The dragon in the Japanese tattoo


The dragon is one of the most mythological symbols. From time immemorial, many different nations have bowed down before the mysterious, scary dragons that symbolized wisdom and strength.

People believed that a tattoo of that mystical creature would give them astonishing qualities. With such a tattoo on their body, people felt protected and sheltered.

The Japanese culture was isolated in the course of many centuries and it developed by its own laws. That is the reason why the Japanese tattoos look much different from the tattoos of the other nations. They are really remarkable with their wide range of colors and workmanship. Usually the tattoos cover big parts of the body and the tattooing is very painful. That’s why the making of such tattoo demands a few séance.

The Japanese tattoo “iredzumi” has gone through upsurge and downfall in the course of the centuries. At first the dragon tattoo carried a ritual and magical character. In the end of the XVII century, it symbolized affiliation to a particular social environment. The famous Japanese mafia “Yakudza” chose the dragon for its patron. Every detail of the tattoo – its shape, size and colors, showed precisely the position and the biography of the members of the gang. Nowadays people are really cautious towards the carriers of a dragon tattoo, even though the “Yakudza” does not exist anymore.

One of the stages of the revival of the Japanese tattoo was during the second half of XVII century. That was due to the popularization of the “Suykoden” novel. It’s a catchy story of people who resemble Robin Hood with their actions. There are also some interesting illustrations in the book like colorful drawings of iredzumi tattoos, flowers, dragons, tigers, fishes and Buddhistical iconography.

In the year 1868, when Japan ended its isolation, diplomats, tradesmen and travelers spread the fame of the Japanese tattoo all over the world. People from every corner of the world are now into the iredzumi tattoo. Most of them wish to have the opportunity to go to Japan and get one from the best Japanese tattoo artists.


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