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Dragon Tattoos

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Dragon Arm Tattoo

Dragon tattoos come in many different shapes, styles and sizes, but they all have certain things in common. The dragon tattoo, popular with both men and women, sends a solid message without being overpowering (although it certainly can be). Many dragon tattoos are designed to be spiritual, and to send a message of intelligence and compassion.

Dragon Back TattooThe dragon is a mythological creature that is both fearsome and beautiful, and is the subject of folklore around the world. It is a formidable creature, usually seen as a winged or scaly beast with enormous claws that can emit fire from its mouth. In the Western world, dragons are often seen as mean or scary, but Asian dragons carry a different message.

The word dragon comes from 2 Greek words:

Dragon tattoos and dragon art in general don't all convey the same meaning. Dragons are part of the myths of many different cultures and in each culture it has its unique set of characteristics and meanings.

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. Todayís tattoo artists create dragon tattoo art that can look traditional or modern, tribal or realistic, sweet, charming or terrifying. Some dragon tattoo designs are relatively small and found on an arm or leg, while others are large enough to wrap around the trunk of the body. Either way, the dragon tattoo is a strong image and sends a strong message.

Japanese Dragon Tattoos

Japanese Dragon Tattoo KanjiThe dragon is an important part of Japanese mythology. In Japan, the dragon is seen as a water deity (that's why Japanese dragon tattoos often include clouds).

Japanese dragons have the following characteristics:

Other interesting aspects of the Japanese dragon includes the fact that many in Japan believe that the first emperor of Japan was somehow descended from a dragon, giving it a position of high respect in Japanese culture. Dragons are often used in Japanese art to represent protection of the imperial family.

The Japanese dragon tattoo represents:

There are many types of Japanese dragons, including:

Japanese Dragon Tattoo

Chinese Dragon Tattoos

Simplified Chinese Symbol for Dragon Traditional Chinese Symbol for Dragon
Simplified Chinese Symbol for Dragon    Traditional Chinese Symbol for Dragon


The dragon has long represented mystery and power in China. Although dragons often have been represented in a negative way, Asian dragon tattoos and particularly Chinese dragon tattoos represent:

Dragons have a Yang (male) nature and are associated with the number 9, a lucky number in China because it is the biggest possible single number.

Chinese dragon tattoos can be chosen for their meaning:

Some more characteristics of Chinese dragons:

Most Chinese dragon tattoos and other Asian dragon tattoos are done in colour. Often the dragon tattoo image 'winds' itself up a personís arm or leg, dragons being long and snake-like.

Chinese Dragon Tattoo

European Dragon Tattoos

European Dragon Back Tattoo

Dragons are an important part of the world of mythology, folklore and fairy tales in Europe. European dragons are quite different from Asian dragons, though they are recognizably the same creature.

The fairy tale dragon may be on its own or the dragon tattoo may be accompanied by other associated images Ė think knights or fairies for example. The lines are likely to be finer, with intricate detailing. These dragon tattoos make a beautiful and striking visual image.

The appearance of European dragons:

Germany, in particular, has a long history of featuring dragons as representative of greed (the dragons will often be seen guarding treasures). The word for dragon in German mythology is worm, specifically relating to a serpent or a snake. Even though the dragon is often depicted as a winged creature, in German mythology itís often depicted as living underground or in a dark lair.

Dragons also take their place in Celtic mythology. The red dragon in particular is associated with the Britons (the Welsh) and the white dragon with the Saxons. The red dragon is one of the few European benevolent dragons.

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

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. It wonít however, lose any of its impact Ė in fact these dragons are likely to be large and fierce looking and deliver a very strong visual.

Here some examples of black tribal dragon tattoos:

Tribal Dragon Tattoo Tribal Dragon Tattoo Tribal Dragon Tattoo

The Dragon Sign In The Chinese Zodiac

Chinese Zodiac Dragon TattooAccording to the Chinese zodiac system, you are a dragon if you are born in the year 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988 or 2000.

People born in the year of the dragon are said to have the following attributes:

Celebrities With Dragon Tattoos

Dragon tattoos, itís easy to see why they are growing in popularity. The graceful, curving lines of a dragon image lends itself well to a variety of tattoo styles, and dragon tattoos are a great expression of several different folklore traditions.

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