Looking to get Kanji tattoos inked? Well, check out here some of the most popular Kanji tattoo designs that look extremely attractive and are also meaningful. Read further to know more about it.
Tattoos look extremely attractive and eye-catching. People who have tattoos often claim that it either adds essence or reflects their personality. There are different types of tattoos that people get these days, and some popular ones that I’ve seen recently are in Kanji.
If you’re someone who’s looking to get a tattoo in Kanji you’re in the right place. Kanji tattoos are symbolic yet extremely meaningful. As it’s attractive, it can also be confusing at times which is why you have to be quite picky when choosing a Kanji tattoo.
Without further ado, let’s find out the best kanji tattoos that will look gorgeous on your body, right away!
What is a Kanji tattoo?
If I put it simply, Kanji tattoos are basically tattoos written in Chinese characters of the Japanese writing, kanji. There are 3 different ways of writing Japanese: hiragana, katakana and Kanji in which Kanji are Han or Chinese characters. You cannot write Japanese entirely in Kanji which is why a combination of other scripts like hiragana and Katakana are used.
Kanji is perfect for tattoos because they are used for nouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs etc. Kanji is often confusing and obscure because one character can have multiple meanings and also you can’t put two kanji characters to form a phrase in your tattoo. The meaning of your kanji tattoo will be determined by you depending on how you pronounce it as well as its context.
Since you yourself don’t know much about kanji characters, I’d help you out with tattoo choices. Some of the most common kanji tattoos are “strength”, “love”, “live”, “respect” etc.
Types of Kanji Tattoos
Most people get tattoos related to strength to remind themselves to stand tall during tough times in their lives. Japanese usually associate bamboo as their symbol of strength which also reflects innocence, health, luck as well as prosperity. It’s pronounced as chikara. Strength symbol is definitely the most common kanji tattoo to get which is also meaningful.
Kanji Tattoo with Sakura
Sakura as well as kanji characters are both significant to Japanese culture. Sakura is basically cherry blossom that is widely grown in Japan. Combine a kanji character that makes sense, something like innocence, respect, love etc. would look great. You can also get it coloured like the one shown in the picture.
Kanji Tattoo with Dragon
Dragons are another significant motif of Japanese culture which essentially is seen as a protector of human beings. It’s also extremely famous in Chinese culture. It represents both the good and the evil as a balance, just like the yin yang in the west.
It means wisdom, freedom, good luck as well as balance. You can also consider getting kanji letters that denote the same along with the dragon. The given picture shows a dragon and a kanji character tattooed in between. The dragon symbolises good luck and freedom here whereas the kanji character represents love which is pronounced as “ai”.
Minimalistic Kanji Tattoo
Most people like to keep their tattoos low-key and don’t prefer getting extremely huge ones that are easily seen. You can go for single character kanji tattoos that will suit your personality. Different kanji characters you can use are “love”, “patience”, “courage” as well as “freedom”. You can also go for small quotes or simple slogans. Kanji character tattoos are versatile and can fit various personalities.
Calligraphy is an art of writing in a stylish manner that you’ve most often seen in English. Yes, calligraphy is possible in Kanji as well and needless to say that it looks extremely beautiful after being inked. Kanji calligraphy is often done with Japanese scroll on silk fabrics usually known as kakemono or kakejiku. This calligraphic kanji tattoo has definitely beautified the lady’s back which is one great reason to consider getting this tattoo.
Brush Stroke Kanji Tattoo
Brushstroke tattoos have recently become popular because they are attractive and reflect an ancient style. If you look at it closely, you’ll definitely get reminded of those scrolls you saw from older generations where it had something written in calligraphy with brush. These brush stroke kanji tattoos require a lot of patience and pain tolerance but the results are definitely worth it.
Vivid Red Kanji Tattoo
Tattoos are usually seen in black colour but people have become daring and are constantly looking for change. A bold red kanji tattoo on your waist, hip or arms look great. If you’re brave enough, you can also get it on your temple. Single Kanji characters with powerful meanings like “faith”, “divine”, “love” etc. would look awesome.
Choose organic ink tattoos against metal-based ink which are comparatively safer. You have to be extremely careful while your artist picks red colour for you because it’s an extremely dangerous colour to get inked with due to its chemical composition.
Kanji Tattoo with Koi Fish
Koi fish symbolises good luck in Japanese and means “carp”. In Japanese culture, it’s believed that Koi fish would turn into a dragon after reaching the final water of the Yellow River. There are many people who get koi fish tattoos as a sign of good luck. You can also get something like the picture where you get two koi fishes- white and black signifying good and evil with kanji characters in between. You can use kanji characters that mean good luck, life, freedom etc.
Kanji Tattoo with Sword
Sword is extremely important in Japanese culture and it means valour and bravery. Swords were used by samurais in the past who reflected similar characteristics. You can get a tattoo of the samurai sword along with kanji characters that define your personality like loyalty, brave, legendary etc. In this tattoo, you will also find a zen circle which means strength, elegance and open-mindedness.
Typed Kanji Tattoo
There are various fonts you can choose when you go for kanji character tattoos like calligraphy, stencil font, cryptic font, typed font etc. Choose the one that is most accurate with the kanji character you’re going to use. Wrong font can ruin the meaning of your kanji character tattoo depending on how it’s viewed by others. It’s advisable to go for fonts that match the meaning of the kanji character you’ve chosen to get inked.
Blood Stain Kanji Tattoo
Blood stain kanji tattoos are just artistic ways of expressing your tattoos. The blood stain effect looks pretty amazing and enhances the tattoos look. It’s as if the bloodstain becomes a background for your kanji tattoo and gives a 3D effect to it. You have to be a little mindful about the background colour you pick as it has to go along with the colour of your kanji tattoo. Make sure both the colours are not the same. Going for slogans or phrases is usually the best idea with blood stain tattoos.
Stenciled Kanji Tattoo
Another great font to go for is stencil when you’re picking which kanji tattoo to get. They have shaped corners and look extremely neat. You’d usually find such stenciled fonts in newspapers or logos. Go for phrases or slogans of not more than 7 characters which aren’t too clumsy on your hand.
Overlapping Kanji Tattoo
Overlapping tattoos have varied opinions, some people find it extremely clumsy while others really love how stylish they look. If you’re planning to get an overlapping Kanji tattoo, make sure that the bottom layer has a different colour than the top to differentiate between the two and enhance the main tattoo a little more.
It’s really not important to get the same characters or the exact same copies as an overlapped tattoo. Your base can be different from the top tattoo which in my opinion is a much better option. You can go for a single character or slogans for this kanji tattoo, the choice is yours.
Are Kanji tattoos offensive?
Kanji tattoos are not offensive because a lot of foreigners have them even though they don’t understand it’s true meaning. The art of Kanji tattoos are widely appreciated and most people find it extremely cool.
What is the most common Japanese kanji tattoo?
The most common Japanese kanji tattoos are kanji characters of “love”, “strength”, “patience” as well as “good luck”. Most people who get kanji character tattoos also get symbolic representations inked like dragons, samurai sword, koi fishes etc.
Which is the best kanji tattoo to get for girls?
The best kanji tattoo to get for girls is something that represents feminine culture. You can get Kanji characters that mean love, patience, faith, virtue, etc.
Inking Kanji Characters
Kanji tattoos might seem fun to get but it’s also important to know what to get and what’s the meaning of the same. It becomes pretty useless if you don’t know the meaning of something you’re getting as a permanent body art. For the same reason, we have listed out the most popular and the best kanji tattoos for you, hope you loved them.