Japanese Tattoos: a traditional art full of meaning

japanese style
Japanese full back tattoo by Ben Parker

One of the most popular styles in tattoo art

Did you know that every image used in Japanese tattoos has a meaning and purpose? This is perhaps one of the reasons why the Japanese tattooing tradition has survived for so long and attracted so many fans outside of Japan.

Japanese tattoos are extremely common. They are beautiful tattoos that incorporate a complex mythological history and use vibrant, eye-catching colors. One of the main characteristics of Japanese tattoos is that the themes and elements –or motifs- of these tattoos are quite similar among its different bearers, due to the fact that the elements in the design are intended to mean the same wherever they are used, making the themes more universal rather than unique.

The varied motifs are used to convey a person’s beliefs, aspirations or character traits, so that anyone seeing the tattoo can instantly recognize the meaning and what the wearer wants to convey.

A brief history of Japanese tattoos

Originally, Japanese tattoos began as a way of displaying society status and to function as spiritual symbols to cast a charm for protection and to symbolize devotion. They were later used as a form of punishment for prisoners of war, criminals, and slaves with the purpose of making their status in society instantly recognizable. This practice faded with time and tattoos returned as a status symbol among the merchant class.

After World War II, tattoos were outlawed by the Emperor of Japan in an effort to improve Japan’s image in the west. Not too long after that, Japanese tattoos took on a criminal status, when the traditional Japanese tattoos were adopted by the Yakuza, the Japanese mafia. But this is changing nowadays, thanks to mayor of Osaka who in 2012 ordered its civil servants to reveal whether they wear a tattoo on visible parts of their bodies, and if they have them, they should remove them—or find work elsewhere.

Today many people around the world proudly wear Japanese style tattoos for their beautiful artistic merits, flowing composition, and the deep meaning associated with the many aspects of Japanese tattoo designs.

Come get your Japanese tattoo designed and inked by a pro at Mantra Tattoo & Body Piercing in Denver

Come visit us to get your custom Japanese tattoo designed by one of our experienced tattoo artists, all of them do custom work and will create the design from the ideas you give them until your perfect tattoo design is ready to be inked. Or come by to pick up a nice piece of body jewelry and get pierced by one of our professional body piercers.

We use only medical grade sterilization and always new needles on every tattoo and piercing. Our shop is fully inspected and regulated by the Jefferson County Health Department.

Age requirements: 18 and up on your own with state issued photo ID or equivalent; 16 or 17 years of age with a legal guardian and both individuals are required to have a state issued photo ID or equivalent with matching last names.

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1695 Wadsworth Blvd, Lakewood, Colorado
(303) 239-8282 / (303) 238-3736
Open: Mon – Sat 11:00 am – 9:00 pm, Sun 12:00 noon – 9:00pm.

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