Koi fish represents one of the most iconic symbols of Asian tradition and traditional Asian tattoos. This wonderful symbol carries many incredible meanings and can be adjusted for breathtaking tattoo design.
If you want to get a Koi fish tattoo, we recommend you continue reading for a better understanding of the symbolism and how the fish fits you, and the tattoo design you may have in mind. So, without further ado, lets get started!
What Is A Koi Fish?
Koi fish has a long history and an incredible impact on the culture of China and Japan. Its name, Koi fish, originates from the Japanese name Nishikigoi, which translated means brocaded carp.
The fish was and still is, kept for decorative purposes in outdoor ponds or water gardens, characteristic of the Japanese royal and wealthy tradition. The color variations this fish can have all stems from genetic mutations lasting millions of years.
The distinguished coloration, pattern, and scalation have made the Koi fish a suitable centerpiece of many Asian legends and traditional stories. The Koi fish can have color schemes including white, orange, red, black, blue, yellow, and cream.
Because Koi in Japanese is a homophone for another word meaning love and affection, the Koi fish is often a symbol of love, friendship, and commitment in Japan.
Koi Fish And The Golden Dragon Legend
Koi fish is one of the main symbols of Asian legends and traditional stories, old as much as thousands of years.
However, the very legend of Koi fish originates from China, or the more specific the river Huang Ho, also known as the Yellow River.
At this river, the Koi fish were known to grow incredibly strong, since they managed to swim against the current.
According to the Chinese and Japanese myth, thousands of Koi fish continued to battle the current, until they eventually reached a waterfall on the Yellow River.
Upon seeing the waterfall and recognizing that this obstacle is impossible, many fish gave up and return to swimming with the current.
However, a small number of Koi fish was determined to reach the top of the waterfall.
Meanwhile, demons saw the fish battling the waterfall, and decided to make the waterfall larger and even more challenging.
At last, only one Koi fish managed to reach the top after years of trying. Upon reaching the top, the gods rewarded the fish by transforming it into a golden dragon.
Because of this myth, Koi fish is regarded in Chinese tradition as a symbol of determination, perseverance, and the ability to reach any goal.Also Read: 14 Best Dragon Tattoo Designs: Mesopotamian, East Asia Or Europe?
Koi Fish Tattoo Meaning
The Direction In Which The Fish Swims
The meaning of what Koi fish represents can be numerous. It varies from one person to the other, but some symbolism and meaning are set in stone when it comes to Koi fish tattoos.
Here are some of the main meanings and symbolism of a Koi fish tattoo in regards to the direction in which it swims;
- Koi fish swimming upstream such a depiction of a Koi fish can carry a load of meaning. Some of the symbolism includes battle, struggle, obstacles, perseverance, and commitment to the goal. It can also represent strength and ability to go against the current, no matter what it takes.
- Koi fish swimming downstream this usually carries a meaning that youre in a process of deciding what is it that you want in life and that you may not yet possess the strength to go against yourself and the current. But, it can also mean that youve already reached the top of the waterfall, and now youre enjoying the slow swimming down the current, enjoying your success and the fact that you fought the obstacles successfully.
The Color Of The Koi Fish
Koi fish can have numerous colors. The fish have been originally bred to have multiple, distinct colors, and truth to be told, the colors tend to be breathtaking.
So, each color of the Koi fish carries a different meaning and symbolism. In regards to each color, heres what a Koi fish tattoo can mean;
- Red Koi fish the main symbolism of a red Koi fish is love, power, strength, bravery, and motherhood. This is one of the most common color choices for a Koi fish tattoo since it is striking and enhances the tattoo design.
- Black Koi fish the black color for a Koi fish tattoo is usually chosen by men, since it represents masculinity, and often fatherhood. However, it can also symbolize overcoming struggles and winning battles in life, which is something everybody experiences and can relate to.
- White Koi fish a white Koi fish tattoo symbolizes success in ones career and business endeavors. It can also represent a powerful transformation, growth, and a sense of rebirth after a significant event in life.
- Blue Koi fish the blue color of the Koi fish tattoo symbolizes masculinity and fertility. However, it can also carry the meaning of calmness (as in calm, blue waters), peace, and serenity.
- Gold Koi fish the golden color, or the variations of gold with orange or yellow tones symbolizes the actual transformation of the Koi fish into the golden dragon. From there, the meanings can include prosperity, strength to overcome obstacles, good fortune or luck, wealth, etc. Because of the symbolism and meaning, gold is the most common choice for the color scheme of the Koi fish tattoo.
The Design Style Of Koi Fish Tattoos
There are 3 main design styles of Koi fish tattoos. Each design style furthers the meaning of the tattoo and makes it more unique and personalized. Heres what the traditional design styles include;
The Dragon Design
Because of the traditional legend of the Koi fish and its transformation into a golden dragon, both have become the staple when it comes to Koi fish tattoo designs.
Both Koi fish and the dragon carry their own separate meaning, but the design where theyre brought together in one image often depicts strength, power of will, perseverance, commitment to the goal, and similar characteristics.
Of course, such imagery as a whole symbolizes transformation, improvement, growth, a fresh start, and rebirth.
The dragon design is most suitable for body parts like the shoulder and arm area (called a sleeve), the chest, the back, and the upper thigh. Mostly, we can say that larger body areas are the best for such tattoo design since they comprise a lot of imagery, detailing and can fully come to life in larger sizes.
However, if you do decide to get a dragon Koi fish tattoo on any of the mentioned body parts, bear in mind that the tattoo sessions might last longer or even be split into several sessions. The sleeve tattoo might hurt the least, while the chest and back tattoos could hurt the most since theyre more close to sensitive areas with a lot of nerve endings.
Koi Fish Yin Yang Design
The combination of the yin yang symbolism together with Koi fish often present strong imagery and meaning. The yin yang represents the good and bad, the duality and harmony of life, while the Koi fish shows perseverance, struggle, and ability to reach goals, which is also an important aspect of life.
The yin yang Koi fish tattoos often feature 2 Koi fish placed in a circle, depicting the yin yang symbol. However, the circle isnt the only shape the fish take; there are often variations of yin yang Koi fish tattoos where the fish form the infinite symbol too.
The yin yang Koi fish tattoos are often black and white, to be as truthful to the yin and yang symbol as possible. However, there are colored variations as well, where 2 colors carry different meanings, often personal to the owner of the tattoo.
Such tattoos are suitable for different body parts, but it seems people mostly place them in the abdominal area, inner arm area, forearm, behind the neck, or the shoulder area.
