Koi is a symbol of the Japanese culture. It is also known in Japan as “Nishiki” which translates to “colorful cloth”. Koi means carp in Japanese and koi are part of the carp family. Although the koi tends to be associated with Japanese culture, it originated in China and parts of Eastern Asia. They originally were black and lacked color but over hundreds of years as the species evolved it started showing color variations. These colorful variations were then separated and bred selectively to create a wider variety of color.
The koi are known for their ability to completely lift themselves out of the water which is a typical pose of the koi tattoo art work seen today. Koi is a beautiful colorful fish that is a perfect candidate for a tattoo.
They are commonly the subject of bigger pieces – a shoulder blade, a rib cage but they can also be reduced to a calf size that looks quite striking with the shape of the calf. The bright coloring makes it easy to see even down in the lower leg area.
Koi fish represent strength and honor. The color and attractive shape along with the honorable symbolism behind the Koi tattoo are all reasons for its tattoo popularity. Water and cherry blossoms are typical additions to the Koi art.