One of the characteristics that makes the Japanese people different from others is their multi-faced abilities covering various fields of the life. Their creativity and talents are unarguable and tattooing is among the arts, in which their abilities are expressed very well. They possess a strong background in this art which any other country does not have.
Tattooing is denoted by a number of names in the Japanese terminology such as Horimono and Irezumi. Buddhism and Confucianism have played a remarkable role in promoting this art and that may be why it has got a negative sense sometimes. Moreover, tattooing has some links with the Japanese Mafia also.
The history of the art shows that the old tribe of Ainu, the people who first settled in the land used to make facial tattoos. The Wa’ tribe is also one of the early groups of settlers that made use of full body tattoos.
In China, on the other hand which was far more progressive than Japan, the art of tattooing was considered to be a barbaric practice. It was actually considered to be a means of sentence for the criminals who were to be identified by their tattoos.
In today’s times the concept of tattooing has become a vogue among the younger generation chiefly in the west. In Japan however the art form still goes on to be linked with the underworld. Strange as it may sound what was first used to label the criminals is now deemed to be a fashion statement worth showing off.
Some historical remains that were unearthed from Japan gave some significant informations on the history of Japanese tattoo symbols. In fact these tattoo symbols originated in 5th century B.C. Studies reveal that they had some connections with religion in those days.
Tattoo symbols are designed in different styles. Even if Kanji is a calligraphic writing mode, it is used in tattoo symbols to show beauty, love, happiness, peace, wealth and so on.
Designs made out of colourful flowers are also part of the Japanese custom of tattooing. Dragons and serpents also held an important mythological place in Japanese folklore and are widely used in tattoos. Intricate designs highlighting samurai fighters can also be found.
Cherry and lotus flowers are among the favourite symbols of Japanese tattooing. Japanese Koi fish also is used as a tattoo symbol. Full body tattoos are still one of the fascinations of the world. Even though tattoos have somewhat lessened today, it is still an amazing artwork.