Depending on the size of the tattoo, you can expect pain fluctuations. The most painful areas would be the abdomen, the neck, and the inner arm, due to numerous nerve endings and thin skin.
Another common Koi tattoo design involves the lotus flower. Just like the Koi fish transformed into the golden dragon, the lotus transforms from a plant in the mud to a breathtaking flower.
That is why these two symbols are often paired together to create an even deeper meaning of growth, transformation, rebirth, and overcoming struggles to reach your final goal.
The lotus Koi fish tattoo can also carry the meaning of masculinity, power, independence, love, and friendship. So, this is a rather relatable tattoo design that surely speaks to almost every person out there. That is why the lotus Koi fish tattoo design is highly sought after and preferred by those wanting their tattoos to have a deeper meaning.
When it comes to this tattoo design, the majority of people tend to place it somewhere on the arm or leg. The extremities seem to translate the beauty and the fish movement the best, so the tattoo appears more tangible and alive.
The color of the lotus tattoos can vary, but the majority of people go for some color combination, just to enhance the beauty of the lotus and the meaning of the Koi fish.
The Best Koi Fish Tattoo Design Ideas
Best Small Koi Fish Tattoo Ideas
Best Sleeve Koi Fish Tattoo Ideas
Best Lotus Koi Fish Tattoo Ideas
Best Dragon Koi Fish Tattoo Ideas
Best Yin Yang Koi Fish Tattoo Ideas
Best Koi Fish Tattoo Designs For Men
Best Koi Fish Tattoo Designs For Women
We hope our little insight into the world of the Koi fish tattoos was helpful. The tattoo designs we recommended are based on the current trends, the best classic design ideas, and what we overall think would suit the majority of people and style preferences.
Getting a Koi fish tattoo is always special and meaningful, so make sure to do thorough research and find the design that will suit you the best.
Also, if you have low pain tolerance, we recommend you go for a smaller tattoo, and body parts like the shoulder area, outer arm, upper thigh, calf, etc. If you can handle more pain, then the bigger tattoos will suit you better, especially in places like the upper or lower back, the chest or abdomen, or the whole arm (also known as the sleeve).
Also Read: The Ultimate Tattoo Guide & Resources ( Update)
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What Does A Koi Fish Tattoo Mean?
The koi fish is a fish that today is a popular addition to fountains (as many people know them).
However, there is more to the koi than just a decoration.
The koi fish tattoo is a good luck charm and a symbol of perseverance over challenges in life.
Here are the main associations with the meaning of the koi fish tattoo:
Masculinity is one symbol of the koi fish, especially when the tattoo is done in the color blue.
It is a great tattoo for men to get who want to show their strength and who are proud of their fatherhood.
The koi fish tattoo also means prosperity in ones career, life in general, or with money.
Its no wonder we drop coins into the water where koi fish are— they are good luck charms.
Koi fish are known for their perseverance through the water by swimming upstream against the current, just as some people metaphorically do with the challenges they face.
The koi fish tattoo symbolizes never giving up through a struggle.
Another common meaning of the koi fish tattoo is strength.
The koi fish overcomes challenges and therefore is a symbol of power.
The Koi Fish Tattoo Meaning In Cultures
- Chinese Koi Fish Tattoo Meaning
Koi fish originated from China, so Chinese culture is rich with its history.
The legend of the koi fish we will explain later on; however, it is important to note that Japan and China both view this storys meaning as determination to finish a goal or to persevere through a challenging time.
Chinese koi fish tattoos are animated and cartoonish with Chinese symbols attached to the image.
They symbolize strength as well as good fortune, especially with wealth.
The Chinese also represent the koi fish as the yin and yang symbol, meaning balance.
- Japanese Koi Fish Tattoo Meaning
Koi fish are popular symbols of Japanese culture and part of Japans national identity.
Their meanings to the Japanese are anything from luck and prosperity to perseverance through a life struggle.
A traditional Japanese tattoo, also called tebori, is typically done in blue or red surrounded by water and or flowers.
Traditional Japanese style koi fish tattoos sometimes refer to the ancient legend that koi fish become dragons.
A synopsis of this story is that many koi fishes in the Yellow River in China were swimming against the current and gaining a powerful ability to swim to a waterfall.
However, many were too scared and decided to turn back.
Only a few koi fish were left and they kept trying to swim over the waterfall for decades.
The one koi that managed, after one hundred years, to reach the top of the waterfall was transformed into a dragon by the gods.
This lesson is that perseverance will be rewarded.
The Meanings of Koi Fish Tattoo Colors
Each color over the rainbow has a unique meaning: and so does each color of the koi fish tattoo.
Koi fish are great tattoo motifs because they come in so many beautiful colors.
But you should be careful when selecting the colors for your next tattoo piece.
Each tattoo color has its own meaning, so you should be very selective.
From perseverance to masculinity, these koi fish tattoos each have defined meanings behind their color.
- Blue Koi Fish Tattoo Meaning
Blue koi do exist in real life, and they’re quite striking.
When you choose a blue koi tattoo design, you choose something unique that will likely turn a lot of heads.
Blue is often associated with water, which happens to be where koi live, emphasizing its meaning.
Between the koi and the water, there can be too much blue, so this tattoo is often accented with red in the form of flowers or second koi fish.
The blue koi fish tattoo symbolizes peace and tranquility as well as harmony with nature.
It can also be a symbol of masculinity and is a common tattoo for men.
There are a few reasons you may want to get a blue koi tattoo, beyond how beautiful it is.
- Black Koi Fish Tattoo Meaning
In a Koi tattoo, black symbolizes strength.
Typically a black koi tattoo, or a koi with spots of black, symbolizes strength through adversity.
If you have had to overcome great obstacles, and want to memorialize your journey, be sure to use black in your koi fish tattoo design.
Black can also represent the paternal figure of a household in Japan.
Black koi fish tattoos symbolize masculinity and even fatherhood; however, they can be done on women or men.
This is because the black koi fish tattoos second meaning is an accomplishment through a struggle in life such as financial battles or struggle with mental illness.
This tattoo represents a persons strength to overcome obstacles.
- Purple Koi Fish Tattoo Meaning
Wearing a purple koi fish on your arm or any other place on your body provides you with a symbol of inspiration that will lift you when your down.
In other words, this tattoo symbolizes perseverance.
Perseverance is defined as continuing to attempt to achieve a goal, even under enormous pressure to stop or turn around.
Therefore, the purple koi fish tattoo means that you are a fighter and will not give up even when the going gets tough.
- White Koi Fish Tattoo Meaning
The white koi fish tattoo represents success in work or an accomplishment in your career.
White can be tricky in the world of tattooing because some people say it won’t stand the test of time.
