33 Incredible Japanese Tattoo Ideas for Women & Men in 2023
Japanese tattoos honor tradition. These artistic pieces of ink are composed to depict Asian values. Oftentimes, Japanese Tattoos show colorful flowers; but they can also cover mighty beasts like dragons, or even demons. Though “Japanese Style” sounds extremely specific, you’d be surprised to find the variety and diversity within this niche.
But before you go get your own Japanese Tattoo, let us help guide you in choosing the perfect piece of ink. Below, we’ll show you the most artistic and beautiful Japanese tattoos of 2023. You’ll surely be inspired by the perfect idea of which tattoo style to get, as well as where to get tattooed on your body.
With that said, let’s begin.
Japanese Tattoo Ideas: A Japanese Leg Sleeve Tattoo
This imposing thigh piece shows the groundbreaking style of neojapanese tattooing. In this case, this piece of art imitates neotraditional style, combined with Japanese principles, and produces a black and gray piece of high value. All of Goa’s pieces display this shaded blackwork style. Their Asian-inspired tattoos are absolutely impressive, and they elevate the meaning of tattooing.
Samurai Tattoo on Women’s Thigh
Commonly known as “Bushi”, these masked samurai warriors are a prominent symbol utilized in Japanese tattooing. Bushi warrior tattoos represent perseverance, honor and truth. A powerful warrior tattoo decorates the thigh of a woman. This is an art piece done by Hoch, a London-based tattooer whose works are heavily inspired by Asian art.
Irezumi Rooster Thigh Tattoo
The Japanese style of tattooing always aims to capture mighty beasts. They are executed to look like the creature has flow and movement. This principle is present in this thigh tattoo. Depicting a rooster done in a black and red color pallet, this Irezumi tattoo decorates the thigh. Masterfully done by David Le Goon in Melbourne, Australia.
Traditional Japanese Geisha Leg Sleeve Tattoo
This leg sleeve tattoo illustrates the likeness of Princess Takiyasha, a meaningful woman in Japanese culture. The depiction of this Japanese princess sends a message of courage and rebellion. There are many Asian symbols in the works of Australian tattooist, Yoshio Honjo. His expertise in Asian artistry allows him to produce the most elaborate pieces of Japanese tattooing.
Ko-Omote Mask Thigh Tattoo
Ko-Omote masks are symbols of Japanese folklore. Also referred to as “small face,” these masks often invoke the supernatural. Though seemingly simplistic, this thigh piece packs a big punch. Oscar Hove, the artist who authored this piece, specializes in these Japanese-inspired tattoos and applies them in the blackwork style.
Bold Japanese Dragon Tattoo on Women’s Back
This imposing back piece follows the philosophy of “bold will hold.” Bright red flames wrap around a traditional Japanese dragon, and curve perfectly with the back of a woman. The author behind this piece is a capable artist who adapts traditional style to Asian and American cultures. D. Tyler’s works display skillful color application, well-composed designs and cultural sensitivity.
Vintage Dragon Japanese Tattoo Design for Women
An imposing dragon perched atop the rib cage of a woman, decorating her body. The vintage dragon tattoo is a colorful piece of art, tattooed on the skin with utmost intention. Marcus Yuen’s works are inspired by vintage art like tapestries, wood carvings and old paintings. His tattooing style can be described as Hong Kong Traditional.
Black Japanese Dragon Full Sleeve Tattoo
The use of negative space gives this full sleeve tattoo a great sense of balance. A demon mask and a dragon are the focal pieces, while the peony flowers and the blackwork ornaments tie the piece together. This Japanese arm sleeve piece was done by Oscar Hove, an artist who is an expert in Japanese Artistry Tattoos.
Tied-up Woman Irezumi Tattoo - Sexy Japanese Tattoo Design
This irezumi tattoo shows a Japanese woman who is tied up. Japanese culture honors the art of restricting someone’s movement by utilizing ropes. Also known as “shibari,” the ropes hold the person in place, showing submission. The Australian artist, David Le Goon knows this subject-matter very well. His works show consistent application of Japanese art.
Blackwork Hannya Mask Tattoo
Hannya Masks are demon-like depictions of women who are angry and jealous. In Japanese culture, these masks reflect resentment and hatred. Often decorated with sharp horns, imposing eyes and large fangs, Hannya masks make a great tattoo piece. Done in the most beautiful blackwork style, by Hispanic artist Marta Adan.
