Koi Fish Tattoo: Meaning, History and Gallery

Koi Fish Tattoo

How to explain the importance of koi fish tattoos inside the world of tattoo? The truth, if we have to list some tattoos that have helped more to popularize and spread this body art, Japanese tattoos, and more specifically the koi fish would be one of them. And it is enough to do a small survey on the net to know the popularity of koi fish tattoos among fans of the world of tattoos.

Legend of the Koi Fish

But What is the meaning and symbolism of koi fish tattoos? The koi fish (or carp) has a very deep and widespread symbolism in Asian culture that, over the years, we have exported to the West. More concretely, We must point out that it is one of the main components of Chinese mythology. And it is that, according to legend, this fish was able to ascend the channel of the Yellow River (located in China) and cross one of its immense waterfalls.

Koi fish on the leg

The reward for his effort that this fish obtained was to become a dragon, which is why this carp has an appearance similar to that of these mythological creatures. Obviously, we talk about both its morphology and the color of its scales. Throughout the XNUMXth century, rice farmers in China began to fish for koi fish and cross the different species, a practice that has resulted in a great variety of species with different colors.

However, we cannot ignore the importance of koi carp breeding for Japanese culture, known in the country of the rising sun as "Nishikigoi" (living jewels). After several decades, These fish, being an icon of Asian culture, have gained a great space within the world of tattoos, since they are a very recurring design, due to their meaning, which is always associated with reasons for self-improvement and self-realization.

What does the Koi Fish tattoo mean and symbolize according to the color?

Black Koi Fish Tattoo

As we have said before, koi fish tattoos are associated with overcoming different problems that we face throughout our lives, as well as a self-fulfilling personality. A server who writes you has a koi fish tattooed on his left arm and the truth is, these were one of the reasons that led me to tattoo it on it.

However, koi fish tattoos can have a different symbolism and meaning depending on the color and shape with which it has been tattooed itself. We could summarize them in the following types:

  • Black Koi Fish: In the first case, we find the color black. A tonality that, although it does not reflect the real beauty that these fish have, is more than enough to capture it on the skin with great realism. The color black is used to symbolize the ability to face different adversities on the road. Using the simile of the story of the koi fish, we would talk about its strength to overcome and ascend the waterfall. There are goals in life with a complicated goal, but not impossible.
  • Blue Koi Fish: On the other hand, we have the koi fish with a main hue in blue. Blue tones are used to symbolize reproduction or evoke the family child. We can also point to it as a synonym for peace and relaxation. In this way, a koi fish tattoo in blue is ideal to refer to a child or our family.
  • Red Koi Fish: And lastly we have the koi fish in red. Red is used to symbolize love or the strength that human beings can have to go through all kinds of adversities in life. In this case, in the koi it would be used to emphasize that it can survive in waters with adverse currents or too rough.

Of the three colors described above, the one that has the most importance among the different Asian cultures is red (especially in Japan). By the way, if you have any doubts, in my personal case I have a black koi fish tattooed with red and white details.

Combine koi fish tattoos with other elements or creating shapes

Kois Fish Tattoo on Thigh

The beauty and ways in which a koi fish can be tattooed are so diverse that the possibilities for creating a personal tattoo are almost endless.. And not only because of the fish itself, but also because of the different options that we have to combine it with other elements that refer to Chinese or Japanese culture. That is why it is common to see koi fish tattoos along with other elements such like a lotus flower.

Another of the great symbols of Asia thanks to the beauty of these flowers that grow in muddy and muddy areas. That is why they are highly recognized as they show that beauty can emerge anywhere. Representing the determination and effort to shine despite a murky and dark environment.

In the last place, I would also like to highlight that another interesting option to tattoo a koi fish is to do it simulating the shape of the ying-yang. To do this, we must tattoo two fish. Thus, we could also refer to one of the most ancient philosophies from all over Asia. A symbol with which many of us have grown up having more or less contact. A tattoo of two koi fish emulating this symbol is done to represent the stability of the being.

Koi Fish Tattoo Photos

Below you will find an extensive collection of Koi Fish tattoos on different parts of the body and with different designs so you can get ideas to tattoo yours.

Orange fish tattoo
Related article:
Fish tattoos: a metaphor about creation and evolution

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  1.   Balm said

    Beautiful meaning !!! It made me want to get one!

    1.    Carlos said

      If it's very cute that's why I want it to be a tattoo myself

  2.   Jesus Fraczinet said

    There are many people who get tattoos ... without knowing what their lines and colors really mean ... Koi fish, even if it is from another culture ... ... their philosophy ... their beautiful and moving sense ... ... makes me wear it proud in all my arm… I reach the top of my shoulder… ..in life… .aaay who think that they are just empty lines and meaningless …… it is something mass… .it goes beyond the skin… .under the flesh… and sooo… but very much inside the heart and above the spirit and the soul… ..Value and Sacrifice… .the virtues of a leader… ..without a doubt… .what he does… .and makes you better…. Greetings from Santiago ..from Chile… .Strength …… and blessings….

  3.   Carol said

    Hello, I would like to help me know what it is ... what koi