Oriental tattoo style is a type of tattoo art that incorporates traditional motifs and symbols from Asian cultures, such as dragons, koi fish, cherry blossoms, samurai warriors, and geisha girls. Oriental tattoos is the common name for body art associated with Asian countries from Japan and China to India. A distinctive feature of the Oriental style is the large size of the design and the play of colors. These tattoos are known for their bold lines, shading, and vibrant colors, which create a striking and eye-catching appearance.
History and Origins of Oriental Tattoos
This style has its roots in the ancient history of Japan and can be traced back to ancient Asian cultures, where the basic elements and forms of style Oriental were born. At that time, tattoos were used for spiritual, cultural, and ceremonial purposes. All the variety and splendor of East Asian culture was embodied in this style. Initially, the Japanese tattoo was a privilege reserved exclusively for Japanese nobility.
In Japan, for example, tattoos were worn by members of the criminal underworld as a way of identifying one another and as a symbol of their rebellious nature. However, over time, the practice of tattooing in Japan evolved and became more mainstream. It was also heavily influenced by the arrival of Western sailors in the late 19th century, who introduced new tattooing techniques and designs. So fortunately, today everyone can make yourself a mysterious and extraordinary image in the Oriental style.
The origins of Japanese tattoos can be traced back to the 3rd century A.D. with the first written references to the art. However, in the 7th century, decorative tattooing was officially frowned upon and even used as a form of punishment. Despite this, the ban on tattooing was eventually lifted, and the popularity of the art form began to rise once again. By the 19th century, tattoo studios began to open, and the trend eventually developed into a distinct and recognizable style within the tattoo industry. This style, known as the Oriental tattoo style, continues to be a popular choice among tattoo enthusiasts today.
In China, tattoos were traditionally used as a symbol of status and wealth, and were often worn by members of the upper classes. They were also used as a form of protection against evil spirits. As in Japan, the practice of tattooing in China evolved over time and began to incorporate more Western elements.
Today, Oriental tattoo style continues to be a popular and significant form of body art, with many people choosing to incorporate traditional Asian motifs and symbols into their tattoos as a way of expressing their connection to their heritage or as a form of self-expression.
For more information about the history and features of Japanese tattoos, read our article – The Art of Japanese Tattoo.
One of the most notable characteristics of Oriental tattoo style is the use of bold lines and shading. These tattoos often feature thick, dark lines that create a striking and dramatic effect, as well as detailed shading that adds depth and dimension to the design. This creates a striking and eye-catching appearance that sets Oriental tattoos apart from other styles.
Another key characteristic of Oriental tattoo style is the use of traditional motifs and symbols. These tattoos often feature imagery that is rooted in Asian cultures, such as dragons, koi fish, cherry blossoms, samurai warriors, and geisha girls. These motifs and symbols often hold deep cultural and spiritual significance and are chosen by many people as a way of expressing their connection to their heritage or as a form of self-expression.
Oriental tattoos are also known for their use of vibrant colors. The use of bright and bold colors such as reds, yellows, oranges, and greens give them a lively, dynamic and eye-catching look. These tattoos often feature a wide range of colors that are used to create intricate and detailed designs. The drawing of the dragon on the skin is often accompanied in shades of red, gold and of course black.
The combination of these three characteristics – bold lines, traditional motifs, and vibrant colors – create a unique and striking aesthetic that is instantly recognizable as Oriental tattoo style.
Popular Oriental Tattoo Motifs
Oriental tattoo style incorporates a wide range of traditional motifs and symbols from Asian cultures, each with its own unique meaning and significance. Some of the most popular Oriental tattoo motifs include:
Dragons are one of the most iconic and enduring symbols of Asian culture and are often featured in Oriental tattoos. In Chinese culture, dragons are seen as powerful and benevolent creatures that symbolize strength, courage, and good luck. They are often depicted in a fierce, menacing pose and are often accompanied by other symbols such as clouds, waves, or flames.
Koi fish are another popular Oriental tattoo motif that holds deep cultural and spiritual significance. In Japanese culture, koi fish are seen as symbols of perseverance, strength, and good luck. They are often depicted swimming upstream, which is a metaphor for overcoming obstacles and achieving one’s goals. Koi fish tattoos are often designed in bright and bold colors, which gives them a lively and dynamic appearance.
Cherry blossoms are another popular Oriental tattoo motif that holds deep cultural and spiritual significance. In Japan, cherry blossoms symbolize the fleeting nature of life and the transience of beauty. They are often depicted in a delicate and ethereal way, often in a pink or white color, and are often paired with other symbols such as the moon, clouds, or a dragon.
