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Japanese Tattoos: The Hot Looking Japanese Dragon Tattoos

Japanese dragon tattoos are popular. The dragon is definitely hands down one of the most beautiful and powerful of all the mythic beasts. The sheer beauty and power of these mythical beasts alone warrant there attention as tattoo designs. Then being combined with a long and rich history of tattooing as an art form such as in the Japanese culture and you have a winning combination. If you are contemplating getting a Japanese dragon tattoo then you should spend a little time learning about the deep history and symbolism of the beautiful and mystical beast.

Great Ideas For Dragon Tattoo Designs

Dragon tattoos are amazingly flexible and the look, feel, and design choices you make an give a totally different symbolism and feel to the dragon. A fierce fiery red dragon with a red body wrapped around a large samurai sword will symbolize strength and power. Whereas if the dragon where high in the sky flying above some beautiful mountain lake then the design might represent freedom and peacefulness. So the symbolism and what the dragon design portrays is really dependent on the stylistic choices you make when designing the tattoo such as look, feel, location and etc.

The History Of The Dragon In Japan

Dragons are one of the most important of all the mythological beats in Japanese culture. The Japanese of course have their own word for the dragon, they call them "Ryu" or "Tatsu". They are typically depicted as very long, skinny and full of scales very similar to a serpent. They also frequently are believed to live around large bodies of water. These creatures are so powerful that they are a god and to be revered. In fact the Japanese believed that their first emporer had descended from a dragon and therefore is partially a god and infallible.

Like many of the east Asian countries dragons have a long tradition in Japanese culture, art, architecture and literature. There are numerous stories, temples and shrines where dragons play a central role.

One can see the long history and importance role that dragons play in the prevalent use of dragons throughout Japan. Today it is very common to see dragon sculptures at alters, temples and other places of worship. Miyajima is probably one of the most famous temples dedicated to the dragon. Miyajima means The Isle Of The Temple and is a popular place for religious pilgrimage, tourists and travelers to come and pray to the dragon god for good luck and good fortune. Another famous spot can be found at the Sonsoji Temple in Asakusa Japan.

Each spring the dragon is taken and paraded around the grounds of the Sensoji temple. During this festival thousands of people come from all over Japan to drop coins into a wooden box as a donation and gift to the temple and an offering to the dragon in hopes that the dragon will give them good luck. This festival is done each spring to commemorate the finding of the gold Kannon, an image of the goddess of mercy. It is believed that in 628 AD two brothers were fishing in the Sumida river at the time they discovered this beautiful statue of the Goddess of Mercy Kanon. At the time they discovered this legend states that gold dragons flew up out of the river and in to the sky to celebrate the discovery.

In both Buddhist and Taoist religious traditions the dragon is seen to also represent the hardships that a spiritual pilgrim will have to face in their journey towards enlightenment.

The dragon can also be foudn throughout Japans great literary works and is a prevalent image. For example there is the famous tale of Yamata-No-Orochi (an eight headed serpent) and Susanoo (the man). Yamata-No-Orochi is an eveil beast that devours young women whole. Until Susanoo is able to trick the serpent. He gets the serpent drunk and then is able to successfully kill him.

Japanese Dragon Tattoo Placement Since dragons are so prevalent through Japanese art, architecture, and literature there are many different even historically famous tattoo designs to choose from when contemplating getting a dragon tattoo. As far as location the most popular place is a very large full back piece. This allows for a lot of canvas space to truly depict the beauty and power of the mystical beast. You are not just locked into a large back piece however, as there are many different dragon tattoo designs to work with and you can get a tattoo anywhere on your body that you want. Typically calves, shoulders and sleeve tattoos also work well for dragon tattoos. The choice is up to you and what you want and what you are looking to express int he design.