A member of the grass family Bambusoideae, bamboo is a type of grass with hollow sections of the stem. Native to Asia, the largest member of the grass family happens to be a popular tattoo for tattoo and Asian enthusiasts alike. You’ll see fans of Asian culture enjoy the bamboo tattoo.
In this post, we will talk about bamboo tattoo meanings, bamboo tattoo ideas and different ways bamboo has a connection with the tattoo culture. We talk about different ways not only because you can get a tattoo of a bamboo stalk on your body but because you can get a tattoo of a bamboo stalk on your body from an artist using bamboo to put the tattoo on you.
These days, Japanese symbols have been fan favorites to many tattoo lovers. It’s not always for the best. I’m sure we’ve all heard of a person getting a tattoo from a foreign culture and not being exactly sure what it means. This is what we’re trying to avoid here by visiting the meanings of these tattoos. In this case we’re talking about a bamboo tattoo.
It’s a really cool way to show your interest in the far east as well as expressing certain values of the kind of person you are through the meaning of a bamboo tattoo.
A bamboo tattoo can have different meanings depending on the person wearing it. Bamboo is one of the most durable plants in the world. When you consider its size and that it can stand up to hurricane force winds, it wouldn’t come as a surprise to know bamboo can symbolize courage, strength and longevity. Not only does it represent values that we would all hope to be described as but it also looks really cool when done by the right artist.
People that have been through hard times and have endured things that aren’t pleasant might look into a bamboo tattoo. Knowing that you are still standing after all the craziness has passed should give a sense of pride. Knowing that you can take someone’s best shot and keep moving forward is an admirable quality. Memorialize this feeling with a bamboo tattoo.
The bamboo tattoo has also been known to be worn by people are looking for balance, calm and a have a thirst for knowledge. Bamboo grows in the cold season so many of these attributes are known to be along the lines of winter symbols.
Because of the physical nature of the bamboo plant, you’ll most likely want to choose a place on your body where there is room to work. The arm may be a good spot because of the length. The rule applies to a leg. You could also choose to get this tattoo on your back as there will be a lot of room to work with.
So now that we’ve touched on what the bamboo tattoo represents as far as symbolization, we should look at the bamboo tattoo in a different light. You may want to get a tattoo by an artist that uses bamboo shoots in replacement of the needle.
The tradition of getting a bamboo tattoo goes back 3000 years. It’s still common practice in many places but most specifically in Thailand where you can get a Sak Yant tattoo by a monk or an artist. The art of the bamboo tattoo goes back to the Khmer era when monks would get religious tattoos as a form of protection. In addition to monks, soldiers would also get these tattoos for protection when entering battle. These tattoos were not only used for protection but for strength and invisibility.
One question that people might have about this style of tattoo is if it is a safe practice. Most people, not having been to SE Asia might think they are below our standards when it comes to cleanliness and safety. However, I can assure you from going there myself, these are some of the cleanest places I’ve seen.
One place you have to be careful of is getting tattooed by a monk in a temple. On many occasions people line up and wait all day to be tattooed by a monk. The monk actually uses the same bucket of ink for everyone and dips the bamboo shoots into a sterilizing can of alcohol. We would suggest getting this tattoo at your own risk. However, there have been no reported cases of people being infected by this method so outside of that concern, it would be an excellent story.
As far as the pain of a tattoo by bamboo, we have heard many say it hurts less to be tattooed by a gun but that makes sense too. The high-speed motor tends to make the tattoo a little easier to withstand while the manual labor of a bamboo tattoo can take a little longer. Many people love the pain of the process though and think that comes with the territory when getting a tattoo in this method. Afterall, it’s the story that is part of the fun.
Whatever method you decide in getting your tattoo or the variation of bamboo tattoo you decide on, we suggest taking your time and research. Many people jump the gun and walk into any tattoo shop and end up being disappointed with the final product. Take your time and research your shops and artists because this will be something that will be on you for many years. We hope that by reading this article you have a better understanding of what the bamboo tattoo stands for and also the style of tattooing that includes using bamboo shoots.
Take a look at the pictures below to get some ideas for your next bamboo tattoo. We’ve tried to incorporate different styles and body placements so you’ll be able to gather enough information to help you for your next tattoo. If you are still having trouble deciding on an artist, shop or even the kind of tattoo you want, please reach out. We love matching our visitors with the perfect artist. We want to make sure you get the tattoo of your dreams.