155+ Samurai Tattoo Ideas That Show Your Values in Life

Last update: February 29, 2024

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Samurai tattoos have become a prevalent trend in the tattoo world in recent years, but what do they symbolize, and what is the meaning behind them? Samurais are one of the most iconic symbols of Japan's culture and history, and their tattoos have deep symbolism and fascinating origins that make them much more than just a cool design on your skin. In this article, we will delve into the meaning and history of samurai tattoos and provide ideas and inspiration for your samurai tattoo.

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What does the Samurai symbolize in different cultures or religions worldwide?

The samurai is iconic in Japanese culture and represents many values, such as honor, loyalty, discipline, and courage. In Shintoism, samurais were believed to possess mystical powers and were seen as guardians of the gods. The samurai warrior class immensely impacted Japan's history, and their influence can still be felt in contemporary Japanese society.

What is the meaning behind the Samurai as a tattoo?

Samurai tattoos are not just mere designs, but they symbolize the values and beliefs that samurais embodied. They often express qualities such as strength, honor, and bravery. The tattoos usually depict a samurai in traditional garb with their weapons, such as a katana or a wakizashi, and in poses that suggest their fighting spirit. The tattoos can also represent loyalty and the connection to one's ancestry, as many samurais traced their lineage to a specific clan or family.

Top-rated list of ideas and their meanings of Samurai tattoos

Samurai with cherry blossoms tattoo: The cherry blossom symbolizes the ephemeral nature of life and is a reminder to cherish every moment. Combined with a samurai, it represents the warrior's acceptance of life's fleeting nature and commitment to live each day with purpose and honor.

Samurai with a dragon tattoo: The dragon symbolizes power, strength, and good luck. Combined with a samurai, it represents the warrior's unwavering commitment to their principles and fearlessness in the face of danger.

Samurai with lotus tattoo: The lotus flower symbolizes purity and enlightenment. Combined with a samurai, it represents the warrior's journey toward inner peace and self-realization.

Samurai with the tiger tattoo: The tiger symbolizes courage, strength, and passion. Combined with a samurai, it represents the warrior's fierce fighting spirit and unwavering determination to protect what they hold dear.

Samurai with koi fish tattoo: The fish symbolizes determination, perseverance, and good fortune. When combined with a samurai, it represents the warrior's journey towards achieving their goals and their ability to overcome any obstacle that comes their way.

Who should get a Samurai tattoo?

Samurai tattoos are not only for Japanese people but also for anyone who admires the samurai's values and way of life. Anyone who values honor, courage, and discipline can get a samurai tattoo to express those values on their skin. Samurai tattoos are also suitable for those who want to commemorate their ancestors and heritage.

History and origin of Samurai tattoos

The history of samurai tattoos can be traced back to the Edo period (1603-1868), when tattoos were used to identify criminals and outcasts. However, samurais began to adopt tattoos to express their loyalty to their masters and their commitment to their principles. The tattoos were often used to cover scars from battles or injuries, and they were also used as a form of protection. The tattoos would intimidate the enemy and protect the samurai in battle. Over time, samurai tattoos evolved into intricate designs that depicted the samurai's values and way of life.

General Breakdown Of Tattoo Pain Levels On Different Body Parts

Here is a breakdown of the different tattoo pain levels:

  • Low: This level of pain is generally described as a mild discomfort or tickling sensation. It is similar to the sensation of getting a light scratch or scrape.
  • Moderate: This level of pain is generally described as a moderate discomfort or aching sensation. It is similar to the sensation of getting a deep scratch or scrape or being pinched.
  • High: This level of pain is generally described as a strong discomfort or throbbing sensation. It is similar to the sensation of getting a burn or being stung by a bee.

It's important to note that pain tolerance is highly individual and can vary greatly from person to person. Some people may find certain body parts more or less painful than others, and the same body part can be more or less painful for different people. Additionally, the level of pain can be affected by factors such as the size and location of the tattoo, the skill of the tattoo artist, and the individual's own pain threshold.


Tattoo placement pain level chart


Body Part

Pain Level

Explanation

Forehead

Low

The forehead has few nerve endings, so it is not a particularly painful area.

Eyebrows

Low

The eyebrows have few nerve endings, so the pain level is relatively low.

Ear

Low

The ear is a relatively thin and fleshy area, so the pain level is low.

Nostril

Low

The nostril is a small area with thin skin, so the pain level is low.

Lip

Low to Moderate

The lip has more nerve endings than some other areas, so it may be slightly more painful.

Cheek

Low to Moderate

The cheek has a moderate amount of nerve endings, so it may be slightly more painful.