Dragon and Horse Hybrid Japanese Tattoo
This Dragon and Horse Hybrid tattoo depicts the style of Ukiyo-e. Literally translating to “images of the floating world,” ukiyo-e art seeks to capture snippets of real-world occurrences taken place in brothels and theaters during the Edo Period. The majestic dragon displays loud colors, commonly seen in theaters, to entertain an audience. Jerry Sign, a tattooer based in China, was the mastermind behind this Japanese tattoo.
Antique Japanese Crane Tattoo on Woman's Chest
Cranes are symbols of strength, patience, and resilience. It is believed that these winged creatures can bear through any storm and make it through ‘til the end. This chest tattoo for a woman is done in a Hong Kong Traditional design, which is the signature style of Marcus Yuen.
Crane and Berries Shrine Tags Shin Tattoos
Also known as “Senfajuda,” temple tags are slips made from natural materials. They depict meaningful symbols and are made to pay homage to one’s true beliefs. These shin tattoos are done in an illustrative design. Decorated with Japanese knots with color splashes of red ink. Tattooist Loiz, who authored this piece, excels in Asian-inspired tattoos. The black, gray and red is a prominent color palette shown through her works.
Colorful Japanese-Inspired Dual Sleeve Tattoos
Also known as “irezumi” tattoos, these traditional Japanese art pieces aim to reflect the likeness of flowers, mythical beasts and characters from folklore. These outstanding tattoos are designed with a woman as a centerpiece, and extend to the shoulders with beautiful flowers. These culturally sensitive artworks come to life thanks to Australian tattooer, Yoshio Honjo. His expertise in Japanese designs is truly remarkable.
Kitsune Mask Tattoo Sleeve for Women
Kitsune masks are Japanese relics that pay respect to the gods. Translating directly to “fox,” kitsune masks are worn to perpetuate prosperity and bountiful harvests. This Japanese-inspired neotraditional sleeve tattoo depicts the likeness of a kitsune mask, well decorated with the lucky color of yellow. The works of Marco Schneider display consistency in his masterful application of color, and his keen eye for Asian designs.
Japanese Flowers and Mask Blackwork Sleeve Tattoo on Woman’s Arm
A Hannya mask that is split in half is the centerpiece of this blackwork sleeve. The demon woman masks are common images that are used in Japanese tattooing. Depicting fierceness, anger and independence, the Hannya mask decorates the arm of a woman. This tattoo was done in a style known as “art fusion.” This method of tattooing aims to merge the traditional aspects of design, while utilizing state-of-the-art styles like blackwork.
Demon Female Samurai Tattoo Design for Women
This neo traditional samurai woman is a modern twist on the ancient symbol of the Hannya mask. This is a beautiful Japanese-inspired tattoo that shows the tenderness of femininity, while embodying the fierceness of it as well. Gustavo Estudillo is the mastermind behind this demon samurai woman. Though this tattoo is already impressive, Gustavo’s portfolio contains a collection of well-composed, eye-catching pieces.
Linework Koi Fish Rib Cage Tattoo for Women
Japanese cultures recognize Koi fish as symbols of perseverance. They are seen as creatures that adapt to their environment, flowing with the currents and finding balance. These linework Koi fish tattoos are perfect examples of Russian tattooer, Taty. Her pieces show flawless linework, delicate application, and accurate depiction of Asian art.
Cranes and Demon Mask Chest Tattoo for Women
Demon masks are sigils of protection. They are a pivotal element of Japanese folklore. The cranes represent perseverance, and they mark the shoulders of this woman. These linework Japanese tattoos are striking pieces of art. Produced by off tattooer, an artist from Korea, whose works are heavily influenced by Japanese culture.
Tag and Red Asian Knot Tattoo on Arm
Though knots may seem like a simple fixture of tied rope or thread, it is a big deal for Japanese cultures. Also known as “Mizuhiki,” the Japanese recognize this as the ancient art of knotting. These knotted ornaments are usually utilized to decorate correspondence, or to be simply given as gifts. This simple linework tattoo depicts the art of Mizuhiki very well. Crashing waves and a half moon elevate the piece. The author behind this piece is Taty, a Russian tattooer that excels in Asian tattooing.
Maneki-Neko with Kimono Tattoo - Japanese Cat Design
Also known as the “beckoning cat,” these Japanese figures are the bringers of fortune. In Japanese culture, the owner of a Maneki cat will receive good luck and attract wealth. This neotraditional tattoo was done by Samuela Maggi, an Italian tattooist whose works show bright colors and feminine designs.
