175+ Best Japanese Koi Fish Tattoos and their Meaning

Koi is a Japanese word that translates as carp and koi fish can also be referred to as cap fish. Koi fish tattoos have become some of the popular tattoo choices that one can consider settling for. The reason for its popularity lies majorly in its beauty and colourfulness.

Colours have a way of making any design that they are used on to pop and with an enhanced visual appeal. Wearing koi fish tattoo has a way of enhancing the wearer’s visual appeal.


Koi fish tattoos look great on both men and women. The actual fish are full of energy especially when found in their natural habitat. The fish are associated with a lot of meanings and symbolism that many people find to be relatable. The design below looks magnificent and has a beautiful colour combination.

Meanings associated with koi fish tattoos

Koi fish tattoos have been for several years been used as a cultural symbol by the Japanese. Various stories have been said of how these fish do climb waterfalls that have strong currents. The tattoos are symbolic of various qualities such as an ability to overcome adversity.

The Japanese also have a narrative about koi fish that reinforces its great qualities. It says that koi fish swam against the current that was in the yellow river and reached the dragon gate and then turned into a dragon.

Koi fish tattoo design below looks spectacular with the piercing yellow and golden colours bringing life to the actual design.

Many people have used koi fish tattoos as an inspiration for overcoming adversity. Koi fish represents perseverance, strength, tenacity, independence, and good luck amongst other virtues.

Wearing koi fish tattoo acts as a sign of bravery and a reminder of good luck.

Koi fish tattoos come in diverse colours and styles. The scales of the fish are also decorated with adorable patterns which look great when inked. One thing that makes koi fish tattoos to be popular with male tattoo enthusiasts is the great qualities the tattoo represents.

The design below looks cute and fits perfectly well on the arm where it’s worn. Koi fish tattoos are large and therefore require wide spaces if the design is to look perfect.

Colourful koi fish tattoo ideas

If you are a fun of colourful tattoos then koi fish tattoo is an ideal choice that’s worth considering. Koi fish tattoos have a variety of patterns, colours and scales and each blends quite well for a magnificent outlook.

Red colour is such an energetic colour and a great sign of masculine love. The design below has beautiful hues of red colour that combines well with other shades.

Colour red symbolises other things as well such as life for the colour of blood is red. Koi fish tattoo below has magnificent shades of colour that blend quite well. It takes a lot of expertise to come out with such an adorable piece of artwork.

Koi fish tattoo according to the Japanese is a symbol of masculinity. The flag with pictures of the fish even gets raised when a son is born in the homes. The different colours of the koi fish have different meanings as well. The black colour is a sign of tribute for overcoming change with a victory.

The blue colour as used n koi fish tattoo symbolizes challenge and reproduction. It also symbolizes the dragon that goes to the yellow river and ying-yang which symbolises balance.

Koi fish tattoo design below looks fabulous and o realistic. It can easily be perceived as an outfit on the wearer. The array of colours used in the design are great and blends perfectly well.

The symbolism of Koi Fish Tattoos

The traditional significance of koi fish tends to vary depending on the orientation of the fish. The significance is determined by the colour of the fish and the direction its heading to whether upwards or downwards.

Koi fish tattoos symbolize courage and strength which is associated with the Japanese and Chinese myth of koi fish becoming a dragon. As much as the use of several colours is common with koi fish tattoos, one colour can still be used. The design below looks beautiful with the dark colours used.

One is free to apply a symbolism that appeals to them as they settle on the ideal koi fish tattoo to ink. When the tattoo is inked while facing upwards, it shows that the wearer is in a battle and facing obstacles but opts to never give up. It also means that the wearer has overcome battles and has gained the necessary strength to progress against the current.

Koit fish tattoo design below looks beautiful and shows koi fish facing upwards which is an inspiring symbol of strength.

When koi fish tattoo is inked while facing downstream, its an indicator that the wearer still lacks the strength required to overcome the obstacles. It may also mean that the wearer has already faced the challenges and overcome them successfully.

