However, within the tattoo world, the traditional folklore behind koi is well known, because that folklore and meaning informs the tattoo art that artists have brought to Western countries.
Koi have also been said to face death as bravely as Samurai, as they supposedly do not wriggle and squirm when they are pulled from the water and set on the cutting board.
Like cherry blossom tattoo designs, koi are often integrated as a part of sleeves and full-body tattoos in traditional Japanese tattoo designs.

The most popular places for koi are on the arm or shoulder, as the curvature and shape of fish tattoo designs works nicely with the curve of the arm. Orange koi are the most common in tattoo designs, but koi are depicted in art in virtually every color and type, allowing the person getting inked to pick a color that compliments his or her existing tattoos, sense of style, etc. Koi tattoo designs work well for both men and women, as big or small tattoos, and on most parts of the body, making them a solid choice for anyone interested in Japanese tattoo designs or designs with traditional meanings related to perseverance, bravery, and a desire to better one’s self.

As time goes on, koi are becoming more popular as a solitary standalone image (as are simpler tattoo designs in general in Japan, as the art of tattoo becomes less associated with yakuza and more acceptable to the ordinary public).

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