Mystical Koi Tattoos

Tattooing has been a practice since ancient times and has served as symbols of religious and spiritual devotion, marks of status and rank as well as marks of outcasts, slaves and convicts. The symbolism varies in different countries and cultures. Today, people choose to have tattoos for cosmetic and sentimental reasons, a form of self representation as well as identification with particular groups. Among the different designs available, the koi fish tattoos are becoming increasingly popular with both men and women, most probably due to its mystical symbolism. Koi fish in fact are a type of carp that are specially bred to have wild and brilliant color schemes, bearing a general symbolic meaning of good luck. In Japanese folklore, the koi fish represents the overcoming of obstacles as told in a legend where the koi fish swam up the Yellow river against the current to be magically transformed into a dragon. This clearly gives emphasis to the overcoming of adversities in life. It also stress on perseverance and strength. Another belief suggests that the symbol of the koi is like a Samurai warrior with an uncompromising bravery. It has been narrated that the koi after being caught by a fisherman laid rigid on the slab embracing its fate without quivering, just like a Samurai accepting death in an honorable manner. Therefore, the koi fish reflects the stoic heroism of a Samurai warrior. The traditions and stories, of course, differ from countries and cultures but the symbol and mythology of it are most prominent in Japan. Generally men tend to place the koi fish tattoos on their back, arms, shoulders and calf areas. One of the popular and traditional designs is large koi tattoos done on the back while others prefer full sleeve designs. Women, on the other hand, prefer to position the designs on their arms, thighs, hips and stomach areas. The choice of colors is recommended to suit the individual skin tone. Generally koi fish tattoos reveal many colors with intricate shadings and movements against current. The different shades carry different meanings. Gold koi represents wealth and prosperity while platinum or silver koi represents success in business. White koi means advancement in social settings while red koi suggests success in love and romance. Amidst the shades, the black koi is most likely to be the ones transformed into dragons which explain the popularity of the color.