100+ Koi Fish Tattoos Ideas and their Meaning

koi fish tattoos

Koi fish is Japanese carp fish which is famous for its vibrant colors and also its history. It is believed to bring good luck to the one who has it. Putting it in terms of the tattoo world, Koi fish tattoos are believed to bring luck and good fortune to the one who wears it.

If you are searching for a tattoo design that brings luck and fortune, then you are in the right place. The Koi fish tattoo design is inspired by the Koi fish also known as the ‘Nishikigoi’ is a fish with many vibrant colors and was used in ponds to enhance their beauty. They are basically used for decorative purposes.

If you love fishes and also love getting a tattoo, then Koi fish tattoo design is so on point! You may be happy to know a little more about the Koi fish. These fishes are an informal group of fishes recognized by the Japanese. These were used to decorate the water ponds as their vibrant flamboyant appearance filled the environment with a different aura.

The Koi fishes are categorized based on their patterns, scales, and colors. Initially, the Koi fishes were in very few colors. But, as time passed by the fish farmers started to breed Koi fishes in different colors and types. Now the available colors of Koi fishes are red, yellow, white, black, etc.

As you may or may not know a tattoo is a lifetime commitment to the ‘reason’ why you are getting one. Lately, tattoos, especially the Koi fish tattoo designs, have become immensely popular with the younger generation. These tattoo designs have a deep meaning and a long history in the Japanese and Chinese cultures.

This tattoo is famous amongst the Japanese because it has a history of how the Koi fish becomes the Dragon. You can read about this in the history section below. Hold onto those horses there! The Koi fishes are known to adapt well to changes in the environment around them. therefore one of the reasons why people have Koi fish is because they stand for ‘strength.’

History of Koi Fish Tattoos

The Koi fish tattoo design has a deep relation with the Koi fish and its legend or history. They were normally the carp fishes that were brought by the Chinese invaders to Japan, and they cultivated them in Japan, and it prospered well. It is a coldwater fish that was bred in the East initially and was also used for eating.

Besides the East, they were also domesticated in Europe and Asia. The Koi fish is adaptable to many kinds of weather and changes in the environment, and this is the biggest reason why they are domesticated so widely besides in East. Let’s dive into why the Koi fish is such a legend. The Koi fish legend says that once there was a school of Koi fishes in the famous Yellow River of China.

These fishes tried to swim against the current and reach the top of the waterfall on the Yellow River.
As they approached the fall, most of them turned away because the current was too strong. But one of them kept trying, and finally, after a lot of struggle for years, it reached the top of the waterfall. Pleased with its hard work and perseverance, the Gods turned it to a Golden Dragon. The waterfall has become the ‘Dragon’s Gate,’ and the Koi is the Golden Dragon.

Types of Koi Fish Tattoos

The word ‘Koi’ comes from the Japanese, and it means ‘Carp,’ as simple as that. The Koi fish tattoo design incorporates multiple meanings. Since the Koi fish is capable of adapting to changing climates and different waters, the tattoo design stands for strength, good luck, love, friendship, power, independence, long life, courage, determination, dedication, success, etc.

Some of the major colors the Koi fish is found are red, yellow, orange, pearl, black, white, gold, greyish blue, etc. The meaning of the Koi fish tattoo differs from the colors of the fishes and their direction too. Here are a few of the Koi fish tattoo designs and their meanings.

1. Upstream Swimming Koi Fish Tattoo

This Koi fish tattoo symbolizes strength, courage, fighting spirit, never-give-up attitude, etc. This design is usually flaunted by the people who are going through the ups and downs of their life, and they want to flaunt their strength and perseverance.

2. Downstream Swimming Koi Fish Tattoo

This tattoo’s direction signifies that the battles one was going through, is not in a position to progress. It gives up the fight and is no longer in the fighting mode.

3. Black Koi Fish Tattoo

The black Koi fish signifies strength, courage and the will to overcome the obstacles one faces in life. It also symbolizes a position of power one reaches after all those battles in life.

4. Yellow Koi Fish Tattoo

The Japanese term for a yellow Koi fish is ‘Yamabuki.’ This color is usually achieved by combining the orange and yellow, which is slightly golden. So, the Yamabuki stands for wealth, gold, fortune and prosperity.

5. Red Koi Fish Tattoo

The red Koi fish symbolizes intense love. Besides symbolizing love, it also symbolizes power, bravery, success, and courage.

6. White Koi Fish Tattoo

The white Koi fish tattoo design stands for success one achieves in either business or life. It is used to flaunt when one gets a dream job successfully.

7. Blue Koi Fish Tattoo

The blue Koi fish is a symbol of masculinity and is often related to reproduction. Besides the prior meaning, it also stands for the son of a family, serenity, calmness, tranquility, and peace.

8. Pink Koi Fish Tattoo

As the blue Koi stands for son the pink one symbolizes the daughter of a family. Besides symbolizing a daughter, it also stands for feminity.

Design Ideas for Swimming Koi Fish Tattoo

The Koi fish tattoo design can be drawn along with other elements such as the Ying-Yang, Lotus, waves, another Koi fish, fire, water, Dragon, etc.

koi fish tattoos

koi fish tattoos

koi fish tattoos

koi fish tattoos

koi fish tattoos

koi fish tattoos

koi fish tattoos

When a Koi fish is drawn along the water and fire, it symbolizes the coming together of two opposite elements. Dragon Koi fish has both a dragon and Koi fish which symbolizes ferocity, ultimate power, and strength. Many times the Koi fish tattoo design is drawn along with Ying-Yang. This design symbolizes the balance and harmony between the two contraries.

Conclusion

Koi fish is Japanese carp fish which is famous for its vibrant colors and also its history. It is believed to bring good luck to the one who has it. Putting it in terms of the tattoo world, a Koi fish tattoo design is considered to bring luck and good fortune to the one who wears it. The Koi fishes are categorized based on their patterns, scales, and colors.

Initially, the Koi fishes were in very few colors. But, as time passed by the fish farmers started to breed Koi fishes in different colors and types. Now the available colors of Koi fishes are red, yellow, white, black, etc. These tattoo designs have a deep meaning and a long history in the Japanese and Chinese cultures.

This tattoo is famous amongst the Japanese because it has a history of how the Koi fish becomes the Dragon. Koi fishes are known to adapt well to changes in the environment around them. therefore one of the reasons why people have Koi fish is because they stand for ‘strength.’

Since the Koi fish is capable of adapting to changing climates and different waters, the tattoo design stands for strength, good luck, love, friendship, power, independence, long life, courage, determination, dedication, success, etc.

Some of the primary colors the Koi fish is found are red, yellow, orange, pearl, black, white, gold, greyish blue, etc. The meaning of the Koi fish tattoo differs from the colors of the fishes and their direction too.

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