Koi is a word made popular by the Japanese which means Wild Carp or Carp. Differently from the Western culture beliefs, Koi is a colorful fresh water fish usually found in public ponds, fountains and rivers which can have many different color like white, red, yellow, orange, gold and even calico-colored. Koi tattoo is very famous in the Japanese culture in which it is treasured with the love and respect of the people for thousands of years.
Koi fish is one of the most beautiful and popular tattoo symbols in Japanese and all over the world. A Japanese legend said that if a Koi climb the fall successfully at the Dragon Gate on the Yellow River, it will transform itself in to a dragon. Due to its masculine quality, the Koi tradition made it way into the family where they celebrate the son by having Koi fish flag in the house or at the Boys’ day festival. Koi fish tattoos symbolize strength, courage, determination over obstacles, and ambition for achieving high goals.
Japanese Koi tattoo tradition has put a huge mark on the western tattoo culture for its deep traditional meanings and beautiful designs. Koi tattoo art has become more popular world wide rather than just in Asia. Thousands of people decorated themselves with Koi sleeve tattoos on their arms and forearms. There are many different yet interesting opinions in the meaning of the Koi fish tattoos. Some feel that the direction swimming of the Koi has symbolism of sexual attention.
For me, finding a true meaning behind all these are difficult and the fact that most tattoos meanings are best have to do with the person who getting them. Whatever feeling you have for the tattoo is the meaning for you, not necessarily true to someone else but at the end of the day, it is your tattoos so nobody would careless. I’ve actually heard people said this about the Koi fish tattoos: if the Koi is swimming up, it’s either the person is really sexual or gay and if swimming down, it means the person wants to either give or receive oral sex. I don’t know all about this but it could be up means trying to overcome problems and down mean the obstacles has been tackled. Like I said, whatever meaning fits your lifestyle then it is the true meanings.