05.05.2013
Japanese dragons are not simply beautiful design choices for tattoos, they are ancient symbols full of meaning.
In Japanese myth, the dragon Ryujin held sway over the power of the ocean, regulating the tides with magical jewels from his undersea palace of coral. This is why in Japan, dragons have long been associated with water, which helps to explain the reptilian, serpentine appearance of Japanese dragons. Guardians: Japanese dragons are akin to the angels of Western culture, possessing superhuman strength, a fearless spirit, and divine wisdom. Black, white, blue and red colored dragons are described as corresponding with the four elements (wind, earth, water and fire), as well as with the four directions (north, south, east and west). Yellow dragons are considered a rare occurrence, with a reputation for staying aloof from humanity, only appearing at opportune moments. Dragon tattoos come in many different shapes, styles and sizes, but they all have certain things in common.
The dragon is a mythological creature that is both fearsome and beautiful and is the subject of folklore around the world. Chinese and Japanese dragon tattoos are very popular, but there are many other designs of dragon tattoos, all of which appeal to a wide variety of people. The Chinese dragon looks a lot like a Japanese dragon, although there are some differences in style and symbology. Dragons are an important part of the world of mythology, folklore and fairy tales in (medieval) Europe.
The fairy tale dragon may be on its own or it may be accompanied by other associated images – think knights or fairies, for example.
Germany, in particular, has a long history of featuring dragons as representative of greed (the dragons will often be seen guarding treasures).


In ancient Roman times, the dragon was a mix of Greek dragons and Asian dragons, creating an interesting blend of Western and Eastern influences. Tribal dragon tattoos are either composed of or surrounded by the types of curving lines that are typically associated with tribal tattoos, so a dragon done in this style might be simplified. Understanding the different types of dragons, and what qualities they represent, can help you select a design that will best suit your personality. Like the Chinese dragon, the anatomy of a Japanese dragon is a combination of parts from a number of animals, with each part symbolizing a quality from the animal it represents.
The only real difference is that Japanese dragons have only three digits on each extremity, while Chinese dragons have four or (usually) five.
The association with the imperial family provides insight to the nature of guardianship that Japanese dragons can symbolize. Inking a design on the upper arm, with the dragon wrapping around the arm, then extending onto the chest or back, is another popular option. The dragon tattoo, popular with both men and women, sends a solid message without the need to be formidable (although it certainly can be). Dragons are part of the myths of many different cultures, and in each culture it has its unique set of characteristics and meanings. Today's tattoo artists create dragon tattoo art that can look traditional or modern, tribal or realistic, sweet (baby dragon), charming or terrifying. In Japan, the dragon is seen as a water deity (that's why Japanese dragon tattoos often include waves and clouds).
European dragons are quite different from Asian dragons, though they are recognizably the same creature.
The word for dragon in German mythology is worm, specifically relating to a serpent or a snake.


The red dragon in particular is associated with the Britons (the Welsh) and the white dragon with the Saxons. It won't lose any of its impact – in fact these dragons are likely to be large and fierce looking and deliver a very strong visual. The dragon tattoo represents many of the things that Jolie is said to hold dear, like family and faith. The graceful, curving lines of a dragon image lend themselves well to a variety of tattoo styles, and dragon tattoos are a great expression of several different folklore traditions.
Many dragon tattoos are designed to be spiritual, and to send a message of intelligence and compassion. In the Western world, dragons are often seen as mean or scary, but Asian dragons carry a different message. Some dragon tattoo designs are relatively small, while others are full sleeve or large enough to wrap around the trunk of the body. Even though the dragon is often depicted as a winged creature, in German mythology it's often depicted as living underground or in a dark lair.
While inking the entire dragon is the most popular choice, tattoos featuring just the head of a Japanese dragon are another option.




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