Tattoo design

Koi Fish Tattoo

Tattoo Design . Sep 13th 22

Koi Fish Tattoo

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There is a range of Koi fish designs, and all of them have different meanings but are those meanings? The most common meaning in Japanese culture is that Koi fish represents perseverance which symbolizes the struggles one has faced or is facing.Orange koi

Koi fish tattoos also have different meanings in Chinese and Japanese culture, which we will investigate in this article. We take a closer look at the different meanings of these tattoo designs and what they represent in one's own life.

Keep reading to discover what a Koi fish tattoo represents and what it means to have this art on your skin.

What Is the Meaning of Koi Fish Tattoos


Koi fish are often seen as a symbol of character, strength, accomplishment, and courage.

While Koi fish are normally beautiful art, they are mostly created for representational purposes instead of aesthetic value.Koi fish tattoo meaning

In Japanese culture, Koi fish are seen as brave creatures like Samurai warriors because they can swim upstream and conquer waterfalls. That is why Koi fish tattoos are seen as a symbol of courage and of overcoming one's struggles.

Many tattoo artists recommend this fish tattoo to those looking for body art that means more than aesthetics.

In many Asian cultures, the Koi fish in the traditional style has rich symbolism and also represents good fortune.

Koi Fish Tattoo Design

There are many different Koi tattoo designs, and even the different colors represent varying meanings when it comes to Japanese Koi fish tattoo design.

The Koi tattoo symbolism has a long history in Chinese culture and has become a universal symbol of peace worldwide.

Let's look at the unique meaning of some of the designs and colors of swimming Koi fish.

Yin Yang Symbol


Koi fish tattoos are many times combined with the yin yang symbol that resembles a male and female koi fish swimming together. The black and white colors represent the dueling sides of everything and their perfect balance in Taoism culture.

Also, this Ying Yang Koi design represents the positive and negative energies coming together to form a perfect balance in all areas of life. This unique Asian symbol gives us a picture of the natural habitat of these fish.

Two Koi fish swimming alongside each other has the same symbolism as this ancient sign.

Dragon Koi Tattoo

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The ancient legend tells that the Koi fish is transformed into a dragon at the end of a difficult journey. It is also called the dragon gate, and climbing the waterfall at the top symbolizes overcoming difficulties and adversaries.

The dragon Koi also represents strength and willpower to overcome everything, as the Koi did at the dragon's gate.

Meaning of Lotus Flowers

The beautiful Lotus flower grows out of muddy ponds, and bringing it together with the Koi has a symbolic meaning.

This symbol means growth and struggles and overcoming the difficulties of life and everything else it represents.

This flower comes from a dirty pond, becomes a beautiful flower, and is represented in the Lotus Koi fish tattoo.

What Koi Fish Tattoo Color Mean

There is also a symbolic meaning behind the color of these colorful fish and fish tattoos. Following is a list of what the different colors mean when it comes to a Koi fish tattoo.Koi tattoos color

Red Koi Fish Tattoo

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A common symbol with the red Koi tattoo is courage and determination, as also bravery and power, which are normally associated with red. Red and white may also symbolize a mother, and red and pink symbolize a daughter in a household.

The red color also represents an intense love in Japanese culture, as does that tattoo of a red Koi Fish tattoo.

Black Koi Fish

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This color fish tattoo is associated with overcoming difficulties and obstacles in life, including overcoming abusive relationships and many more.

The black Koi swimming downstream means one has already overcome the obstacle, and there is no need to struggle anymore.

White Koi Fish


A white Koi tattoo can symbolize the success one may experience in their career or job. It may also represent a son of a household.

White with black represents an important transformation or achievement in your life.

Yellow In a Koi Fish Tattoo


A combination of yellow and orange represents the gold Koi, a symbol of wealth and prosperity in Japanese cultures. A yellow river in Chinese culture represents the spirit of carrying burdens and adapting to different life circumstances.

Blue in a Koi Fish Tattoo


Blue represents calmness and peace, and a blue Koi tattoo can be seen as that and is associated with a son in the family. Blue Koi fish tattoo designs symbolize fertility and masculinity and can be associated with reproduction.


There you have it - a look at Koi fish tattoo meaning and representation and what it may represent for the one wearing it.

The rich symbolism behind these tattoos opens up a new world of understanding in the tattoo industry and great tattoo artist experiences. It will have a deeper meaning if you want to get a small Koi fish tattoo. 

Don't forget to check out the list of tattoo ideas below for more inspiration!

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