40 Epic Samurai Tattoos

jentheripper in Tattoo Ideas

In Ancient Japan, Samurais or bushis belonged to a specific social class close to nobles that allowed them to own two sabers.

Those sabres were called the katana and the wakizashi (a shorter saber). Settled in the countryside and reigning over the local population, they were rebels fighting the power in often intense battles in the name of honor and tradition.
But they mostly remained famous for their chivalrous code, the well-known bushidô (‘the way of the warriors’). The seven virtues of the bushidô are rectitude, courage, kindness, politeness, sincerity, honor and loyalty. The bushidô’s influence is still visible in contemporary world through combat sports and martial arts.

In Japanese traditional tattoo, Samurais have indeed an important place. They are represented fighting an enemy or a giant animal (fish, octopus, dragon, etc). They are making intricate and gorgeous designs with their detailed clothes and armor. Their armors were extremely important to show their power and scare the enemy. That’s why they are often represented with scary masks and impressive helmets. Associated with the pride of death, samurai tattoos are also often using skulls. The designs mostly come from old Japanese engravings for traditional tattoos and pictures from movies (of Akira Kurosawa or Takeshi Kitano for the most famous ones) and mangas for more contemporary styles of tattoos.

Samurai tattoos are mainly coveted by men, but it doesn’t prevent women to have one, even if they prefer female samurais. They are chosen to show love for Japanese culture, but also the respect of traditions, family and the values of the bushidô.

If you too are a loyal fighter and attracted by the history of Japan, be sure to take a look at those 40 impressive Samurai tattoos.

Gorgeous bodysuit by Shige.
Gorgeous bodysuit by Shige.
Detail on a tattoo by master Horiyoshi III.
Detail on a tattoo by master Horiyoshi III.
Great graphic tattoo by Sundance Tattoo Bologna.
Great graphic tattoo by Sundance Tattoo Bologna.
Samurai sleeve by Shane Tan.
Samurai sleeve by Shane Tan.

Recent from Tattoo Ideas

Piece by Shane Gallagher.
Piece by Shane Gallagher.
Impressive details on this small tattoo ! Unknown artist, if you know let's credit.
Impressive details on this small tattoo ! Unknown artist, if you know let's credit.
Tattoo by A.D. Pancho.
Tattoo by A.D. Pancho.
Full backpiece of a samurai ready to behead his enemy.
Full backpiece of a samurai ready to behead his enemy.
Piece by Artuu Vaarala.
Piece by Artuu Vaarala.
Nice black and grey work.
Nice black and grey work.
Nice skull composition by Brucius.
Nice skull composition by Brucius.
Graphic take.
Graphic take.
Amazing details on this realistic tattoo by Cris Gherman, the handle is startling of realism !
Amazing details on this realistic tattoo by Cris Gherman, the handle is startling of realism !
Another graphic idea.
Another graphic idea.
Masked samurai by Daniel Rocha.
Masked samurai by Daniel Rocha.
Leg piece.
Leg piece.
This is Dmitriy Samohin version of this famous image.
This is Dmitriy Samohin version of this famous image.
And the one of Rob Richardson (a cover-up).
And the one of Rob Richardson (a cover-up).
Another intricate backpiece.
Another intricate backpiece.
Work of Elvin Young.
Work of Elvin Young.
Traditional colorful backpiece.
Traditional colorful backpiece.
Rad piece by Gari Henderson.
Rad piece by Gari Henderson.
This one by George Mavridis truly rocks !
This one by George Mavridis truly rocks !
Epic backpiece by Hailin Fu.
Epic backpiece by Hailin Fu.
Manga version by Henrik from France.
Manga version by Henrik from France.
Graphic version by Jacob Pedersen.
Graphic version by Jacob Pedersen.
Colorful backpiece by Jason Stewart.
Colorful backpiece by Jason Stewart.
Badass sleeve by Jess Yen.
Badass sleeve by Jess Yen.
Beautiful shades of grey by Johan Finné.
Beautiful shades of grey by Johan Finné.
The recognizable style of Jun Cha.
The recognizable style of Jun Cha.
Tattoo by Led Coult.
Tattoo by Led Coult.
From the movie the Last Samurai by Lonis Tattoo Studio.
From the movie the Last Samurai by Lonis Tattoo Studio.
Manga backpiece by Miguel Escrich.
Manga backpiece by Miguel Escrich.
The breathtaking work of Mike DeVries.
The breathtaking work of Mike DeVries.
Epic backpiece by Nico Tattoo Crew.
Epic backpiece by Nico Tattoo Crew.
Graphic tattoo by Petra Hlavackova.
Graphic tattoo by Petra Hlavackova.
Stunning realistic tattoo by Przemysław Aero Walkowiak.
Stunning realistic tattoo by Przemysław Aero Walkowiak.
Nice idea by Rodrigo Tas.
Nice idea by Rodrigo Tas.
Realistic tattoo by Royal Jafarov.
Realistic tattoo by Royal Jafarov.
Badass scalp tattoo by Sailor Bit.
Badass scalp tattoo by Sailor Bit.

jentheripper

@JenTheRipper

Writer for art related medias. Fell in love with tattoo while researching for another passion, crime history. Travelling, admiring, sharing.

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