Putting other colors around your white koi may help the color look more vibrant for longer.
In the same scope, the white koi tattoo can symbolize new possibilities that are coming.
If you were to get a tri-colored koi tattoo, you could roll a few ideas into one!
For example, a white, red, and black koi would represent that you’ve had some obstacles, burst through them with confidence and passion, then were rewarded with material success.
One should get a white koi fish tattoo if they want to celebrate something happening to them that is worth a congratulatory tattoo of a beautiful koi fish.
- Yellow Koi Fish Tattoo Meaning
Yellow is an energetic color typically meaning joy.
However, a yellow koi fish tattoo has many meanings.
When a koi fish tattoo has a more gold tone it can mean success and prosperity in life.
On the other hand, a bright yellow koi fish tattoo can symbolize productive communication, peace of mind, and optimism.
- Red Koi Fish Tattoo Meaning
Red is a popular choice for koi tattoos because it is the color found on the kings of the koi scene.
The symbolism of red koi tattoos is fairly versatile.
The red koi fish tattoo is often accented with black lines or a blue wave in its background.
Red often symbolizes strength or love, but in the case of the Koi fish tattoo, it can also symbolize motherhood and bravery.
The ability of the koi fish to swim upstream and reach a waterfall shows bravery to the extreme.
The red koi fish tattoo represents this bravery.
These varied meanings play out on a strongly aesthetic tattoo full of flavor and texture.
A red koi tattoo is a good choice for someone passionate, who attacks goals with enthusiasm and confidence.
- Orange Koi Fish Tattoo Meaning
Like the yellow koi fish tattoo, the koi fish in orange can symbolize happiness and optimism.
It can also symbolize strength, like a light at the end of the tunnel, good luck, and prosperity.
If you want to invite some positive money flow into your life, embrace the orange koi.
Many people also choose this color for their tattoos because of how it can stand out against darker backdrops.
- Green Koi Fish Tattoo Meaning
Midori, or green in Japanese, is a type of koi fish with scales along the spine instead of the whole body.
This cool-looking fish makes an awesome tattoo, however, for some reason, it is a very uncommon tattoo.
Its meaning, like the color green, is prosperity and good luck along the way.
Pink koi tattoos can look lovely, especially when paired with orange.
Pink is often seen as a feminine color, and this is no exception.
A pink koi tattoo can represent the daughter in a family, but it is also a celebration of feminine energy.
Are you in touch with your feminine side?
A pink koi fish tattoo can help you embrace it.
Fish only go two ways: down, or up.
Each way the koi fish moves has a different meaning.
- Koi Fish Tattoo Meaning Swimming Upstream
When a koi fish is swimming upstream in a tattoo, it can refer to the story of the koi and therefore means perseverance.
A koi tattoo swimming upstream means you are facing challenges head-on, ready to fight.
- Koi Fish Tattoo Meaning Swimming Downstream
A koi fish tattoo with the koi fish swimming downstream symbolizes independence and freedom.
It is alone and determined in its capabilities to find a new place to live or new food to eat.
A koi tattoo swimming downstream means you have already faced the obstacles and are celebrating your success.
The Meanings of Different Koi Fish Tattoo Designs
There are many different designs of koi fish tattoos.
The koi fish tattoo is often paired with an Asian symbol or with multiple koi fish swimming together.
Here are some examples of koi fish tattoo designs and their meanings:
- Two Koi Fish Tattoo Meaning
When there are two koi fish in a tattoo, the design usually contains one fish swimming upstream and the other swimming downstream.
This can include the yin and yang tattoo with a koi fish tattoo, but also has the meaning of acceptance of lifes challenges.
One fish goes up while the other goes down, literally symbolizing the ups and downs of life.
- Three Koi Fish Tattoo Meaning
Three koi fish in a tattoo is an uncommon one, but it shouldnt be, because it packs an important meaning.
This tattoo means balance in nature and life.
- Dragon & Koi Fish Tattoo Meaning
The dragon tattoo symbolizes strength and power, and the koi fish also symbolizes these things.
The effect of the two together is extreme dominance.
- Tribal Koi Fish Tattoo Meaning
Tribal tattoos often mean courage or strength.
Therefore, again, we see that this tattoo symbolizes great strength just as the koi fish has the strength to swim upstream.
- Lotus Flower & Koi Fish Tattoo Meaning
The lotus flower is a hardy flower that can withstand many different temperature climates and conditions.
A lotus tattoo, placed along with the koi fish tattoo, their meaning is resiliency and the ability to persevere through tough situations.
Koi fish tattoos paired with lotus tattoos symbolize triumph.
- Yin and Yang Koi Fish Tattoo Meaning
Last but not least, the yin and yang koi fish tattoo means balance between the elements as well as balance in life.
It also represents strength, because there is strength in being able to balance the good and bad in life.
This tattoo design means you are living in harmony with life or seeking to.
The yin and yang koi fish tattoos represent both the harmony of the universe and the balance in life.
A yin yang koi fish tattoo may be done in black and white, or complimentary opposite colors like red and blue.
The art of tebori tattooing dates back to Japans Edo era (), and it is still practiced today.
Tebori means ‘hand carving’ and the term derives from the Japanese technique of woodblock carving.
This method of tattooing takes far longer than using a tattoo machine, but the colors come out brighter and the healing process is faster.
If you’re interested in an authentic Japanese tattoo design look no further than tebori koi fish.
When considering your koi tattoo, you should consult with an expert.
Depending on how much detail you’d like around your koi tattoo, you may need to find a large piece of your body to house the design.
Decide which direction you’d like your tattoo to swim toward based on the symbolism below.
You’ll need room to portray this properly.
Lastly, think of why you’re getting your tattoo.
If it’s a symbol of strength, try your bicep.
If it’s to commemorate an experience that’s behind you, your back may be a good choice.
A tattoo for someone you love could make an excellent chest piece.
The koi fish tattoo has many meanings, but the one that stands out the most is perseverance.
The story of the koi has such a powerful meaning that it makes sense why so many people get this tattoo.
However, using a koi fish tattoo as a good luck charm for wealth and good events to happen in life can also be very important.
Masculinity and strength are powerful messages too to attach to a tattoo.
Remember— each color and symbol that is added to the koi fish has a different meaning, so think about what you want it to represent.
Red koi fish tattoos symbolize motherhood and bravery.
When there are two koi fish in a tattoo, the design usually contains one fish swimming upstream and the other swimming downstream. This can include the yin and yang tattoo with a koi fish tattoo, but also has the meaning of acceptance of lifes challenges. One fish goes up while the other goes down, literally symbolizing the ups and downs of life.
