Owing to the symbolism and therapeutic benefits associated with koi, owners often develop a special connection with their koi fishes. In fact, some owners even have koi designs tattooed on their body as a way of imbibing the meaning they associate with koi.
The popularity of koi tattoos
Koi tattoos are quite popular nowadays – and for good reason. For one, the possibilities with koi tattoos are endless. You can have them done in monochrome or you can go full color. You can choose among the different types of koi and have them tattooed on your skin. You can also integrate different types of koi in one design, or combine it with different elements and symbolisms.
Another reason for its popularity is the rich symbolism associated with it. While its beauty is certainly a plus for tattoo enthusiasts, it is not the only reason why people opt to have koi tattoos. For a lot of people, koi symbolize success, luck and bravery – a subtle reminder of the tough times they have been through and how they managed to overcome them. Koi tattoos often hold very personal meanings – sometimes representing significant events in one’s life, and sometimes serving as a visual representation of prayers and wishes.
The meanings behind popular koi tattoo designs
Koi tattoos come in all shapes, colors and sizes, each of which holds a unique meaning. The following are some of the most popular designs and their meanings associated with them:
- Red koi. Possibly the most vibrant among popular koi designs, the red koi is often associated with masculinity, vigor, and boundless energy. This design represents a very strong character and channels inner strength and assertiveness. The dominant color red also symbolizes life.
- Dragon koi. This tattoo design combines two very strong East Asian symbolisms: the koi and the dragon. This design typically shows a golden dragon-koi hybrid swimming upstream, braving the currents. This design symbolizes a ferocious aura and go-getter attitude, typical of those who stand bravely in the face of adversities. Owing to traditional dragon symbolism, the koi dragon also symbolizes rebirth and new beginnings, and marks new chapters in one’s life journey.
- Yin-Yang Koi. This features two black and white koi fishes arranged in a characteristic yin-yang design. Like the yin-and-yang circle, this koi tattoo also represents balance and connectedness. It symbolizes harmony – how we are all connected to each other and how different aspects of life (both the good and the bad) are integral parts of the same whole.
For centuries, koi have represented human existence – the victories and struggles, the good and the bad, the strengths and the weaknesses. More than just being ornamental fishes, koi came to symbolize man’s journey in life.
Surely, getting something as permanent as a tattoo is not for everyone. But for those who want a permanent reminder of their struggles and triumphs, koi tattoos are certainly among the best choices. After all, not only are they very beautiful, but they also capture perfectly the meanings associated with them.