Traditional Chinese tattoos & meanings > Info Center > Chinese Tattoo Designs

Chinese Tattoo Designs

In the latter part of the last century and early 21st century the western civilization has began to take a particular liking to the tattoo body art that has been practiced for centuries in the Eastern world, particularly that of the region of China.

The irony of this is that what most people do not realize is the fact that tattoos are largely considered a bad thing in China. The reasoning behind this is mainly that during certain eras in Eastern society, the tattoo was used specifically as identification marks for criminals and society deviants.

Regardless, the act of branding oneself with a Chinese symbol has taken hold in the Western world, gaining a steady following in the tattooing circle. Although there are many tattoos that actually relate to a particular visual scene, such as dragons or Chinese warriors, most tend to lean towards the symbols utilized in the Chinese language.

The most common seem to be that of, love, strength, passion, and titles, such as father, mother, son, daughter, etc. Some unwise individuals will see a Chinese symbol and have the tattoo inked on, without even verifying the meaning of the word. These are generally young people or those who acquire tattoos just because their comrades are doing it. The true tattoo artisan will always check first. Do not always rely upon the word of the artist either. Some will make up a meaning just to make a sale, but again, this is generally from those who tattoo mainly for the cash and not for the art.

There are other symbols related to Chinese society that have gained considerable popularity also, such as the yin yang. This symbol originated in the Han Dynasty around 207 B.C. The Yin and Yang are symbolic of the belief that there is a balance in the universe. Chinese legend states that this balance must be maintained for each individual’s destiny to go as it should. It states that for every day there should be a night, for every good, a bad, etc. Everything has an exact opposite. Many tattoo aficionados mistakenly think that it is a symbol of good and evil, but this is only a small part of the meaning behind the Yin Yang. To best describe the concept, it is a symbol of equality and balance.
Regardless of what tattoo you choose for yourself, do a little research first. Find out the true meaning behind it as well as the origins. You may find that this is something that you do not want to be associated with for the rest of your life.

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