Koi Fish Tattoo Meaning Swimming Downstream:
A koi fish tattoo with the koi fish swimming downstream symbolizes independence and freedom. It is alone and determined in its capabilities to find a new place to live or new food to eat. A koi tattoo swimming downstream means you have already faced the obstacles and are celebrating your success.
The blue koi fish tattoo symbolizes peace and tranquility as well as harmony with nature. It can also be a symbol of masculinity and is a common tattoo for men.
In a Koi tattoo, black symbolizes strength. Typically a black koi tattoo, or a koi with spots of black, symbolizes strength through adversity.
This cool-looking fish makes an awesome tattoo, however, for some reason, it is a very uncommon tattoo. Its meaning, like the color green, is prosperity and good luck along the way.
A pink koi fish tattoo can represent the daughter in a family, but it is also a celebration of feminine energy.
A yellow koi fish tattoo has many meanings. When a koi fish tattoo has a more gold tone it can mean success and prosperity in life. On the other hand, a bright yellow koi fish tattoo can symbolize productive communication, peace of mind, and optimism.
A purple koi fish tattoo symbolizes perseverance.
The white koi fish tattoo represents success in work or an accomplishment in your career. In the same scope, the white koi tattoo can symbolize new possibilities that are coming.
The orange koi fish tattoo symbolizes happiness and optimism.
Typically, weve seen these tattoos paired well with Japanese flower tattoos, dragon tattoos, and the Ying yang symbol.
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65+ Traditional Japanese Koi Fish Tattoo Designs & Meanings True Colors ()
Koi is a Japanese word for Carp. Japanese people have, for years, used Koi fish tattoo designs as a cultural symbol for overcoming adversity. Stories are told of how they climb waterfalls that have strong currents. It is said Koi was determined to reach the top of the waterfall so it persevered and succeeded.
The Chinese also have their own version that says the koi swam against the current of the yellow river to reach the Dragon gate and when they reached the Dragon gate they turned into a dragon.
Today these legends have inspired many people who have gone through adversity to get Koi fish tattoo designs. Such people use the symbol as a reminder of the luck or the bravery that helped them succeed or overcome an obstacle.
It is a fitting tattoo, say, for one who successfully battled a disease like cancer or went through a lot to win the love of their life. The Koi fish design is their personal mark of success amidst adversity. It can also serve as inspiration to work hard and achieve.
But for some, they are just drawn to the artistic design with the curves and the colors and so on.
What designs are available
Koi fish tattoos come in different designs and colors which have different meanings associated with them.
Here are some of the designs and their meanings:
Red is taken as an energetic color so the tattoo is typically an expression of masculine love. It can be used to represent love for a woman by a man or a woman can have one as a reminder of the strong love she has for someone or commitment to something – It is passionate.
Black symbolizes great adversity, the black koi fish is used to represent adverse struggle to succeed. It can be a story of rags to riches, a symbol of surviving a battle and coming out alive. Whatever hardships one has to go through to get to the point they are now can be represented by this tattoo.
This is inspired by the Chinese Legend. The Dragon koi is usually yellow and is swimming upstream in the yellow river to transform into a dragon. This signifies a person striving to fulfil their destiny amidst the different obstacles.
It is a bit like the black koi because there is a relation to adversity but it is also used to symbolize strength, courage, bravery to challenge the odds in order to create one’s own destiny and get reborn. It can serve as a symbol of rebirth.
Like a woman who gathers the courage to leave an abusive marriage or an employee who leaves their job to try and set up their own business. It can also be used to indicate a new beginning after bereavement.
Blue is usually associated with men but it can also be used as a symbol of reproduction. The blue fish design is associated, however, with a stage in dealing with adversity.
If the blue Koi is swimming upstream in the tattoo, then it symbolizes a person who is currently going through some trials in their life and they are facing them boldly. If, however, the Fish is swimming down the stream, then the person has already dealt with the trials and is moving on with their life.
Sometimes people may interpret the blue koi swimming down to mean that you have given up on something or someone.
- Koi and the Lotus Tattoo.
This design may have different interpretations. The Lotus flower is a common tattoo design and also grow commonly around muddy ponds adding beauty to the ponds.
When it is used in a Koi design tattoo it could symbolize purity of the person with the tattoo, it can also be a symbol of optimism in the face of challenges as well as a change in life. It can also symbolize unstoppable success and determination.
It is also just a nice design to have for a tattoo and may not symbolize anything in particular. Many times it is just left up to anyone to interpret it the way they see fit.
This is at times used as a symbol of the zodiac. People whose star sign is Pisces, many fancy having a yin and yang tattoo but it is also the symbol for the balance in nature which is the belief that all things are related and work together to create a balance in life.
This tattoo may be designed in different colors from the original black and white which is the color for Ying-Yang to any other color of your choosing.
There have emerged many more koi fish tattoo designs with many different meanings but the above are the most common and traditional Koi tattoo designs from Chinese and Japanese culture.
The designs will usually have elegant curves and depictions of the bright scales of the koi which is a gentle yet agile fish.
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What to remember
If you are thinking of getting a Koi Fish tattoo, you may want to consider having it put where it can be seen if you are trying to share your story with other people. Many people like to get it on the arm so that it is visible when you are wearing a sleeveless shirt or dress.
But some women prefer to have it on their belly or the back. There are others who like to be naughty and have one swimming up their inner thigh.
It is important that you have a skilled tattoo artist design for you this tattoo for the best results. If it is done well you will have a really lovely piece of art on your body that you can proudly show off. On the other hand if it is done poorly you will just end up being a big joke.
Remember tattoos are permanent so avoid having mistakes done on you.
You can carry out a bit of research on the artist you choose to draw for you the koi fish. See what work they have done before and find out if they have actually done the particular one you would love to have. Otherwise it is a great choice of Tattoo.
Koi Fish Tattoos Meaning: Color, Direction, and More
Megan loves examining interesting tattoo designs and sharing them with others.
The koi fish is a symbol with extremely deep meaning for those who choose it as part of their body art. If you have been considering getting a tattoo that involves a koi fish, take the time first to learn the meaning associated with them.
The traditional significance of a koi fish tattoo can vary depending on the fishs orientation (whether it is going up or down your body) and color. You want to be sure that your koi fish tattoo conveys the desired meaning.
Koi fish have a very long history in Chinese and Japanese culture. They were originally common carp and were later domesticated and bred to produce certain colors. Chinese invaders brought koi to Japan, where the fish flourished.
