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Dragon Tattoo Photos and What They Mean

Updated on February 04, 2016
CC BY 2.0
CC BY 2.0 | Source

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 woman. 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 woman 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

Gallery

(by unknown)
(by unknown)
(by Jay Marceau, D-Markation, Quebec city, Canada)
(by Jay Marceau, D-Markation, Quebec city, Canada)
(by Joe Finch @ INK BY FINCH TATTOO STUDIO (SINGAPORE))
(by Joe Finch @ INK BY FINCH TATTOO STUDIO (SINGAPORE))
Flick Images: Vampire Black Cat: Dragon Tattoo
Flick Images: Vampire Black Cat: Dragon Tattoo
Flickr Images: stotker: dragon tattoo by Mirek vel Stotker
Flickr Images: stotker: dragon tattoo by Mirek vel Stotker
(by Ray Tutty, The Tattoo Studio, Pentre, Rhondda, South Wales)
(by Ray Tutty, The Tattoo Studio, Pentre, Rhondda, South Wales)
(by Jonas Guzman, Tattoo By Nutz, Recto Manila, Philippines)
(by Jonas Guzman, Tattoo By Nutz, Recto Manila, Philippines)
(by Rheet, The Shop, Birmingham Al)
(by Rheet, The Shop, Birmingham Al)
(by Bj, Big Daddy's, Riverside Drive in Clarksville TN)
(by Bj, Big Daddy's, Riverside Drive in Clarksville TN)
(by Roy, Addictions, Chingford)
(by Roy, Addictions, Chingford)
(by Stacy A.J. Knight., Dragon FX Kingsway Garden Mall, Edmonton)
(by Stacy A.J. Knight., Dragon FX Kingsway Garden Mall, Edmonton)
(by Juh, Empório Tattoo, São João del Rei, MG, Brazil)
(by Juh, Empório Tattoo, São João del Rei, MG, Brazil)
(by Justin Duncan, Freaks on Broadway, Kansas City, MO)
(by Justin Duncan, Freaks on Broadway, Kansas City, MO)
(by Matt "Daddyo", Nathans Anthems Tattoo, Redding)
(by Matt "Daddyo", Nathans Anthems Tattoo, Redding)
(by Jukka from Needle Point)
(by Jukka from Needle Point)
(by Katherine Rewus, Dragon FX kingsway, Edm, AB, Ca)
(by Katherine Rewus, Dragon FX kingsway, Edm, AB, Ca)
(by Dave, Skincraft, Cincinnati, OH)
(by Dave, Skincraft, Cincinnati, OH)
Flickr Images: Le Silly: dragon tattoo 1
Flickr Images: Le Silly: dragon tattoo 1
(by Kondo, Kondo´s Tattoo Studio, Buenos Aires, Argentina)
(by Kondo, Kondo´s Tattoo Studio, Buenos Aires, Argentina)

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    • ninja 8 years ago

      enlightening

    • Tattoo Stories 8 years ago

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

    • nexie 7 years ago

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

    • elvis723 6 years ago

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

    • blackknight 6 years ago

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

    • archana 6 years ago

      That is a great tattoo. But a bit difficult.

    • Christian 5 years ago

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

    • patricia dominique 5 years ago

      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.

    • RichardCMckeown profile image

      RichardCMckeown 5 years ago

      Colorful tattoos and nicely done.

    • Viry 5 years ago

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

    • Charles 4 years ago

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

    • Fashion Blasts 4 years ago

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

    • Levi 4 years ago

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

    • Brian 4 years ago

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

    • Efraim 4 years ago

      Is so beautiful, just lik mine

    • Nanci Francis 4 years ago

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

    • Brooke 4 years ago

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

    • jaco 4 years ago

      got my dragon tattoo today and it looks awsome

    • joshua Sr 2 years ago

      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

    • vandynegl profile image

      vandynegl 2 years ago from Ohio Valley

      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!

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