The beauty of koi fish tattoos

One thing that makes koi fish tattoos to be adorable is the ability to adapt to different water conditions and climate. It’s inherent in the nature of koi fish to swim upstream which is a sign of strength, great determination and success.

Koi fish tattoos also symbolise things like;

  • Ability to overcome obstacles and realize goals
  • Inspires aspiration and advancement
  • Good luck, prosperity and long life
  • Independence, power, masculinity, friendship and passionate love.

Koi fish were originally bred for distinct colours and there are meanings that each of the colours are associated with. Some of the common colours of koi fish include;

  • Red
  • Black
  • White
  • Yellow
  • Gold
  • Blue
  • Grey
  • Cream

The below design is a dynamic blend of colours which also shows koi fish swimming upstream. The tattoo is a complex piece of artwork and looks adorable.

Koi fish tattoo is predominantly designed with black and blue colours. The tattoo looks spectacular with the direction of the fish symbolising strength and versatility.

Black colour signifies a successful triumph over obstacles. The colour is an expression that the wearer has undergone great obstacles in life and emerged victoriously.

Cool koi fish tattoo design ideas

The upper parts of the arm is a beautiful place for wearing koi fish tattoos. The one colour used in the design looks cool and blends well with the wearer complexion. The colour is also an expression of victory over obstacles.

Since koi fish tattoos are normally large in size, it really takes an expert artist to bring out all the key features beautifully. The tattoo is beautifully designed with every bit of feature expressing great precision.

Red is another dominant colour that’s common with koi fish tattoos. Red colour is an expression of love and a very intense one. Power and bravery are also symbolised by the red colour. The below design has a combination of predominant red and other shades of colours. The colours blend quite well and the design is quite eye-catching.

Koi fish tattoos also use a combination of yellow and golden colours. The gold colour is a symbol of wealth and fortune. The design below looks elegant and fits well on the upper arm where it’s worn.

Beautiful koi fish tattoo elements

There are several symbols and elements that koi fish tattoos comprise of. There is the yin-yang symbol, the dragons, water and fire elements and the lotus or flower elements. The elements when beautifully incorporated a way of enhancing the beauty and elegance of the design.

The tattoo design below expresses a combination of most of the elements that are used in designing koi fish tattoos. Use of flowers, colours and other elements has in a great way enhanced the visual appeal of the design.

Koi fish has been said by legends to have become a dragon by the end of its long and difficult journey. Wearing the tattoo is a perfect expression of transformation and can be very inspiring to the wearer.

The dragon koi symbolises strength and the will to endure all the odds until success is realized. Wearing a dragon-themed koi fish tattoo, therefore, reinforces the meanings associated with the design to the wearer.

Adorable koi fish tattoo design ideas

If you are looking into something that creates an instant appeal then inking koi fish tattoo is a good choice. The tattoo looks elegant in so many ways an with a professional artist, you are more likely to design something that’s extremely beautiful.

Incorporating lotus flower with koi fish tattoos brings life and beauty to the entire design. The tattoo design below looks quite adorable with the pink and dark colours blending quite well.

Koi fish tattoos are extremely beautiful and very intricately designed. It takes a lot of expertise to blend all the features as each part of the design require great attention. The combination of gold and blue in the designs below brings out such an eye-catching appeal.

Wearing koi fish tattoo is an expression of commitment and perseverance until success is realized. The array of beautiful colours used in the design express a rich meaning and symbolism. The downward expression of the koi fish shows that the wearer has endured it all, overcome the obstacles and gained success.

Nothing brings out the cool masculine features of men like adorning koi fish tattoo. The multicoloured tattoo design looks amazing one the chest and shoulder area its worn. The design is quite captivating and enhances the cool features of the wearer’s.

Placement of koi fish tattoos

Placement of koi fish tattoos is a key factor that should be looked into as one settles on the best design to wear. Some of the common places that many people consider wearing koi fish tattoos are the arms. The arm is quite ideal as it has sufficient space where the tattoo artist can ink without much interference.


