Kanji Tattoos

The Detailed History Behind Kanji Tattoos

It was sometime in the 4th century that the inspiration for Kanji tattoos was born.  It was then that pictograms were borrowed from the Koreans and Chinese and literacy was created in Japan.  While the Korean and Chinese people called these symbols hanzi, the Japanese referred to them as kanji.  This term means han characters.  Kanji symbols have survived through history as the tradition of the writing system for Japan.

It is true that the Japanese adopted these unfamiliar symbols from the Chinese however, they did not understand the language. Chinese and Japanese dialects are completely different.  For the reason, the Japanese people had to creatively take these symbols and make them their own.

Kanji tattoos are adored for the way that one strong symbol can represent an idea, feeling or an object. The Japanese also found a way to incorporate two different alphabets being hiragana and katakana into the symbols.  That being said, to actually be able to read Japanese properly, you have to have the knowledge to differentiate between three different writing systems.

Pictorial ideals are represented in kanji tattoos. They provide the meaning of verbs, nouns and adjectives.  As beautiful as kanji is, it is also very difficult to learn and requires a very skilled tattooist to correctly provide these types of pieces.

In fact, it is so difficult that well over 1,000 symbols are needed just to have the ability to read the morning newspaper.  By the sixth grade, children in Japanese schools are required to learn basic vocabulary which may be a good reason why they are depicted as being so brilliant.  Over 2,000 symbols can be used by one individual on any given day.

While you may think that kanji tattoos must be extremely popular in Japan, they’re not. They are actually barely even heard of there.  It is the Westerners that find expressing a multitude of objects and feelings with a mysterious symbol so incredibly intriguing.  Kanji tattoos have become so popular that they actually account for 20 percent of tattoo designs searched on the internet today.

The people that started the trend of wearing kanji symbols felt that they could identify them with Eastern philosophy. Kanji tattoos are expected to remain one of the most popular choices to wear by people of any age and sex because of the beauty and mystery behind them as well as the courage that it takes to wear the unknown.

Wing Tattoos

The History of Wing Tattoos

Many people look at wing tattoos and see whatever their eyes are trained to see. For religious individuals, an angel usually comes to mind, while for Wiccan practitioners, they may automatically see a raven. Wing tattoos have a multitude of meanings because they are one of the oldest symbols that have been used in history. They are a universal representation of flight, regardless of where you may live on the planet.

Angel Wings

It is interesting to note that the Western bible never actually spoke of all angels wearing wings. They were depicted as being quite close to human form, traveling to the Earth to deliver messages to people from God.

Brilliant artists simply began incorporating wings on angels some time during history. Because of this tradition, it is nearly impossible to think of an angel without large, powerful, magical wings. After all, they needed some means of transportation from the skies down to Earth.

Historical Wings

Archeologists have actually revealed mummies from around the globe with wing tattoos which proves they have been a strong symbol used in many cultures. Unfortunately it is impossible to know why exactly these people from past times wore them.

In the ancient world, speed and power were represented by wings. In fact, images and statues from civilizations of many years ago depicted animals of speed such as horses or lions with wings. Many gods were often winged as well, suggesting that they were more than capable of flying through the air. Hermes, a Greek god, wore wings on his ankles and Mercury, the Roman god, was displayed in quite a similar way.

Flight

Wing tattoos have been worn throughout time by people of all culture and every religion for their simple representation of flight. They can signify an escape from an earthly existence or represent limitless freedom. Wings that are associated with mythological creatures such as unicorns, griffins and dragons hold the same meaning as flying animals of the planet such as butterflies, bees and birds. They are all free to move about freely as they choose.

Wing tattoos have also been worn by some individuals in history as a representation of transformation in those that study magic. The very presence of wings allows for various combinations of the four elements, fire and wind, sky and earth. Individuals that wear wing tattoos to celebrate Mother Nature’s powers traditionally choose ravens, hawks and falcons. They can symbolize strength and freedom as well as paganism, voodoo and black magic.

Kanji Symbols

A Detailed Look at Kanji Symbols

While some tattooists embrace the opportunity to complete kanji symbols, others completely reject the idea. Kanji is not something that you can simply master without a substantial amount of dedication and practice. Those who are very good at it are very talented and highly respected artists.

Kanji symbols are part of a very complex system that is based on pictographs rather than alphabetical letters. Every symbol requires up to 30 individuals strokes from the pen. Many symbols are complex, offering up to 10 different interpretations which means that it takes great skill to have the linguistic knowledge that is needed to accurately analyze what the kanji symbols mean. Therefore, if Japanese is not your native tongue, you cannot be guaranteed of the exact meaning of your tattoo unless you fully trust your tattooist.

