150 Brave Samurai Tattoo Designs And Meanings

Samurais refer to a special social class of people in ancient Japan, who were also called the men of weapons as they were supposed to provide protection to the high ranked nobles in those times. These people fought battles against the wrong and it was a matter of honor for them. They carried special weapons like sabers, wakizashi and katana. Samurais not only occupy a key position in Japanese culture, but also are revered in the form of Japanese Samurai tattoo art, with special designs featuring the honor and bravery of the Samurais. These special tattoos have become quite a big rage not only in Japan, but also in Asia and other parts of the world, where people appreciate the Samurai designs for their grace and honor. These tattoos are really eye catching because they feature a great deal of detailing and use of vibrant colors. Also, they are larger in size in comparison to conventional tattoos as they need special detailing which can be effectively depicted only in larger tattoos which cover a wider surface area.

Samurai is one body art that is getting more and more popularity in the entire world these days. A lot of men and women tattoo lovers with different nationalities are engraving this intensely stunning body art on their own body. Even so, do you have any idea that these tattoos actually originate from Japan? Yes, you read it right. Such body adornment has a very important role in the Japanese culture, especially during the ancient times. For you to know, samurai was the general term used for those warriors in Japan during the Medieval times. These warriors were the ones who were tasked in protecting those very important people in the ancient Japan. Such position cannot be achieved that easily. You need to be a son of a samurai before you can become one, or you can simply get married into a samurai.

samurai tattoos

Samurai Tattoo Meanings

Samurai is actually just like those some other kinds of tattoos that you can have on your body since it is also very meaningful. Yes, this particular tattoo will not only enhance your physical appearance, but also help you build a very intriguing personality. Meaning to say, there will be more and more people who will become curious about you, especially your very unique personality. Here are some of the meanings and symbolism that you must know:

  • Honor – One very significant thing that is being symbolized by the samurai is honor. What do you think is the reason then? Well, it is simply because being one of the samurais in the ancient Japan is a great honor for those ancient Japanese people. This was the main reason why there are lots of Japanese in the past years who did their best just to become a member of those elite Japanese warriors.
  • Respect – Just in case you do not know, the common Japanese people in the past years had high respect to those elite warriors in Japan. Samurais were being recognized with their strength and dutiful nature. Hence, it is no longer surprising why samurai arts are representing respect.
  • Service – Being a samurai in the ancient Japan was actually more of a service than an achievement. Those elite warriors never became very proud to themselves because they made it to become one of the highly respected samurais in Japan. Instead, they did their best in doing their job since they saw the title as a service than a fame or achievement.
  • Bravery – Bravery is another important thing that a samurai art is representing. There is no need for further explanations about it, for sure. The simple explanation regarding this is that those samurais in the ancient Japan were considered to be very brave warriors. They never cared that their lives might be put into danger in doing their responsibility of protecting those Japanese nobles.
  • Loyalty – Samurais were known to be extremely loyal to their masters. They always follow those ancient Japanese nobles to whom where they were serving. Their lives were already dedicated to those nobles that they were more than willing to die just to protect those nobles as far as they could. .

Some Gorgeous Designs

In case you are one of those people who are thinking of getting tattooed with samurai arts, then you should be very happy to know that these body adornments can offer you a lot of options when it comes to design. All of these designs are assured to be very gorgeous. You might be thinking these tattoos are only involving with plain samurai images. You are actually right in thinking this way, but you must know that they can also be just an image of something that is related to samurais like the samurai armor and the likes. In this regard, here are some gorgeous designs that you can take into account:

  • Samurai Weapon Design – In the 15th century, the ancient Japanese samurais were already using firearms in protecting those ancient Japanese nobles. Even so, you should know that samurais were very popular because of their very sharp and beautifully designed Japanese swords. If you are one of those people in the world who are being captivated with these Japanese swords, then wearing a samurai weapon tattoo would be great for you.
  • Women Samurai Design – In case you get married to a samurai man, then you will be automatically become a samurai woman. This is something that you cannot be changed in the past years. If you are not ready for the responsibilities of a samurai woman, then you should not dare to get married to a samurai man. A lot of very brave women tattoo lovers in the world are choosing this particular design.
  • Samurai Armor Design – Another worth considering gorgeous design that you can take into account is the samurai armor design. Samurais were known to have a very sturdy and heavy armor, which is very interesting to have as a tattoo on your body. This can certainly look great on your physical appearance. This design is the common choice of those men tattoo lovers in the world since it is symbolizing masculinity.
  • Samurai in Full Ragalia Design – The most popular design is the samurai in full regalia design. This design is depicting a samurai that is in complete costume ready to do his or her duties. This design is symbolizing preparedness.


Samurai tattoos come from Japan and use a special technique of creating them, which is a bit different from the technique used in conventional tattoo art. The traditional Japanese technique used for creating body tattoos is termed as Irezumi, which refers to the insertion of tattoo ink in the body of the tattoo bearer. While modern tattoo art makes use of advanced machines for inking tattoos, the traditional Japanese Samurai arts are done with the old fashioned technique of Tebori style. The Tebori technique makes use of bamboo sticks fitted with lined needles to create these tattoos. The method is far more painful than the mechanical method and should not be tried out by the weak hearted. Despite being a difficult and painful process, both male and female tattoo lovers are not dissuaded from getting Samurai designs done on themselves. These tattoos look stunning when done on large surface areas such as the back, chest, thigh, and the whole sleeve or full leg, which can be utilized to feature a whole story related to the life of a Samurai warrior, such as a fight against an enemy, an animal or for protection of a noble or a woman.