Neck

Moderate

The neck has a moderate amount of nerve endings, so it may be slightly more painful.

Chest

Moderate to High

The chest has a high concentration of nerve endings, so it can be quite painful.

Abdomen

High

The abdomen has a high concentration of nerve endings, so it can be quite painful.

Back

High

The back has a high concentration of nerve endings, so it can be quite painful.

Shoulders

High

The shoulders have a high concentration of nerve endings, so they can be quite painful.

Upper Arms

Moderate to High

The upper arms have a moderate to high concentration of nerve endings, so they can be somewhat painful.

Elbows

High

The elbows have a high concentration of nerve endings, so they can be quite painful.

Forearms

Moderate

The forearms have a moderate concentration of nerve endings, so they are not as painful as some other areas.

Hands

High

The hands have a high concentration of nerve endings, so they can be quite painful.

Lower Arms

Low to Moderate

The lower arms have a lower concentration of nerve endings, so they are not as painful as some other areas.

Wrists

Low

The wrists have a low concentration of nerve endings, so they are not very painful.

Lower Back

High

The lower back has a high concentration of nerve endings, so it can be quite painful.

Buttocks

High

The buttocks have a high concentration of nerve endings, so they can be quite painful.

Thighs

High

The thighs have a high concentration of nerve endings, so they can be quite painful.

Knees

High

The knees have a high concentration of nerve endings, so they can be quite painful.

Calves

Low to Moderate

The calves have a low to moderate concentration of nerve endings, so they are not as painful as some other areas.

Ankles

Low

The ankles have a low concentration of nerve endings, so they are not very painful.

Tattoo aftercare tips

Before getting a tattoo:

  1. Choose a reputable tattoo artist and parlor. Research the artist's portfolio and read reviews from previous clients.

  2. Consult with the artist about the design and placement of the tattoo.

  3. Make sure you are in good health. If you have any medical conditions or are taking any medications that may affect your ability to heal, be sure to let your tattoo artist know.

  4. Consider using a numbing cream to reduce pain during the tattooing process. These creams contain a numbing agent (such as lidocaine) that can be applied to the skin before the tattoo is done. It's important to follow the instructions on the numbing cream and to only use it as directed.

  5. Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and other substances that can thin your blood for at least 24 hours before getting a tattoo.

  6. Eat a healthy meal before your tattoo session to ensure that your blood sugar is stable.

  7. Wear loose, comfortable clothing that allows easy access to the area being tattooed.

After getting a tattoo:

  1. Follow the aftercare instructions provided by your tattoo artist. These may include:

  • Keeping the tattoo clean and covered with a bandage for the first few hours after getting tattooed.

  • Washing the tattoo with lukewarm water and a mild soap (such as unscented, antimicrobial soap) and patting it dry with a clean towel.

  • Applying a thin layer of tattoo ointment or lotion (such as A&D or Aquaphor) to the tattoo and covering it with a clean bandage or wrap.

  • Repeating this process for the first few days, or until the tattoo has fully scabbed over.

  1. Avoid soaking the tattoo in water for the first week, such as in a bath or pool.

  2. Avoid picking or scratching at the scabs, as this can cause the tattoo to fade or become infected.

  3. Avoid exposure to direct sunlight or tanning beds for at least 2-4 weeks.

  4. If you experience any redness, swelling, or unusual discharge, contact your tattoo artist or a healthcare professional.

Overall, it's important to keep your tattoo clean and moisturized during the healing process to ensure that it heals properly and looks its best. Using a numbing cream can help reduce pain during the tattooing process, but it's important to use it as directed and to follow all aftercare instructions to ensure that your tattoo heals properly.

People Also Ask:


What is the significance of the samurai's topknot in tattoos?

The topknot, known as chonmage, was a traditional hairstyle for samurais. In tattoos, the topknot symbolizes the samurai's status and commitment to their honor code.

What is the difference between a samurai and a ninja tattoo?

Samurai tattoos often depict the samurai's commitment to honor and discipline, while ninja tattoos usually symbolize secrecy and agility.

Can women get samurai tattoos?

Yes, women can get samurai tattoos, and many female tattoo enthusiasts have done so to express their admiration for samurai culture and values.

Are samurai tattoos cultural appropriation?

As long as the tattoos are done with respect and an understanding of the cultural significance of the samurai, they are not considered cultural appropriation.

Are samurai tattoos painful?

As with any tattoo, the pain level varies depending on the size and location of the tattoo. However, tattoos on the areas with less fat and more bones, such as the ribs or spine, tend to be more painful.


Watch A video of a samurai tattoo done by a pro


155+ samurai tattoo Ideas to get inspired from