Despite the risk that comes with wearing a permanent display of the unknown, kanji symbols account for a large portion of tattoos received everyday. Why? Simply because they have unique, mysterious, bold and beautiful qualities all rolled into one symbol.

Types of Kanji Symbols

There are a few types of kanji symbols that are seen more in tattoos than they are in everyday use. Kaisho is one that you are probably familiar with, characterized by the bold angular black script. Kanji is also commonly written in gyosho, which is semi-cursive or sosho, which is full cursive. The style chosen is usually based on how the client accepts the flow of the symbol. Some people prefer a soft and loose look while others like the look of a tight, neat symbol.

Choosing a text style for kanji symbols should always be a choice of personal reflection and never forced by the artist. After all, tattoos are about self-interpretation. Some masters of the dialect even suggest that you don’t necessarily need to know the meaning of a symbol, some people are drawn to one for whatever reason and the meaning usually ends up fitting them well.

The Difficulty of Kanji Symbols

When writing kanji symbols, every one of them demands an exact order of brush strokes. This can never be altered. For a tattoo artist to draw these symbols and complete them precisely the way that they are meant to look is extremely difficult. It is also rare to find someone with such talent to do so.

It is advised when you decide to get kanji tattoos to take the time to research your tattooist. Look at their portfolio and experience in the related field. If you want to feel completely confident in the meaning of your symbol, there are trusted and respected stencil that you can purchase online to take to your tattooist to use.

Cute Fairy Tattoos

Cute Fairy Tattoos -The Mythical History Behind Them

Cute fairy tattoos are a whimsical echo from the mythical past. Fairies are spiritual beings of the metaphysical world. They have magical powers and they were deeply patronized in Medieval Times. While some cute fairy tattoos are angelic pieces of art, others adopt impish characteristic displays such as pixies or goblins.

Throughout history, fairies have been called many names such as fair people or little people. Of course, this was thoughtfully done because there was always a chance of invoking their presence if you spoke their name. Interestingly, the Gaelic term for them is sidhe, which is a name that also includes the many leprechauns and banshees of Ireland.

Cute fairy tattoos were inspired by these little people who were driven underground by invaders and their iron weapons. This is why you will still see a piece of iron such as a horseshoe over the door of those who believe, to keep the fairies away.

The Personality of Fairies

While you may be familiar with Tinkerbell who is often used in cute fairy tattoos, Disney’s sweet and helpful version is not the traditional fairy. True fairies are extremely mischievous and can actually be quite nasty. They can grant gifts to individuals who they are attracted to like beauty, wealth or kindness however, they are also known for performing harmful tricks on those they do not respect or care for. Throughout history, fairies have been blamed for the explainable occurrences such as weather phenomenons, a badly behaved child or a sudden death.

How to Stay on Their Good Side

Many believers would offer bowls of milk to the fairies as gifts to stay on their good side. You should also never travel the solstice in the evening because they may kidnap you to the fairy world. Always treat the fairies with respect and follow through on any tasks you tell them that you will do. Since fairies are from the Earth, this means treating the Earth with respect as well. Above all, never eat their food!

Fairies Today

Contrary to what you may think, fairies are not a being of the past. Wiccan practitioners and those of other neopagan religions believe in these natural spirits that are also known as salamanders, gnomes, sylphs and ondines. They are believed to be very much a part of the world today.

Women choose cute fairy tattoos because they are extremely beautiful pieces of the natural world. They are much more sensual than angels and have an earthly and free tone to them. Cute fairy tattoos represent the historical characteristics of these magical beings which could be anything from mischief and anger to grace and beauty.

Celtic Tattoos

The Historic Bravery Behind Celtic Tattoos

Celtic tattoos are the result of influences from various cultures that all work together to create one modern form. Celtic designs from thousands of years ago have become some of the world’s most popular tattoos.

Christian priests invaded the country to convert the Celts after the Romans conquered Ireland. At this time, the Celts had no written language however, they were equipped with a visual style that was quite unique. It incorporated an attempt to suggest no beginning or end with their love for nature with complex and interlacing designs.

The Christian priests borrowed this aesthetic style and fused it to decorate early bible manuscripts. As a result, Christianity took over the nation and Celtic tattoos had their genesis. It is unknown if the inspirations were used in the earliest tattoos but rebellious Celt warriors wearing ink were spoke of by Julius Caesar.

Celt Warriors

Similar to the Picts who tattooed their warrior to offer intimidation, the Celts adopted this trademark. It was considered a very high honor to battle with the Celts. They were known for confronting their opponents either bare-chested or completely naked to reinforce an intimidation stance. They were also easily recognized by the way that they would dye their hair in bright colors from flower pastes and manipulate it into tall spikes around their head.

