Japanese tattoos

From tradition to modern day

Japanese tattoos are pretty much the foundation for all modern day tattoos. You know, kind of like how Nashville is the foundation for country music. Let's put it this way, walk down the streets of Broadway (aka Honkey Tonk Highway), and you'll feel the soul of the city as people express themselves through music. If you found yourself in Japan over 5,000 years ago you’d feel the soul of Japanese culture as people would express themselves through tattoos.

Centuries later, not only do we borrow styles and elements from Japanese tattoos, but people are still getting traditional stand alone Japanese tattoos, known as Irezumi. And for good reason. Striking colors, elegant linework, and flattened perspectives make Japanese tattoos instantly recognizable and equivalently unforgettable. Black and gray play an important role in Japanese tattoos especially for backgrounds of clouds and water, but the vivid  colors set them apart from all other tattoo styles. Another distinguishing feature of Japanese tattoos are the classic Ukiyo-e motifs  such as exotic tigers, Buddhist deities, geishas, warriors, koi fish, snakes, and mystical creatures. Often you'll see the subject paired with additional designs such as flora or elements of nature like the ocean. If the beautiful art of Japanese tattoos doesn't stop you in your tracks, the colors will. Color plays such a significant role in Japanese tattoos that you can change the meaning of the motif through the use of color. So take the time to do research when choosing a color to be sure it accurately reflects the message you want to convey. For example, red wards off evil spirits and represents celebration, passion, and happiness. White represents purity, fresh starts, and eternal rest. Purple signifies royalty and strength.

There are endless ways to tell a story through Japanese tattoos.  And we have the artists to tell your story right here at Hart & Huntington Nashville. Whether you're a local or passing through, set up a consultation and watch your story unfold. Just don’t wait too long because life is short, and as the Japanese proverb tells us kouin ya no gotoshi 光陰矢の如し time flies like an arrow.

Like Japanese tattoos?

Discover how we help our clients get their own Japanese tattoo.

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Nashville tattoo artists specializing in 22 tattoos
Like Japanese tattoos?

Discover how we help our clients get their own Japanese tattoo.

Get a tattoo