Namakubi or severed head tattoos are a classic Japanese tattoo image and has a number of meanings. A namakubi can represent respect for an enemy, courage or a symbol of ones fear. The most common meaning behind namakubi tattoos is the acceptance of your fate with honor, i.e. you have come to terms with your end and will meet it with pride and dignity.
A bloody and severed head is quite a shocking image but namakubi tattoos don't simply mean to shock, the striking image is meant as a representation of coming full circle. In Japanese tradition and history the taking of someones head was done with ultimate respect and honor, though it was also used to show how someone had not lived a righteous life. Namakubi tattoos are a bold and striking tattoo and a great choice for anyone looking at Japanese designs with the shock factor!