Japanese Tattoo and The Symbolism of Dragon Tattoo Designs

By Moira Logan

The dragon is a mythological creature that is both fearsome and beautiful the subject of folklore around the world. It is a formidable creature, usually seen as a winged or scaly beast with enormous claws that can emit fire from its mouth. In the Western world, dragons are often seen as mean or scary, but Asian dragons carry a different message.

Dragon tattoo designs come in many different shapes, styles and sizes, but they all have certain things in common. The dragon tattoo design, popular with both men and women, sends a solid message without the need to be formidable. Dragon tattoos, and dragon art in general, don't all convey the same meaning. Dragons are part of the myths of many different cultures, which each has its unique set of characteristics and meanings. Many dragon tattoo designs are designed to be spiritual and to send a message of intelligence and compassion.

Chinese and Japanese dragon tattoos are very popular, but there are many other designs of dragon tattoos, all of which appeal to a wide variety of people. Today's tattoo artists create dragon tattoo art that can look traditional or modern, tribal or realistic, sweet, charming or terrifying. Some dragon tattoo designs are relatively small and found on an arm or leg, while others are large enough to wrap around the trunk of the body. Either way, the dragon tattoo design is a strong image and sends a strong message.

European dragons are quite different from Asian dragons though they are recognizably the same creature. The fairy tale dragon may be on its own or the dragon tattoo design may be accompanied by other associated images - think knights or fairies, for example. The lines are likely to be finer with intricate detailing. These dragon tattoo designs make a beautiful and striking visual images.

Dragons also take their place in Celtic mythology. The red dragon is associated with the Britons (the Welsh) and the white dragon with the Saxons. The red dragon is one of the few European benevolent dragons.


It's easy to see why dragon tattoo designs are growing in popularity. The graceful, curving lines of a dragon image lend themselves well to a variety of tattoo styles, and dragon tattoo designs are a great expression of several different folklore traditions.

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