25+ Japanese Water Tattoo Designs

In many cultures, life originated in or from the water. Some cultures believe that even human life forms also trace back to water elements. Keeping this in mind, is it no wonder that water is considered one of the most significant tattoo design elements that individuals incorporate into any theme. In regard to Japanese tattoo designs, you will very commonly see various water elements present that can change the entire presentation and in turn, the meaning of the completed design.

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When a person opts for Japanese water tattoos, it mostly means that it holds a lot of symbolic meaning to them individually. While the meaning to each person would of course vary depending on their lives and their set of beliefs, water is one of the four elements that make up life on our planet. As such, water designs bear additional meaning and significance as a whole as well.

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The presence of water elements in a tattoo design can bear both a positive and negative force. It can wield immense power when on a path of destruction. It can destroy life as easily as it nurtures it. One of the things that is believed in spiritually about water is also its ability to clean and purify. Not only does this apply to humans but also things and the environment. The Celts deeply and passionately believed in the power of both positive and negative that water can wield. Even in Christianity water is an important part of baptism where it is sprinkled on the newborn. Water also forms a part of many rituals and ceremonies.

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Japanese water tattoos used a central theme could acknowledge the importance of water as one of the vital elements or could be homage to the fact that it is the centre of all life and creation. By virtue of its cleansing properties, water can also represent absolute purity and innocence. Since water and its movements in water bodies is affected by the moon and lunar cycles, often water will be depicted with the moon. Since water has the innate capacity to take on the shape of the vessel or container it is poured into, water is also associated with flexibility. Due to the graceful and fascinating movements that water has it is also considered feminine. The power of water when it comes to destruction is also another thing that most people seek when they look for symbolic value in their water based tattoo designs.

water tattoo designs (19)

water tattoo designs (20)

More tattoos on the next page…


  1. gorgeous collection of tattoos. thanks!
    not sure if you realize, but that last ta ttoo is the sky and stars from a Van Gogh painting (starry night) and doesn’t actually have anything to do with water, although it does look very fluid and water-like.


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