and advancement.  This same idealism was adopted throughout Japan.  It was adopted in Japan to such a degree that it has become a part of their daily life and ritual.  In fact large flags of koi fish are flown on Boy's Day to celebrate the strength, energy and power that boys should posses.
    The Meaning And Symbolism
    The meaning of this symbol has become so much that it can be hard to communicate it in one paragraph.  It can stand for many different things.  For example on Boy's Day in Japan a group of at least four koi fish and often flown together on a flag pole.  Thus the fish can be thought of as a symbol of for family strength and unity.  Since the legend states that koi fish would swim up stream it has also symbolic of power, struggle and overcoming the odds in life.  In the same vein it is also a symbol of courage.  The Japanese believe that the koi fish is so courageous that when it is caught and put on the cutting board to be killed it doesn't quiver like other fish but it bravely accepts it death and its fate as a person especially someone with a Samurai spirit should accept their life and its short falls.
    Other people might ascribe different meanings to it as the design since it is so sought after and regarded so highly throughout Japan it has become a symbol for everything good, strong and powerful .  It therefore make a great tattoo design.

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