Samurai were skilled warriors in medieval Japan. They wore imposing, decorative armour and carried deadly but intricately crafted weapons. They were both visually impressive and lethal in combat.
And thanks to their iconic, ornamental armour, and the ideas they represented, samurai are a popular tattoo choice in the 21st century. But what is the meaning behind samurai tattoos?
Well, samurai tattoos can mean a number of things. And often, what they represent goes hand in hand with the values that samurai lived by.
Samurai were a mixture of composure and ferocity; calm yet fierce. They lived their life by the code of Bushido, which encouraged eight virtues. These were: justice, courage, compassion, respect, integrity, honour, loyalty and self-control.
As well as this, samurai tattoos can represent strength and bravery. They can also express a passion for learning and self-discipline.
Another trait that tattoos of samurai can represent is nobility. Samurai weren’t just warriors; at the time, they were also a social-class in Japan. For somebody to become one, they had to be born into nobility.
Below, we’ve put together a collection of 12 of the most incredible tattoos of samurai to inspire and amaze you. Take a look!