Japanese tattoos are filled with symbolism. Some of the common designs include suikoden warriors and dragons and kannon. The Suikoden warriors are 108 rebels carrying some tattoos. The Kannon is a Bodhisattva of Mahayana Buddhism. The last motif of Japanese tattoos is the dragons. Dragons in Japan are regarded as luck. This could be justified because of the fact that the Japanese dragon is a symbol of water. He lives in the clouds where he could climb down during thunderstorms or lives in lakes or rivers.

Any or all Japanese tattoos may be combined with cherry blossoms, lotus and snakes. The variations are endless and very appealing. Japanese tattoos are regaining in popularity again among the middle class people. Ironically, young Japanese today are into tattoo designs that can be accomplished in just one sitting like the traditional American style tattoos or even tribal tattoos.

The traditional irezumi is still performed by specialist tattoo artists. Because Japanese tattoo designs are so intricate and detailed, they are also very expensive and time consuming. A traditional ‘body suit’ which covers the back, arms, chest and upper legs could take up to five years for a once a week visit to the tattoo artist and could cost more than $30,000 to complete!

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