Koi fish are prominent in the work of Japanese tattoo artists because of a long-standing legend of how the fish become dragons. Most of the meaning and symbolism behind the fish stems from this ancient legend.
How a Koi Became a Dragon
According to Chinese and Japanese myth, there was once a giant school made up of thousands of koi fish swimming up the Yellow River in China. As they swam, they gained strength by pushing against the current. However, on the Yellow River, there is a waterfall. Once the fish reached the waterfall, most turned back and just went with the current because it became too hard.
The ones who remained continued to try to reach the top of the waterfall. These koi kept trying for years. At last, one koi successfully leaped to the top of the waterfall. To reward this dedicated koi, the gods turned it into a beautiful golden dragon.
The falls have become known as the "Dragon's Gate. And legend has it that to this day, any koi that has the strength and perseverance to complete to journey up Dragon's Gate will become a heavenly dragon.
It is also said that if a koi is caught, it will await the cut of the knife without a quiver with the bravery of a samurai warrior facing the sword in battle. This clearly portrays the cultural beliefs in the strength and courage of the koi.
The Meaning Behind Which Direction the Koi Is Swimming
Beliefs about the meaning and direction a koi fish is swimming vary greatly. Some theories of what it means are actually contradictory. But, if you are using a koi in your tattoo, you can choose the meaning that applies to you. Tattoos are your form of self-expression.
- You are currently in a battle or struggle and are still fighting obstacles but wont give up.
- You have overcome obstacles and have now gained the strength you need to continue against the current.
- You don't yet possess the strength to make it against the obstacles and move towards success.
- You have already achieved your goals and overcome your obstacles, and you are no longer fighting the current.
Koi Fish Symbolism
Koi fish are capable of adapting to many different climates and water conditions and can symbolize strength. It is inherent in a koi's nature to swim upstream. Through the koi fish legend, you can see that they show great determination, dedication, perseverance, and success.
Here are some of the things that they can symbolize:
- Overcoming obstacles and reaching a goal
- Completing a transformation in life
- Worldly aspiration and advancement
- Prosperity, good luck, and a long life
- Passionate love
The Meanings Behind Different Colors of Koi Tattoos
As mentioned earlier, koi fish were originally common carp and have been bred for distinct colors. Different meanings are associated with each color.
Some of the major colors of koi fish are:
- Yellow, orange, or gold
- Bluish gray
The black koi is associated with successfully overcoming an obstacle. This symbol is great for those who have gone through a tough battle in life and have finally made it to a place of strength. These obstacles can include depression, drug addiction, an abusive relationship, and many other situations.
In Japanese culture, mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters are all symbolized by different-colored koi fish. On Children's Day (May 5), families fly flags of the fish representing each member of their household so that they appear to "swim upstream" against the wind. The black koi is the symbol of the father.
The red koi often has the connotation of love. Not just any lovea very intense love. A red or orange koi is a symbol for the mother of the family, and a red or pink koi is a symbol for a daughter. Red koi can also symbolize power and bravery, both common associations with the color red.
The blue koi is often very masculine and can be associated with reproduction. Blue and white koi are symbols of the son of a family. As with anything blue, it also represents peace, tranquility, and calmness.
Tattoos often use a combination of yellow and orange to represent a gold-colored koi. These gold-colored fish symbolize fortune and wealth. The Japanese term for them is yamabuki.
Koi fish tattoos often incorporate various symbols, such as the yin-yang symbol, water and fire, dragons, or lotus flowers. Here is what some of them mean.
Koi fish are often paired with the yin-yang symbol. The sides of black and white are said to resemble a female and a male koi swimming together, representing the harmony of two opposite energies coming together as one, creating a perfect balance. In Taoism, yin and yang further symbolize the dueling sides of all things and the perfect balance and harmony of them. The circular movement of the fish represents the belief that all things in life are connected.
The zodiac symbol for Pisces similarly depicts two fish swimming in a yin-yang fashion.
Fire and Water
Including both fire and water with koi fish can further exemplify the balance and harmony in life, much as the yin-yang does. It symbolizes opposite powers coming together.
Since the legend states that the koi became a dragon at the end of its long, difficult journey, the two together can represent a transformation.
The dragon koi symbolizes overcoming difficulties, alluding to the kois climbing of the Dragon Gate. The dragon koi shows strength and will, the will to go against all odds to reach its destiny. A dragon is also a representation of power and ferocity, along with mystery. It represents a re-birth, new start, or beginning. It indicates the ability to move on and begin with a clean slate.
The lotus is a beautiful flower that grows out of muddy ponds. Bringing the lotus and the koi together further represent pain, struggle, and growth. Just as the koi started as a little fish and grew into a strong dragon, the lotus starts out in a dirty pond but still becomes beautiful.
Kenneth white on June 17,
I have a koi
Charlie on April 13,
I am always been a fan of koi fish tattoos. Its intricate detail makes it more attractive to the eyes.
PTE in Dhaka from DHAKA on March 24,
Koi fish tattoo is one of my favourite.
Ralph Herrera on December 23,
I have been fighting with epilepsy since After a few years I finally was able to control about 80% hoping not to have another episode. So I am still in a battle and my life has changed because of it. What color type koi should i get Also swimming up or down and can I also incorporate lotus and cherry blossoms?.. thank you..
Trey funderburk on December 11,
Ive struggled to get over this fake weed but I did it went to rehab and what color of koi should I get
Robert Craine on October 26,
I have a black koi swimming down stream. I have overcome a big problem with drink. I also have a lotus flower.
Misty Shamblin on October 18,
Im in the middle of getting my koi fish tattoo im glad i read all this now i can add some meaning to the art ive got
MC on October 16,
This was very informative!! Thanks so much!!
Rajansounder from Coimbatore on October 04,
Heard new things, wowo!!
John on August 28,
Just had a Koi tattoo to do a cover up on two tats, all black except to make the scales stand out, and the Meaning has so much meaning, I have the Koi swimming upstream Nate from euphoria tattoo here in Western North Carolina is the BEST.
Me on July 31,
Excellent atlrticle full of history, facts and clear explanations thank you
anonymous on July 11,
Thank you very much for the detailed research and explanations!
Dede on June 22,
Thank you! So much I have been looking and reading on the meaning of Koi Fish and I want to thank you for all that you showed me and let me read and to learn. Once again thank you.
Mike on June 03,
What does a coy fish swimming down a arm splashing water with three water ripples symbolizes?
Heath on April 01,
Does red represent mother of the family or shows u are a mother if u have red?
Jose J Almada on February 14,
great info for my future KOI tatoo
Neville on February 08,
Knew about the legend not the colours when I had my koi lotus and dragon tat done.