Samurai warriors are a popular Oriental tattoo motif that symbolizes courage, strength, and honor. These tattoos often depict the warriors in full armor, armed with a sword, and often with a fierce and intimidating expression. These tattoos are often chosen by people who are interested in martial arts or who want to express their admiration for the samurai’s code of honor and discipline.
Geisha girls are another popular Oriental tattoo motif that holds deep cultural and spiritual significance. In Japan, geisha girls are seen as symbols of beauty, elegance, and grace. They are often depicted in traditional clothing, with their hair styled in a traditional manner, and are often accompanied by other symbols such as a fan, a cherry blossom, or a koi fish.
Each of these popular Oriental tattoo designs holds deep cultural and spiritual significance and are chosen by many people as a way of expressing their connection to their heritage or as a form of self-expression. They are also chosen by people who admire Asian culture and want to express their appreciation of it. It’s important to note that some of these symbols hold different meanings in different cultures, so it’s always a good idea to do your research and understand the symbolism and meaning of the specific tattoo you want to get.
Types of oriental tattoos
There are several trends in the style of oriental tattooing.
One trend is the incorporation of traditional Japanese elements such as kanji characters, koi fish, and cherry blossoms. These elements are often incorporated into larger and more elaborate designs that feature intricate details and bold lines.
Using of watercolor effects in oriental tattoos. This technique uses soft, blended colors to create a more fluid and dynamic look, which can add a unique and modern twist to traditional Oriental designs.
Using of minimalist designs. This style of Oriental tattoos focuses on simple, clean lines and minimalistic designs that often feature only one or two elements. This style can be particularly appealing for those who want a tattoo that is subtle and understated.
Neo-Japanese style, which combines traditional Japanese imagery with modern styles, techniques and colors. This approach can result in a fusion of traditional and contemporary elements that can make the design look more dynamic and fresh.
Finally, there is a trend of mixing different styles in one tattoo. It can be a fusion of traditional oriental motifs and western styles like neo-traditional, new school, or realistic. This approach allows to create an unique and personalized design that reflects the personality and preferences of the wearer. It’s worth noting that trends in tattooing can change quickly and may vary depending on location and the preferences of the tattoo artist.
Best and Popular Placements of Oriental Tattoos
The most popular places to get an Oriental tattoo are on the back, upper arm, chest, and thigh.
The back is a popular spot for larger and more detailed oriental designs, as it provides a wide canvas to work with. This can allow for the inclusion of many traditional motifs and symbols, such as dragons, koi fish, and cherry blossoms, which can be incorporated into an intricate and elaborate design.
The upper arm is another popular spot this kind of tattoos. It’s a great spot for tattoos that feature bold lines and shading, as the upper arm allows for a lot of detail to be included in the design. This area also allows for flexibility in the size of the tattoo, as it can be as small or as large as desired.
The chest is perfect for tattoos that feature intricate and detailed designs, such as a dragon or a koi fish, as the chest provides a lot of space to work with. It also allows for a lot of detail to be included in the design and is a great spot for tattoos that feature bold lines and shading.
The thigh is a popular spot for smaller, more delicate oriental tattoos, such as a cherry blossom or a geisha girl. These tattoos can be incorporated into a larger design, or they can be featured on their own as a standalone piece. This area also allows for a lot of detail to be included in the design and is a great spot for tattoos that feature bold lines and shading.
When it comes to placement of oriental tattoos, it’s important to choose a spot that is comfortable for you and that you’re happy with. It’s also important to consider the size of the tattoo, as well as the type of design you want to include, as different areas of the body can accommodate different sizes and styles of tattoos.
In conclusion, oriental tattoo style is a unique and recognizable style within the tattoo industry that is inspired by the traditional art and culture of Asian countries such as Japan and China. This style is characterized by intricate and detailed designs that often feature traditional symbols such as dragons, koi fish, and cherry blossoms.
The history and origins of oriental tattoos can be traced back to ancient times and have undergone a resurgence of popularity in recent years. Popular motifs in oriental tattoos include dragons, koi fish, cherry blossoms, and geisha girls. The placement of oriental tattoos is not limited to specific areas of the body, and the most popular places are the back, upper arm, chest, and thigh. Overall, oriental tattoos are a beautiful and meaningful way to pay homage to the rich cultural heritage of Asia and make a bold fashion statement at the same time.