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Japanese Sleeve Tattoos

A lot of guys out there these days are looking for something unique different and cool looking. Often guys get skulls, flames and sexy pinup girls as a sleeve tattoo design. However, recently there has been more and more men interested in Japanese sleeve tattoos. This is great because the Japanese have a long history of full body tattoos and therefore they are very advanced in their sleeve tattoos. These designs are cool and they make a great tattoo design for men also. Here are some ideas to help you get started on your own full sleeve tattoo design.


Koi Fish

Koi fish are an ever popular theme for sleeve tattoo designs. The beautiful oranges of the koi fish and the blue water background lend themselves to the perfect tattoo design for a sleeve. By wrapping the fish around the front of the arm the fish looks dimensional and really pops out and comes to life. Thus it makes a cool looking tattoo with a lot of life. However, more then that the Koi tattoo represent strength, power and individuality. It represents the struggle of going through life and striving to be better. You see the Japanese myth is that the koi fish try to swim upstream. Not all of them make it but the ones that make it to the golden bridge become dragons and fly off into the sky. This is a way cool symbolism and a deep meaning and the chicks will go wild with how thoughtful and deeply emotional you are when you show off your tat and explain why you got it and the dudes in the group will admire it as well.


Of course there is always the dragon. This is only second to the koi fish because dragons have been so common place. However, a powerful fierce dragon in red or black makes for the ideal tattoo design for men. It looks rough and tumble and ready to throw down or just breathe fire on a person. The dragon is a very mystical and mythical beast that is filled with all kinds of magic and great lore. The symbolism is of course of power and strength.


Samurai and gods are always very popular in traditional Japanese sleeve tattoos. These designs of course feature either fierce samurai in the heat of battle of gods fighting off evil spirits. Either way you end up with a way cool dude tattoo. What can be more guy then a man swinging a huge katana sword and slaying a dragon or a demon. It is the ultimate. The reason the Samurai is so popular in Japanese tattooing and traditional arts is that the samurai is seen to embed everything that is important to the Japanese male. The samurai carries the Japanese culture as well as being a strong and fierce warrior in battle yet is always mindful and follows the code of bushido. This is what every Japanese male wants to be deep down.

Hannya Masks

The Hannya mask was originally used in Kabuki plays in Tokyo. However, the masks were such beautiful yet haunting piece of artwork that they became stand alone pieces of art. Many Japanese would collect and display them in their house and they believe it would ward off evil spirits. The Hannya masked represents a scorned women that has been overcome by her rage that she has turned into an evil demon. These are also very popular in traditional Japanese tattoos and tattoo in the West. It is hard to make a full sleeve of one mask but it can easily be combined with other Japanese designs and symbols.

These are just a few of the many ideas and traditional Japanese sleeve tattoos. They all work very well in a tattoo for men and are becoming very popular. These designs have a deep symbolism behind them yet they still look cool and great for men. If you are thinking about getting a Japanese sleeve tattoo then you will want to look for a tattoo artist that specializes in Japanese art if possible.

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