Reincarnated samurai warriors or a quirky little crustacean?
A species of crab native to Japan Heikegani is widely recognized for its bizarre shell. The shell of Heikegani has numerous myths and legends surrounding it, but the most common is that the shell shows the face of an angry samurai slain in battle. They are also known as the Samurai Crab. In certain regions of Japan a more detailed explanation is offered, it is believed that the crabs are reincarnations of the Heike warriors, who were defeated at the Battle of Dan-No-Ura in 1185.
Heikegani has become a popular image in Japanese tattooing, though the face on the shell is exaggerated for dramatic effect. A tattoo that works great as a Japanese themed gap filler, Heikegani tattoos are the funkiest of all crab tattoos and offer some awesome crustacean inspiration.
If you want to know more about the history, imagery, legality and artists of Japanese Tattoos, be sure to check out our guide right here.