When one decides to get Samurai art inked on oneself, the design of the tattoo should be carefully considered, along with its symbolic meaning as it involves a great deal of expense as well as pain to have such a tattoo done. Also, only an expert designer should be trusted for getting Samurai tattoo designs as these tattoos are large in size and intricate.

1. Zen and Samurai Art

Zen and Samurai Tattoo

2. Well-Detailed Samurai on Entire Back

Well-Detailed Samurai Tattoo on Entire Back

3. Strong Samurai

Strong Samurai Tattoo

4. Smoke Around Samurai

Smoke and Samurai Tattoo on Arm

5. Skull Samurai with Red Sun

Skull Samurai Tattoo with Red Sun

6. Skull Samurai

Skull Samurai Tattoo

7. Scary Samurai During Dawn

Scary Samurai Tattoo During Dawn

8. Samurai Winning a Battle

Samurai Winning a Battle Tattoo

9. Samurai Wearing Mask

Samurai Wearing Mask Tattoo

10. Samurai Warrior Mask

Samurai Warrior Mask Tattoo

11. Samurai in Front of Sun

Samurai Tattoo with Red Sun

12. Samurai with Red Flowers Side

Samurai with Red Flowers Side Tattoo

13. Samurai with Castle, Flowers and Writing

Samurai Tattoo with Castle, Flowers and Writing

14. Samurai on Scalp for Men

Samurai Tattoo on Scalp

15. Samurai on Entire Leg

Samurai Tattoo on Entire Leg

Being the elite warrior class, the Samurais occupy a place of honor in Japan and were known for their special code of conduct called the bushido, literally translated as the way of the warriors. The code defines seven main virtues as a part of the life of a samurai warrior, which included courage, kindness, honor, loyalty, sincerity, rectitude and politeness, all to be integral part of the personality of the Samurai. These people were brave and courageous, who were pictured in the Japanese culture as fighting against the enemy as well as powerful creatures like the dragon, koi fish and octopus. They focused on strengthening their bodies and mind so that they could fulfill their duties well. The Samurais were supposed to conquer the fear of death, living life to the fullest and a woman who married a Samurai warrior was also bound by the same code and was supposed to incorporate all the virtues of the code in her life. They wore armors which bore intricate designs, which stood as a symbol of power.

Additionally, they show them wearing impressive helmets and masks and using skulls, which depict that these people are fearless against death. These designs also present them along with their weapons and signify bravery, strength and power. These tattoos are masculine and represent the mission of the Samurai, to serve and protect the nobility and the upper class, due to which they command a great deal of respect and honor in the society.

They are mostly favored by men, but even women can have them inked. The main aim of Japanese Samurai Art is to represent honor and respect of the family, culture, tradition and the special code of conduct lay down by the bushido. Symbolically, these tattoos remind the bearer about things which are sacred to the Samurais and incorporate all of them in their lives. Wearing these tattoos means that one is going to inculcate all these virtues in himself and make them a part of their lives. The symbolic meaning as well as great visual appeal of This makes them an excellent choice for tattoo lovers who are looking for something different to adorn their bodies, than the conventional flowers, arrows, anchors, hearts and tribal designs.

16. Samurai on Back

Samurai Tattoo on Back

17. Unfinished Samurai Art

Unfinished Samurai Tattoo

18. Samurai Wearing a Mask with Cherry Blossoms

Samurai Tattoo on Arm

19. Samurai with Dragon Art

Samurai with Dragon Tattoo

20. Samurai for MenSamurai Tattoo for Men21. Samurai Skull with Cherry Blossoms

Samurai Tattoo for Men

22. Samurai Skull Art

Samurai Skull Tattoo with Cherry Blossoms

23. Samurai Saving the Kingdom Tattoo

Samurai Skull Tattoo

24. Samurai Ready for War

Samurai Saving the Kingdom Tattoo on Upper Back and Arm

25. Samurai and Skull

Samurai Ready for War Tattoo

26. Sad Samurai with Falling Leaves

Samurai and Skull Tattoo

27. Moon at the Back of Samurai Art

Sad Samurai Tattoo with Falling Leaves

28. Lonely Samurai

Moon at the Back of Samurai Tattoo

29. Unfinished Samurai on Arm

Lonely Samurai Tattoo

30. Japanese Samurai with Mask

Lady Samurai Tattoo

31. Japanese Samurai on Back

Japanese Samurai with Mask Tattoo

They are rooted into the Japanese culture and these tattoos carry the basic design features of Japanese art. These tattoos show intricate detailing and constitute of basic elements such as cherry blossoms, swords, dragons, tigers and the weapons of the Samurai warriors such as the Katana. Another popular design element commonly seen in Samurai designs is the symbol of yin and yang, which complement each other as a single complete whole. Some other common designs include other objects from the Japanese culture such as the Fuji Mountain, koi fish, snake, Samurai mask, waves and clouds, Japanese fan and many more designs and patterns. Certain Samurai designs feature special tales and stories, which are depicted through these detailed designs, making them even more popular. These can define the real purpose of the lives of the Samurais, such as protecting the elite and fighting the evil forces. Many tattoo designs are done in single colors like black or grey, while some are done in an array of bright colors, but both look equally great. Would you check our hand-picked collection of Maori Tattoos?

Final Words

A samurai tattoo is definitely one of the most beautiful and most meaningful tattoos that you can have on your body. This will certainly make you look great in the eyes of many people. Apart from that, you can also make sure that you will look very intriguing to others because of this tattoo. Just be careful to choose the best design that perfectly fits your physical appearance and unique personality. You do not want to wear a tattoo that is not complementing the real you, right?


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