Beautiful Koi fish tattoo by Corey Miller koi fish coreymiller

6 Inspiring Koi-fish Tattoos

Koi fish tattoo has become fairly common in the tattoo industry, especially in the Japanese style art that so many people love.

nicole in Tattoo Ideas

The word koi comes from the Japanese word, simply meaning "carp." It includes both the dull grey fish and the brightly colored varieties.

What are known as koi in English are referred to more specifically as nishikigoi in Japan (literally meaning "brocaded carp"). In Japanese, koi is a homophone for another word that means "affection" or "love"; koi are therefore symbols of love and friendship in Japan.

The story of koi overcoming adversity has been in the Japanese culture for generations. The story says that koi climb a waterfall in spite of the heavy current attempting to keep them in their pool. Koi battled perseverance to climb the falls because it wanted this outcome so badly. An alternate version of the koi fish tattoo story from Chinese culture says that the koi swam the length of the Yellow River in spite of the current to reach the Dragon Gate. When they finished this feat they turned into a dragon. This adds a more advanced note to an already inspiring tale.

Koi fish tattoo can represent a variety of things, red koi can represent love and masculinity. Red is considered very energetic so this is often considered one of the strongest of contemporary koi tattoos.

If you are pondering your next tattoo, here are 6 inspiring koi tattoos to get your creative brain flowing and maybe you will find the design for your next koi fish tattoo!

Koi fish tattoo by Andrew Sussman koi fish
Koi fish tattoo by Andrew Sussman #koi #fish
Koi fish tattoo by Aaron Bell koi fish aaronbell
Koi fish tattoo by Aaron Bell #koi #fish #aaronbell

Black koi often represent success after overcoming a major change. Blue koi are considered very masculine, and can also represent reproduction. If the blue fish is swimming up it may represent a person working to overcome adversity. If the koi is swimming down then it represents having conquered the problem.

Koi fish tattoo by Adam Sky koi fish adamsky
Koi fish tattoo by Adam Sky #koi #fish #adamsky

Recent from Tattoo Ideas

Koi fish tattoo by Mr. Headcheese koi fish
Koi fish tattoo by Mr. Headcheese #koi #fish
Koi fish tattoo by Alexandr Pashkov koi fish
Koi fish tattoo by Alexandr Pashkov #koi #fish


@Nicole Losey

I am a writer, digital artist and web designer residing in Asheville, NC. I enjoy all tattoo styles, but my favorites are the new watercolor style and realism. I love color and I really like artists that can make it come to life.


More from Author

We Recommend

Recent Staff Picks