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Japanese Tattoo Symbols - What You Need to Know to Pick the Right One For You

If you are looking for a tattoo design, you may be thinking of using a Japanese tattoo symbol. If you are thinking about a Japanese tattoo you can choose from a traditional tattoo design, which is more like a picture or you could choose a tattoo symbol that represents a name or a particular word that has a special meaning to you.

Japanese tattoos are called 'Irezumi' in Japanese. There is a long history of tattoo art in Japan. The traditional kind of tattoo designs can be very extensive and cover the arms, shoulders and back or even the whole body. The designs tend to be elaborate and include snakes, dragons, koi fish or even flowers. As the designs can cover a large part of the body, it can often take many sessions to complete the art and cost a large amount of money. In Japanese these kinds of designs can be associated with the Yakuza (Japanese mafia) and so they are not favoured by most people.

An alternative to a traditional Japanese tattoo design is to use a symbol used in Japanese writing. The first thing to know if you are considering a symbol tattoo is that there are three writing systems in Japan, hiragana, katakana and kanji. Hiragana are used for parts of speech, word endings and words that can not be represented in Kanji. Katakana is used for foreign words and foreign names. Kanji are adapted originally from Chinese characters and is the most complicated of all the writing systems.

If you are thinking of using a Japanese symbol for your tattoo design, you can either use one of the writing systems to represent a name, or you could choose one of kanji characters. Some of the most popular kanji characters that are used are those that represent the meanings of Love, Family members, Happiness, Luck, Samurai, Wisdom and even Zen.

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