Ken stitt on December 21,
Go to a traditional Japanese style artist. Ask around shops
Chris Evans on November 12,
Which tattoo artists specialise in Koi tattoos?
Ed on July 06,
carlbea, white Koi can mean a lot of things but one of the most excepted is "intense love" or relationship.
carlbea on December 08,
how about the white koi fish? what does it mean????? please anyone? i need to know thank u
ken block 13 on November 28,
i have a koi fish tattoo but i dont know the meaning of it, but now i know and i want to know it more.
karolstar on October 30,
I knew about the legend I didn't know about the colors, I have my sleeve done with the names of my kids and the koi is on the top, face is in my shoulder, the koi is unfinished and now that I know red if for mother, I will paint mine in red, originally I wanted blue, now that I know the meaning, red is perfect!!! :) thank you so much for this.
jtrader on October 22,
Good resource for those pretty tattoos.
hiii on February 25,
koi tattoos are beautiful stuff for arms heyyyyy;;;;):););)
Alex Mavis on January 14,
Good article, I like it. I am thinking about koi tattoo, but I do not know what color to choose. I know that it is very important to choose the right color. Red is taken as an energetic color so the tattoo is typically an expression of masculine love. It can be used to represent love for a woman by a man or a woman can have one as a reminder of the strong love she has for someone or commitment to something It is passionate. Black symbolizes great adversity, the black koi fish is used to represent adverse struggle to succeed. It can be a story of rags to riches, a symbol of surviving a battle and coming out alive. Whatever hardships one has to go through to get to the point they are now can be represented by this tattoo. Dragon Koi Tattoo. This is inspired by the Chinese Legend. The Dragon koi is usually yellow and is swimming upstream in the yellow river to transform into a dragon. This signifies a person striving to fulfil their destiny amidst the different obstacles. It is a bit like the black koi because there is a relation to adversity but it is also used to symbolize strength, courage, bravery to challenge the odds in order to create ones own destiny and get reborn. It can serve as a symbol of rebirth. Like a woman who gathers the courage to leave an abusive marriage or an employee who leaves their job to try and set up their own business. It can also be used to indicate a new beginning after bereavement. Blue Koi Tattoo. Blue is usually associated with men but it can also be used as a symbol of reproduction. The blue fish design is associated, however, with a stage in dealing with adversity. If the blue Koi is swimming upstream in the tattoo, then it symbolizes a person who is currently going through some trials in their life and they are facing them boldly. If, however, the Fish is swimming down the stream, then the person has already dealt with the trials and is moving on with their life. Sometimes people may interpret the blue koi swimming down to mean that you have given up on something or someone. There http://tattoo-journal.com/breathtaking-photos-o is another artiicle with pictures and some information about koi.
Isadora on January 09,
I loved this article!
Vince from New Jersey on December 27,
Good information, I knew Koi fish had meaning but now I know more about it. Being bread for particular colors was interesting.
Coy Davis on November 14,
My name is coy so inherently I want to get a koi tattoo, being named after them (my father wanted to spell it koi but my mother said no) and being very very interested in them, plus the fact I feel like some of those traits of the fish and swimming up stream to goals no matter what resembles me very closely I've been looking to get a tattoo of one.
David Ramirez on November 11,
I've had a a koi fish on my leg since i was 17 I didn't not research the meaning behind it very thoroughly I'm glad it is according to my being its upstream and its red :)
O from New York on November 01,
Never knew about this information very cool and nice to know! I'll share your page with others, check out my page when you get the chance :)
Jennifer Mitchell from South Dakota on October 15,
Very interesting! Love tattoos and have several myself. No koi, but I do have a catfish in honor of my dad :P. I will pass this information onto a friend who owns a tattoo parlor. She may already know, but if she doesn't, it will be good information for her clients!
Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on October 07,
This is a great hub. Real interesting to know about the koi fish and the symbolism behind it for tats.
Diego on August 24,
Is it true that if yu get only one koi fish is bad luck?
Kevin Goodwin on August 02,
The Koi Fish tattoo also has special meaning depend which way your Koi fish is directed. Hope your Koi Fish's head is not facing downward.
Jonas Rodrigo on July 12,
Wow that was a very interesting and informational hub. I love the concept of yin and yang and balance and I think I'm gonna love koi fish too. Great hub!
tiffany sims on May 28,
i have a tattoo of the koi fish on my arm that swimming then right by it is the dragon it turned into.
MariaMelendez [email protected] on May 09,
I am interested in learning more about koi tattoo!
phutch on March 23,
I love this hub it really helped me pick the right tattoo for tat
Fafner on February 28,
We have a koi pond and im planning to get a yin yang koi tattoo so your hub is cool.
But "Yellow River in Japan"? the yellow river is in china.
Susan McLeish from Rindge, NH on January 19,
Makes my next tattoo choice very easy except for finding an artist to bring the dragon koi to life. great hub!
eatpraylove from Philippines on November 24,
We have a koi pond. Your hub is interesting.
oldiesmusic from United States on October 23,
Although I have no intention of getting myself tattooed, I still love your hub about koi, its legend (transforming it into a dragon), its color symbolism. Maybe I can show declare what kind of "koi" I am through a different representation. Nice hub :)
olivia butler on June 14,
My boyfriend is planning on getting the yin and yang koi fish because he says it is representative of us. He says that I balance him by calming him when he is upset and that I balance the bad things that have happened with good.
Steve Mitchell from Cambridgeshire on April 14,
Wow, I never knew about Koi's turning into Dragons legend.
Japanese koi traditional fish tattoo
Japanese Tattoo Koi Fish Meaning
koi fish are renowned symbols in Japanese and Chinese culture.
One popular traditional Japanese tattoo motif is the form of koi carp.
They are said to own several masculine qualities such as strength and bravery.
The koi carp in China were known to attempt swimming upstream in the yellow river, but only a few of them were able to swim past a point called the Dragon’s Gate.
Legend has it that the koi who did were rewarded by turning into dragons. For this reason, koi carp are also a symbol of determination and a strong will to succeed.
The Meaning Of Koi fish Tattoo Colors.
The color of a koi tattoo can change it’s meaning.
Traditionally, however, these colors have their own meanings.
black father / red mother / blue first son / pink daughter.
The black koi is associated with successfully overcoming an obstacle and symbol of masculinity in Japan represents the father. It often recognizes a successful battle through struggle in one’s life.
-Black and White .
The black and white koi is a powerful one that stands for significant life transformations and rebirth.
A white koi is a symbol of success in one’s career. It may also represent the son of a household.
