Asian tattoos are without question the most popular, and highest in demand when it comes to body art as a whole. This is not surprising given all of the rich and exquisite art that is steeped in history and deep symbolism.
Japanese art is by far one of the most common influences when it comes to body art. You may see something as intricate as woodblock art, or you may see something as simple as Japanese-style kanji script. Some of the most frequently seen symbols for Japanese body art include koi fish (a symbol associated with masculinity and bravery), dragons (which have a vast array of symbolism that reaches from luck, to harnessing the powers of nature), and cherry blossoms (an emblem for feminine sensuality). It is also not uncommon to see traditional Japanese archetypes in this genre of Asian tattoos. These pieces can include characters like samurai warriors, geishas, religious figures, and a myriad of folkloric personages. One idea for a unique Japanese themed piece would be to pull from one of the stories of Izanagi, where after a long journey he goes to cleanse himself in the ocean, and forms deities from the water (an incarnation of the moon from his right eye, the sun from his left, etc).
Chinese art is also frequently used for Asian tattoos. Many of these pieces gravitate towards the Chinese-style kanji script, which usually say things like ‘love,’ ‘happiness,’ and ‘hope.’ These may be done simply, and show a single word character in sharp, black lettering; however, many people like to add other symbols of relevance, or use many kanji characters up the back, or wrapped around an arm or leg. Chinese zodiac symbols are also frequently used, and are usually depict the chosen animal in a classic Chinese calligraphy style done in either black, or a deep, earthy red.
Asian tattoos that are influence by India are seen a bit less frequently. However, they are equally as stunning and meaningful as the body art you might find in either Japan or China. These pieces are frequently culled from henna styles and can vary from small, spiraling designs, to elaborate floral patterns; they may also include animal symbols, hands, eyes, or religious emblems. Some of the more religiously inclined pieces will depict not only symbols, but specific deities such as Shiva, Hanuman, or Indra, to name just a few.
It does not look like the popularity of Asian tattoos will pass any time soon; but then, how could it with all of their exotic beauty, graceful style, and seemingly endless amount of profound meaning?