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Dragon Tattoo Photos and What They Mean

Author:

Jaymz has held numerous jobs in several states, but no matter where he lives, he always has a job as a tattoo artist.

CC BY 2.0

CC BY 2.0

Dragons are one of the most popular mythological creatures. They are fire-breathing, winged beasts that descend from various legends and tales.

There are two different types that you'll commonly see: the Eastern and the Western. The Eastern dragons of the orient are seen as benevolent creatures who are the protectors of life, fertility, and good fortune. Western ones tend to be evil creatures that destroy villages and guard hoards of treasure.

As a tattoo, these creatures are usually represented in the Eastern style. They are normally seen in black and commonly drawn with flames and fire. However, Japanese and Chinese dragons are usually pretty ornate and can be in color or in black and white shades.

It's up to you what you want for your tattoo.

This is a popular design for both men and women. Everyone finds their own symbolism behind the dragon.

(by Joe Finch @ INK BY FINCH TATTOO STUDIO (SINGAPORE))

(by Joe Finch @ INK BY FINCH TATTOO STUDIO (SINGAPORE))

Meaning

These tattoos can mean different things to different people. What design you choose depends on how you see this mythical creature.

In general, men tend to choose dragon tattoos to represent:

  • Courage
  • Strength
  • Raw power and force
  • Wisdom and reason
  • Protectors of sacred items

Many men tend to associate with dragons themselves, which is why they get them for tattoos. Some men see themselves as guardians over loved ones, and since this creature symbolizes protection, it fits the mold of a guardian.

In general, women tend to use these tattoos to represent:

  • Creator
  • Protector of life
  • Strength

Because women are those who give birth, they can be seen as a creator of life. Women can associate with the mythological being in terms of protection and children; in most cases, mothers will protect their children until the end. Women may see themselves embodied in the strength of the dragon.

Type of Chinese Dragons

Chinese dragons are symbols of power and mystery, similar to what they are in Western legends where they evoke fear and worship in man.

Although there's a bloodthirsty ferociousness in dragons, oriental cultures see the mythical beast for its benevolent features. It is the most common symbol of identity for Far Eastern cultures.

Types of Oriental dragons include:

  • The Horned Dragon: The mightiest one
  • The Celestial Dragon: Supports the heavens and protects the Gods
  • The Earth Dragon: Rules the earth
  • The Spiritual Dragon: Controls wind and rain
  • The Treasure Dragon: Keeper of precious metals and gems
  • The Winged Dragon: Only one depicted with wings
  • The Coiling Dragon: Lives in the oceans
  • The Yellow Dragon: Hornless and known for knowledge

Chris Garver: Japanese Dragon Tattoo

Placement

Men usually put the tattoos on their:

  • Back
  • Arms
  • Shoulders
  • Legs

Women usually place the tattoos on their:

  • Shoulder
  • Nape/ Upper Back
  • Side
  • Ankle
  • Foot

© 2008 jaymz

Comments

vandynegl from Ohio Valley on June 30, 2014:

Nice pictures! Interesting because I'm a female and my dragon tattoo is part of two other tattoos creating standing for Serenity Courage and Wisdom (the dragon representing Wisdom). All three are down the right side of my back. I will try to post a picture if I can!

Great hub!

joshua Sr on February 09, 2014:

got a full sleave did it on sitting 7hr sitting 900.00 n have a very first pic of my son inside a chrystle ball it looks sweet needs a little tuch up lol looks sweet got it when me n my son went to Oregon lol then have my sons name n his b-day 6-6-06 on my neck have a few lookin to get more lol

jaco on August 02, 2012:

got my dragon tattoo today and it looks awsome

Brooke on June 26, 2012:

Another awesome piece of art by Chris Garver! Would love for him to add to my collection !

Nanci Francis on May 30, 2012:

Beautiful Tattoo. The detail of the dragon on the fireman. Beautiful art work.My compliment to the artist

Efraim on May 27, 2012:

Is so beautiful, just lik mine

Brian on April 30, 2012:

Does it have any symbolism if the dragon faces up or down?

Levi on April 23, 2012:

Is it gay for guys to have a dragon going up there rib cage?

Fashion Blasts on April 14, 2012:

Nice Site And Good Post. I Really Like it. Great Job Thanks For Posting it. I Would To Come Again.

Charles on March 14, 2012:

I have a couple of dragon tattoos and I love them, they fit me. Great art is hard to find.

Viry on December 07, 2011:

Wowwww Really helpful info about Dragons!!!! Love it! :-)

RichardCMckeown on October 11, 2011:

Colorful tattoos and nicely done.

patricia dominique on September 15, 2011:

that's a beautiful dragon tattoo you have... I'm a fan a people that has dragon tattoo... I would really like to have one Its just I cant pick a designs of the millions that i have seen.

Christian on February 25, 2011:

I have a dragon and tiger tattoo just like in the picture

archana on July 15, 2010:

That is a great tattoo. But a bit difficult.

blackknight on July 07, 2010:

i wonder how much does it cost like that guy in the video..because i like his tattoo also ^-^

elvis723 on March 06, 2010:

That's tattoo looks outstanding!! Great art work.

nexie on August 26, 2009:

ok i only made it lyk 1 minute into the video....but anyway hope it works out..................

Tattoo Stories on October 12, 2008:

Thanks for the great info and pictures of dragon tats!!!

ninja on May 25, 2008:

enlightening