The blue koi fish is often associated with masculinity and fertility. a symbol for the son of a family, the blue koi also meaning peace, serenity, and calmness.
The colors Gold yellow or orange.
The legendary koi transforms into a golden dragon. This color choice represents wealth, prosperity, and fortune.
The legend Japanese , the yellow and golden koi are symbols of wealth and prosperity.
In Japan, the red koi symbolizes the female figure in the family. As a tattoo design, it represents passionate love.
A red koi have some of different meanings. It may be a symbol of intense love, motherhood, power, strength, or bravery.
The pink koi represents the daughter as well as femininity.
-Dragon Koi Fish .
The dragon represents strength, power, and ferocity while the koi embodies perseverance and strength of will. Together, they allude to the legend of the koi fish, representing transformation and re-birth.
In ancient folklore, it was said that the koi who could swim upstream and pass the dragon’s gate would transform into a powerful dragon.
The Meaning Behind Which Direction the Koi is Swimming.
Beliefs about the meaning and direction a koi fish is swimming vary greatly. Some theories of what it means are actually contradictory.
You are currently in a battle or struggle and are still fighting obstacles but won’t give up.
You have overcome obstacles and have now gained the strength you need to continue against the current.
You don’t yet possess the strength to make it against the obstacles and move towards success.
You have already achieved your goals and overcome your obstacles, and you are no longer fighting the current.
More Information Coloring Symbolism
Yin Yang and the Koi Fish symbol.
Yin yang koi tattoos represent the duality and harmony of life.
In Feng shui, the koi is tied to the yin yang symbol.
In fact, the black and white tear drops of the yin yang symbol are said to be representations of two koi, one male and one female.
The eye of each teardrop is symbolic of the constant watchful eye of the koi.
This pairing of fish is often seen outside the context of the yin yang symbol as well.
For example, a pair of koi is often used as a good luck symbol for a happy mariage.
Harmony and Happiness.
The koi is synonymous with harmony and happiness. The two yin and yang koi complete each other and create a perfect balance of the negative and positive energies of chi energy, which is the life force of all things on earth.
Koi Fish With Lotus.
This design may have different interpretations.
The Lotus flower is a common tattoo design and also grow commonly around muddy ponds adding beauty to the ponds.
When it is used in a Koi design tattoo it could symbolize purity of the person with the tattoo, it can also be a symbol of optimism in the face of challenges as well as a change in life.
It can also symbolize unstoppable success and determination.
Japanese Koi Fish In Japan Meaning.
In Japan, Koi are known for their masculine and positive qualities.
They are the official symbol for the Children’s Day (May 5th) festival in Japan.
On Children’s day, families hang a Koi windsocks (KoinoBori) for every member they have in their household.
Another quality that the Japanese symbolize with is strength for overcoming life’s difficulties. By persevering in life’s endeavors, one can better him or herself.
The names koi fish japanese varieties colors and meaning.
-Asagi Light Blue (The color of the Koi) The blue/grey Koi with a red pattern.
And The body is light blue or pale blue with an orange and red belly.
-Bekko The colored Koi with a black pattern..The translation of the name is “tortoise shell”, and these fish can be red, yellow, or white.Separate (The separate black spots of color).
Body color of the fish is red, yellow or white with some black areas. The name means “tortoise shell”.
-Beni Kumonryu Have block spots on a white body and the other variation of this Koi is a body that is totally black. They represent change and transformation.
-Chagoi Tea carp (brown colored like tea).
Doitsu Germany (where the scaleless carp were imported from).
-Goi (Koi) Carp.
-Goromo The Koi that have black shading over their patterns.
-Gosanke The big three (Kohaku, Sanke and Showa).
These three are the most popular in Japan, the Kohaku, the Showa, and the Sanke.
-Hajiro A duck with bright patches on its wings (The Koi have white on the tips of the fins).
-Hikarimono Bright, like a meteorite The metallic Koi with only one color for a pattern.
-Hikarimoyo Koi that have metallic patterns.
-Kawarimono These Koi don’t fit into any other classification.
-Karasugoi Raven Carp (black like a raven) the fish is black with an orange belly.
-Kigoi Yellow carp.
-Kikusui Light chrysanthemum.
-Kin (correct spelling: kinu) silk (metallic color that is shiny like silk).
The two major colors, white and red Amber (The red color of the pattern) , which is the very meaning of their name. These color are know to be symbolic of career success.
-Sandan Kohaku This koi has 3 distinct patterns of red so it is a 3 step kohaku. Sandan means “3”. This is a very nice fish. Classic type of pattern, with an incredible tail tube and conformation.
-Yondan Kohaku This 4 step koi has a more interesting pattern, particularly the head. The white cloudiness that appealers on the head and shoulder looks like a costia infection.
-Maurten Kohaku The maruten designation for this kohaku comes from the round beni located on the head. This is a very full pattern with a lot to look at, very nice tail stop.
-Koromo Gown (the fancy shading of the scales).
-Kuchibeni The red and white color symbolize love.
-Kumonryu (Ku Mon Ryu) Nine Crest Dragon (A crest “monshō” is the Japanese version of a coat of arms) There are two main variations of this koi.
One variation is a koi with a white body and black spots and the other is an all black body.
This Kumonnryu koi symbolizes life change and transformation.
-Matsuba Pine needle (pinecone shading of the scales) These Koi have a grey shading pattern on their scales.
-MatsukawaBakke (short for Bakemon) Pinecone River Ghost.
Body of the koi is in one color with pine-cone like scales.
-Midorigoi Green carp.
-Nezu Dark Grey.
-Ochiba This koi is also light blue with some yellow areas. The name means “fallen leaves” because the colors are like Autumn leaves on water.
-Ogon (correct spelling: ougon) Gold (Any single colored metallic Koi has Ogon placed after the name).
-Ogon/ Hikarimono The platinum colored fish represents the fulfillment of wealth in the form of success in business.
-Ochiba Shigure Grey and brown in color and can mean “autumn leaves on water” or “leaves fallen on the water”.
-Showa Sanke This is a very nice showa. Clean pattern without flecks of sumi scattered about with a nice underlying kohaku pattern. The sumi should join on the head.
-Tancho Showa This pretty gin rin gin rin is a very pretty fish and one you don’t see everyday. Tancho Showa feature beni only on the head and this beautiful fish also has Gin Rin scaling. The fish literally shines with the skin quality and great white base.
-Kindai Showa This newer style type of showa features less sumi [black] than the typical older style of showa. This is a full bodied fish making the fins look a little undersized
This showa has very nice motoguro [black pec fin joints]. It also look interesting on the head with the sumi starting to come through to form a nice menware/hachiware pattern.
