As you probably assumed before coming to this page, there are some great samurai tattoo meanings to choose from for those who decide to get one of these designs. And speaking of designs, you also have a large selection of those that you can choose from.
Below we will take a look at some of the most commonly used samurai tattoo meanings as well as some reasons why one of these cool designs might be great for you.
Hailing from traditional Japanese military hierarchy, the Samurai were noble warriors trained from birth to be masters of battle. In many cases, this is one of the main reasons why people get samurai tattoos. You can use both the nobility and warrior meanings in a single design. Some people will get a single warrior lashing his sword, while others will show a larger scene of multiple warriors going to battle. In either case, these samurai tattoo meanings will come attached to the design.
The Japanese warrior’s distinctive armor and prevalence in traditional Japanese artwork create an iconic image of the formidable warrior. If you want to get a tattoo that shows that you have a warrior mentality, then you might want to go for the full getup. Sure, you can use the exact same samurai tattoo meanings in a small tattoo of just a samurai sword, but people often want to get a full-bodied samurai since they look so cool in ink and it makes it clear that the meanings attached to your tattoo really are significant to you.
The armor is a representation of strength, bravery, tact, discipline and above all else, honor. If you want to use one or all of these samurai tattoo meanings, you’re in luck since you really don’t have to tweak any samurai tattoo design to use them. However, if you want the meanings to be a little bit more obvious, you can add other symbols that also represent those meanings. If you do opt to include other images, you’ll want to make sure that they blend in well with your samurai design.
Often accompanied by a katana (a type of sword used by samurai) or bow and arrow, the samurai have been a sort of police force in periods of Japanese history. And that brings us to our next meaning: protection. If you are the type of person who protects for a living or you simply take pride in being there for your friends and neighbors, then a katana or other samurai weapon might be a fantastic tattoo idea for you.
The samurai consistently conduct themselves with the utmost sense of duty and honor, following a strict moral code. This is why the samurai tattoo is seen as a great military tattoo, regardless of where the soldier is from. The samurai are the classic militants and most people would feel a lot of pride with one of these designs on their skin.
Zen Buddhism is often associated with the way of the samurai, attesting to their level of discipline and desire to uphold the good in society. A lot of people wrongly assume that the samurai were trained to be aggressive fighters, which actually couldn’t be further from the truth. Aggressiveness is definitely not a samurai tattoo meaning, but if that’s what you want you will find that there are plenty of other designs that do have that meaning attached to them.
Their signature armor, o-yoroi kozane armor, was a type of lamellar armor worn and adapted over centuries. It is iconic of the samurai and its depiction along with the image of the samurai creates an authentic look. The small leather plates (also made of iron and other materials) of kozane armor create the appearance of scales. This effect symbolizes the might of the dragon, lending the samurai an even fiercer stance.
Additionally, samurai have protected themselves with chain mail armor and steel, bronze, or iron plates. Regardless of the material used, the broad shoulder plates and pleated tunic-style armor are typical iconography of the courageous warriors. You will definitely want to look into getting this samurai gear if you want your courage as your meaning.
Not only will you be adding the “protection” and “courage” samurai tattoo meaning to your tattoo with the armor, but you also get a chance to have an insanely attractive piece to put on your skin. Yes, highly detailed armor can cost a little bit of money, but it’s definitely worth it if the meanings work for you and you have a top tattoo artist do the work.
Samurai are closely tied to traditional Japanese arts, having been of the aristocratic status. The dignity and sophistication of the samurai were upheld for hundreds of years, only recently having declined with the modernization of Japan. That’s why some people will still use the “royalty” samurai tattoo meaning regardless of design. This meaning will not be as obvious as the others, but that might actually be what some people want. If you do want the meaning to come through, you can add other royalty symbols to your design, such as a crown.
In traditional Japanese art, samurai are most often portrayed riding a horse in full armor with an air of bravery. If you are interested in getting a tattoo that symbolizes bravery and you want to go all-out with the design, then this one might be for you. The samurai on a horse tattoo looks best as a back tattoo, but you certainly can shrink it down a little bit to make it work somewhere else. As with most of the other tattoo designs listed on this page, you should expect this one to be pretty costly, but worth it if the samurai tattoo meaning works well for you.
The image of the samurai illustrates the rigid sense of duty and courage of the Japanese warriors. If you have a warrior in your design, you can be sure that these meanings will come through clearly to whoever sees your tattoo. You shouldn’t just get it because it looks cool, though. It’s far more important that you get a tattoo that represents who you are, then as an added bonus, you will also have an attractive design to look at.
Only a dedicated and honorable soul is able to take on the protective responsibilities of the ancient order of the samurai. This is why so many people take pride in their samurai tattoos and why their meanings are loved throughout the world. Most of us want to be protectors of those whom we care about, but there are only some who can be called modern-day samurai in their protective abilities. That’s also why the samurai tattoo is not for everyone; there’s nothing wrong with admitting that you don’t have the protective instincts that the great samurai did.
No matter what type of design you decide to get or what samurai tattoo meanings you decide to use, you absolutely have to find an artist who you can trust to get your design right. These are both meaningful and heavily detailed in most cases, so you will want to hire someone who either has experience with samurai tattoos or who has done plenty of intricate design work in the past. Your chances of getting the exact tattoo you want skyrocket when you work with a tattoo artist who you can trust.
If you feel like one of these samurai tattoo meanings is right for you, then chances are you will end up loving your design even more because it will define who you are as a person. Most people who get samurai tats wear them as a source of pride since they feel a connection to those warriors of the past who would do anything to protect those around them. Just be sure that you take your time through the design process and find an artist who can make all of these great samurai tattoo meanings come to life through the ink on your skin.