Anonymous asked in Beauty & StyleSkin & BodyTattoos · 1 decade ago

What's the symbolism behind a Koi and Lotus tattoo?

I'm thinking of getting one to cover up another tattoo. I've had some varied responses as to the meaning behind a koi tattoo and a lotus tattoo. I'm pretty sure of the picture of the one I want but any links to pictures of more would be appreciated also.


7 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    hey guy up there! thanks for stalking me!! (just kidding)

    in asian culture the koi swims upstream and up a waterfall (much like trout do to spawn) and once they reach the top of the waterfall they turn into a dragon (a symbol of the struggle of life and when you reach the end you get to heaven.) for that reason my artist will only tattoo kois swimming up and NEVER down as that is a symbol of NOT persevering thru life and i guess not getting into heaven. so keep that in mind.

    lotus flowers grow in the water. they start under water and grow upward towards the light. so it is kindof like persevering and ending up with beauty. some consider them to be lucky as well.

    my koi is a coverup tattoo as well. i picked a specific sketch of a koi that i found on the internet and some different pictures of lotus flowers and brought them to my artist and he created my tattoo for me based on what i did and did not like about various aspects of other tattoos i had seen. on there is a whole category dedicated to koi tattoos. here is a link, mine is in there somewhere. it's actually #4 on the koi top 10 list.

  • Lotus flowers are amazing and have strong symbolic ties to many Asian religions especially throughout India. The lotus flower starts as a small flower down at the bottom of a pond in the mud and muck. It slowly grows up towards the waters surface continually moving towards the light. Once it come to the surface of the water the lotus flower begins to blossom and turn into a beautiful flower.

    Within Hinduism and Buddhism the lotus flower has become a symbol for awakening to the spiritual reality of life. The meaning varies slightly between the two religions of course but essentially both religious traditions place importance on the lotus flower. As the lotus flower grows up from the mud into a object of great beauty people also grow and change into something more beautiful (hopefully!). So the symbol represent the struggle of life at its most basic form. Lotus flower and peonies are also two flowers that are very popular among Asian culture tattoo artists and they make a great compliment to Koi Fish tattoos. Ironically enough the two koi fish and lotus flowers can often be found in the same pond in front of a temple. In Japanese symbolism, the koi represents perserverance in adversity and strength of purpose. The strongest koi swims upstream until it reaches the final waterfall, where it vaults into the mists and becomes a water dragon.

    And, to big_john_719, Lotus flowers do not only belong to Japanese culture, it belongs to Chinese culture as well. So when you give an answer, please be complete and don't shortchange other Asian cultures. Thank you.

    Source(s): I am Asian
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Somebody (who'll post shortly, I'm sure) has exactly that - a koi & lotus tattoo that's a coverup. I get the idea from her commentary that it isn't completely done, but it's a stunning piece now. You can see it as her icon and on her 360 page.

    As far as meaning, the koi can be a symbol of worldly advancement and aspiration, overcoming obstacles, achieving goals, bravery, etc. There is also the tale of Dragon Falls, which is (along with the 5 Koi motif) the subject of my back piece.

    The lotus is a flower that begins it's life in muck & general nastiness, poking up and blossoming into a beautiful flower. This can be seen as being in a bad place once upon a time, but now you're good.

    Combined, they tend to represent coming from a low place and through strength, perseverance & persistence, making it to what you were seeking. Although often associated with earthly goals, they are not purely tied to that, and can represent mental or philosophical achievement as well.

    Check out the URLS below for some more interesting commentary.

  • rhynes
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Japanese Lotus Tattoo

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • ?
    Lv 4
    5 years ago

    Tattoo Gallery, Lettering, Photos & More

  • ginger
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    The same question shows up again

  • 1 decade ago

    more than anything they are simply traditional japanese designs. there is symbolism in them if you are japanese but if not most just take it as a love of the culture.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.