-Showa Sanshoku Three colored Koi that was established in the Showa era
” Showa means enlightenment and harmony “.
-Shusui Gather water from a lake or river.
-Tancho The Koi with a pattern only on their Maruten spots.
The Koi has a single spot of color on the head, like Grus Japonensis, the Japanese Crane.
-Taisho Sanshoku (Sanke): Three colored Koi that was established during the Taishō era.
-Taisho Sanke The Kohaku, Sanke and Showa varieties of koi are collectively known as the gosanke.
-Taisho Sanke have a beautiful elegance many people love. The sumi can be placed on the white skin [called Tsubo Sumi] or it can appear on the beni as “Kasane Sumi”.
-Doitsu Sanke The Doistu Sanke [bottom] is a scaleless fish. This makes for exceptionally sharp edging [kiwa] of the colours which is quite attractive.
-Gin Rin Sanke This is an exceptional fish that almost looks to perfect to be real. The sumi steps are placed like stepping stones in a amazing arrangement.
-Sanke should have good underlying kohaku patterns, with a nice accent of sumi on the shoulder. Black should not appear below the lateral line and of course, confirmation is everything.
-Utsuri : Reflection (The pattern on an Utsuri variety is like a checkerboard).
-Shiro Utsuri – Hi Utsuri – Ki Utsuri Main colors of the fish are black and white with some yellow or red areas.
-Utsurimono The black Koi with a colored pattern.
-Yamabuki Japanese yellow rose.
-Yamabuki Ogon – Yamabuki Koi The gold fish represents (of course) gold, wealth and prosperity.
(Hariwake koi / Soragoi koi / Goromo koi / Goshiki koi / Kikokuryu koi / Kin Kikokuryu ).
Oftentimes, varieties of Koi are broken down into color variations. For instance, Utsuri Koi come in three color varieties: Hi Utsuri, Ki Utsuri and Shiro Utsuri (red, yellow, and white). Here is the meaning of the Koi fish colors:
Beni: deep red
Budo (correct spelling: budou): Grape
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The names koi fish japanese varieties colors and meaning.
Asagi Light Blue
Gin Rin Sanke
Koi Fish Tattoo Designs and Meanings
The colourful koi fish are among the most iconic symbols in traditional Asian tattoos. You may recognize them from the logo of our Toronto & Vancouver tattoo shops or from our Asian tattoo gallery. Koi fish are symbolic tattoos that can carry a great deal of meaning to their wearers.
What is a Koi Fish
Koi are a variety of colourful East Asian carp. Their Japanese name, nishikigoi, means “brocaded carp.” A fitting name for a fish commonly used decoratively in ponds and water gardens. Their vibrant colours are a result of millions of years of genetic mutation.
The fossil record dates koi fish back as far as 20 million years, although they first got their name in B.C. These iconic Japanese fish were actually first introduced by China. By the 19th, century koi farmers began breeding them for specific colour varieties.
The Koi Fish Story
The koi fish tattoos are popular not because of a colourful fish, but because of a legendary fish. The legend of the koi fish starts in China’s Yellow River where they grew strong by swimming against the current.
A school of koi battled the current, swimming upstream until reaching a waterfall at the river’s end. Most of the koi turned around but the bravest continued on, attempting to leap to the top of the waterfall.
As the koi continued to attempt to climb the surging waters, demons laughed at their efforts and transformed the waterfall a larger, more challenging obstacle. Slowly the fish began to give up, one after another.
After hundreds of years only one koi fish persevered. When it reached the top, the gods rewarded its efforts by transforming the koi fish into a golden dragon.
Through this legend, koi fish became a symbol that embodies perseverance and determination.
The Meaning of a Koi Fish Tattoo
The most common meaning of koi fish tattoos is perseverance. They are often used to symbolize the struggles one has overcome or is overcoming in their own life. Other meanings can be added based on the colours and styles of the tattoo.
Meaning of Koi Fish Tattoos and their Colours
The colour of a koi tattoo can change it’s meaning, although all interpretations are positive symbols. Of course, for your own koi tattoo, you can choose any colour, regardless of meaning. Traditionally, however, these colours have their own meanings:
Gold Koi Fish Tattoo Meaning
Gold, yellow, or orange are popular choices for koi fish tattoos. After all, the legendary koi transforms into a golden dragon. As well, this colour choice represents wealth, prosperity, and fortune and who doesn’t want a little more of those?
Black Koi Fish Tattoo Meaning
The black koi is a symbol of masculinity that may represent fatherhood. It often recognizes a successful battle through struggle in one’s life.
Red Koi Fish Tattoo Meaning
A red koi tattoo can carry a number of different meanings. It may be a symbol of intense love, motherhood, power, strength, or bravery. It’s a popular koi fish tattoo colour.
Blue Koi Fish Tattoo Meaning
The blue koi fish is often associated with masculinity and fertility. Other common meanings of blue koi tattoos are peace, serenity, and calmness.
White Koi Fish Meaning
A white koi tattoo represents earning career success. It may also represent the son of a household.
Koi Style Meanings
The style and layout of koi fish tattoos can also lend significance to their meaning. Some traditional styles include:
Dragon Koi Tattoo Meaning
A dragon koi tattoo incorporates an Asian dragon and a koi fish. The dragon represents strength, power, and ferocity while the koi embodies perseverance and strength of will. Together, they allude to the legend of the koi fish, representing transformation and re-birth.
This tattoo may mean a fresh start or new beginning.
Yin Yang Koi Meaning
Yin yang koi tattoos represent the duality and harmony of life. They are often black and white tattoos but can incorporate colours as well.
Yin yang koi fish tattoos are usually positioned side by side, swimming in opposite directions. In the above image, the yin and yang fish are placed in an infinity shape.
Lotus Koi Meaning
The lotus and koi have similarities in their transformation. The lotus flower grows out of the mud to become a beautiful flower. Together, lotus and koi fish tattoos represent growth and overcoming struggles.
Getting A Koi Fish Tattoo in Toronto & Vancouver
The symbolism of the koi fish holds a universal appeal with unique meaning to each individual. Everyone has their own struggles and challenges to overcome. The koi can mark their successful conquering or ongoing perseverance.
With such a meaningful symbol, it’s important to find an artist who understands the significance and tradition of this tattoo. The best Asian tattoo artists in Toronto & Vancouver have the skills and experience to create the koi that represents you.
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In general, life was in full swing. Everything that happened in the male half was played with the same accuracy in the female half, and vice versa, but sometimes it happened even better. On the very first day of settling, local old-timers saw me. Fifth-year students arrived after the internship in companies of several people.