The Woad Plant

To perform tattoos, the Celts used the woad plant, a hardy biennial native to the British Isles and Europe. Woad produces indigotin, the blue dye chemical that was used for tattoos. The leaves were harvested and then dried. Once they were completely dry they would be boiled and strained over and over again.

The resulted paste was tapped into the warrior’s skin with some type of needle-like instrument that would force the stain under the top layers of skin, creating their design of choice.

Designs

Quite often, Celtic tattoos were merely accenting impressive scars that were acquired in battle. These combined with the nakedness and startling hair created quite an intimidating sight. It is believed that Celtic symbols were some of the first cultural symbols in tattooing to appear on a flesh canvas. Celtic knots would appear on arms and the chest as well as many symbolic animals.

If you’re afraid of needles then maybe hypnosis can help

Celtic tattoos are some of the most intricately-detailed and difficult ones to complete. If you have the desire to get one, make sure that your tattooist has a substantial amount of experience in them and can offer a portfolio to evaluate.

Yin Yang Tattoos

Yin Yang Tattoos: One of the Oldest and Most Recognized Symbols

Yin Yang tattoos are one of the most recognizable symbols in the world On the symbol, black is used to represent yin while white is used for yang. In Taoism, the symbol is a reflection of the intertwined duality in all things in nature.

The concept behind yin yang tattoos has quite a long history. There are recorded writings of the philosophy behind the symbol as far back as 1,400 BC however, it was not until 770 BC that the popularity began to emerge.

It is suggested that there is not one quality that is completely independent from its direct opposite. This representation is depicted by the flowing boundary between the black and white along with the smaller circles left to float in their opposite’s region. There are basically six concepts that are represented by yin yang tattoos.

1. Interdependence – Yin yang tattoos suggest that one of the opposites is not capable of existing without the other. Night cannot exist without day and darkness cannot be without light.

2. Transformation – An important concept of yin yang tattoos is that at one point, yin has the ability to transform into yang and yang can transition into yin. A good example is day turning into night and life turning into death.

3. Opposites – One of the most popular representation of yin yang tattoos is that everything has an opposite yet no one thing can completely be yin or yang. This is because yin contains a seed of yang and vice verse. This can be seen when a rare summer day peeks through in the middle of winter and then quickly goes away.

4. Supportive – As yin increases, yang decreases and as yang increases then yin will decrease to maintain a perfect balance. There are possible imbalances though such as Daylight Savings Time. One forces the other to be more concentrated.

5. Subdivided – Yin yang tattoos represent that a yin or a yang aspect is able to be subdivided into the other. Every moment in time is a new beginning as well as an end.

6. Equality – The dots that are present in yin yang tattoos mean that part of yang lives within yin and yin shares a part of yang. There is always a trace of direct opposites in one another. Shadows of dark are always present in the light and the moon offers light in the darkness.

Tribal Tattoos

The Ancient History Behind Tribal Tattoos

Although you may think that tribal tattoos are simply part of a new and growing trend, they have played a huge cultural role with many tribes for centuries. Tribal tattoos today are primarily inspired from the Maori tribes of the Polynesian islands.

It has been common for a long time for the Maori to display their social status by wearing tattoos on their body. Some have even been know to ink their whole entire face. Once the European visitors observed this rare showmanship of status, they also wanted to be a part of the meaningful tradition.

The Maori however, were not actually the inventors behind tribal tattoos. Mummified bodies in Egyptian tombs from thousands of years ago have been found wearing very precise patterns of ink. Of course back then, every drop of ink was completed slowly, with a skin piercing needle so every dot displayed was as painful as it was significant. Tribal tattoos were not always worn as decoration. Sometimes they simply represented maturity and strength as well.

The Explosion of Popularity

The art of tattooing today owes a lot to the early Polynesian tribes. In fact, the word tattoo is derived from “tau tau,” the tribe’s terms for the tattoo practice. Tribal tattoos helped individuals feel like they belonged to a group and they were a method of recognizing existence.

The explosion of modern tribal tattoos took place in the 1980s. Tattoo Time, a popular magazine, did a feature on the native tattoos that were found on individuals in Samoa and Borneo. Nearly everyone who read the magazine was deeply inspired. People in western parts of the world quickly worked to duplicate these styles and popularity grew.

Today, there are some that choose tribal tattoos simply for the bold, vibrant images that they display. However, most individuals wear these tattoos proudly to reflect their cultural heritage. Latin American, Native American and Celtic images all bring their symbols to tribal tattoos.

Individuals with Native American ancestry often choose spiritual totems and tribal symbols while Latin Americans adopt Aztec images such as the tribal sun. People with Irish descent typically choose Celtic designs, another type of tattoo that falls under the tribal category but has grown to be so popular it is recognized as its own unique sector.

Tribal tattoos are one of the oldest types of self-expression. They represent belonging and being proud of something bigger than one’s self.