Traditional Japanese Crane Back Piece for Women
Pieces that depict traditional Japanese designs are known as “wabori” tattoos. That description is accurate to this back piece, which shows two traditional Japanese cranes flying in front of the red rising sun. Crashing waves of dark ink tie the piece together. Tattooer Tyler Eilbeck applies Japanese tattoos with utmost care and attention. His passion for Asian-inspired works show through his entire portfolio, which is full of gorgeous pieces just like this one.
Happy Shiba Dog Tattoo
This adorable Shiba dog tattoo adorns the shin. Though Shibas are Japanese dogs, the tattoo is done in a neotraditional style. Bright colors, bold outlines and soft color gradients make this a wonderful piece. Qing is a master tattooer whose works reflect the heavy influence of Asian art and Neo Traditional tattooing.
Beautiful Geisha Blackwork Tattoo
A misleading sense of simplicity forms the shape of a beautiful Japanese Geisha. Though this tattoo looks like a simple illustration, there’s much complexity hiding in its execution. The design plays with negative space and skin breaks, to create a silhouette that is balanced and well composed. This Geisha tattoo is a masterpiece done by Off Tattooer.
Japanese-inspired Tattoo Sleeve for Women
This style of tattooing is considered NeoJapanese. The modern style is characterized for its Asian roots that are mixed with more recent applications such as blackwork and color realism. Still considered an irezumi piece, this neojapanese tattoo of a raven and a snake wraps around the arm of a woman. The author of this mixed-art tattoo is Cody Philpott, an American tattooer.
Moon and Cat Arm Tattoo for Women
A half moon, inked in dotwork. A friendly cat, inked in neotraditional. And realistic flower details to wrap around the piece. This feminine arm tattoo is a combination of tenderness and beauty. Tattooist Qing has depicted many cats during her career. Her portfolio show many tattoos of furry feline friends.
Cat and Rooster Lucky Arm Tattoo
Both cats and roosters are symbols of good luck in Japanese cultures. The surrounding coins paint a picture of luck and abundance. Japanese-inspired illustrations, matched with a neotraditional approach, make this a great tattoo. The author of this graphic piece is Jerry Sign. He is an avid tattooer whose works are influenced by Asian art.
Bright Twin Dragons Arm Tattoos for Women
Dragons are possibly the most common beast in Japanese tattooing. These bright twin dragon tattoos are a breeze for Coque Sin Amo. The Spain-based artist knows Japanese Traditional tattooing very well, and he puts his own spin on it, adding bright, bold colors that will hold with time.
Traditional Nine-tailed Fox Tattoo Sleeve
A mythical beast tattoo covers the arm of a woman. Done in the most traditional irezumi style of tattooing, this arm sleeve is the quintessential example of Japanese design. Australian tattooer, David Le Goon, is the mastermind behind this work. Much like this piece, all his tattoos are influenced by irezumi, wabori, and other variations of Japanese art.
Fan with Crane Neck Tattoo
There are many elements of cultural significance that are hidden within this tattoo. The Japanese crane symbolizes perseverance, the rising red sun embodies strength, and the wave is an ode to life itself. All of these are tied together by the framework of a fan that depicts prosperity. Korean-based artist, Manji, specialized in pieces that contain Asian art.
Brushstroke Dragon Back Tattoo
Also known as “suminagashi” style, these tattoos aim to imitate the stroke of a brush, commonly used to write Asian calligraphy. The wavy, smoky look of this dragon tattoo, makes it a great back piece. Jing James, the Australian artist who authored this piece, is a Chinese and Japanese tattoo specialist.
Bonsai and Red Sun Arm Tattoo
Bonsai trees are symbols of endurance. These botanical wonders can live hundreds of years and stay in a constant state of self-renewal. This Japanese tattoo combines realism, color illustration and suminagashi styles. The author of this piece goes by the name of Taty. They are a Russian-based artist whose main field of expertise is black and gray realism.
Neotraditional Kitsune Mask Tattoo
This neotraditional tattoo evokes prosperity. Not only does the Kitsune mask symbolize bountiful harvest, but the tiger lily, is another symbol of good fortune. Taty, the artist who created this gorgeous artwork, is an avid tattooer of the Japanese style. Her works show careful application of mythical beast designs.