The leg is another ideal placement for koi fish tattoos. The leg is not only long but also has a wider space which makes the increasing process to happen easily. Koi tattoo design below looks cute in the one colour used and fits well in the thighs.

The upper part of the back is another suitable place for wearing koi fish tattoos. The back has a large space and since koi fish tattoos are large enough, inking on the back is much easier. If you don’t want your tattoo to be seen by all then you can consider wearing your tattoo on the back.

Wearing koi fish tattoos at the rib cage looks magnificent just like the one below. The tattoo is beautifully designed and enhances the masculine features of the wearer.

Koi fish tattoo design below is a beautiful expression of yin-yang and blends well with the elements used. The incorporation of beautiful flowers and the colours used has a way of bringing life and elegance to the design.

Stunning koi fish tattoos for men

As much as koi fish tattoos can be worn by both men and women, there are designs that look great in men. The aspect of strength and perseverance is one thing that makes the tattoo design to be a great preference for men.

Even though koi fish are available in diverse colours, it’s still cool to have the tattoo inked in one colour. The below design is beautifully design and looks great in one colour.

Professional tattoo artists have great ways of combining elements to a design in a way that makes the entire design to pop. The combination of several features and colour looks epic and an ideal design for men.

The shoulder is a great place for wearing koi ink tattoos and looks great on men. The beautiful blend of colours and elements adds to the versatility of the design.

Inking a swimming koi fish tattoo represents determination and advancement. Wearing two or a variety of fish together expresses love and relationship. The design below looks magnificent both in size and style. The colour combination and other elements incorporated also blend quite well.

Lotus flowers are quite beautiful and work as a good blend for the koi fish tattoos. The design below looks fantastic and fits quite well on the am where its worn.

The significance of koi fish tattoos

Koi fish tattoos are adorned with beautiful colours with each colour having great significance to the wearer. An array of golden colours represent wealth. The design below looks adorable as the fish is shown swimming upwards which is a sign of triumph.

Black shades used in a koi fish tattoo also signifies adversity or the obstacles that one needs to contend with to realize success. The design looks cool and enhances the overall outlook of the wearer.

Koi fish tattoos that are inked in black tend to express the masculine features of men. The design is large enough and covers the entire arm of the wearer.

Koi fish tattoos may also be designed with some exaggerated features such as the scales and the eyes. The design below shows exaggerated eyes and all that works to enhance the overall outlook.

Colour is also used in a way that magnifies the actual koi fish tattoo and also creates an adorable outlook. The blue and golden colours make a perfect blend.

Such a beautiful artistic design of koi fish tattoos. The colour choice and combination of elements looksmagnificent and greaton the wearer’s arm.

Full arm koi fish tattoo design ideas

If you are considering wearing full arm koi fish tattoos then you can get some cool ideas below. The design below looks so realistic with the actual koi fish design bringing life to the entire design.

Apart from the full arm design, you can also consider inking the design at the rib cage as below. The tattoo looks fabulous and covers the entire rib cage area which is great.

You can consider wearing a large design of koi fish tattoos on the back. It looks elegant and expresses an intricate piece of artwork.

Water and flowers are beautiful symbols that bring life to koi fish tattoo design. The elements enhance the feminine features of the wearer and look great.

The downward swimming golden koi fish tattoo looks spectacular with the splashing waters. The design looks cool on the upper arm where it’s worn.

Choosing koi fish tattoos

Settling on an ideal koi fish tattoo to design is never a simple matter. There are a lot of considerations that should be taken into account before deciding on inking a design.

Ensure that you settle for a design that you will be comfortable with in the long-term.

If you prefer a larger design then you should settle for a place where the design can fit well. Large tattoos require a wider space that the artist can also be comfortable with.

Hygiene is very important and should be looked into when considering a studio to be inked in. The studio should be one that observes a clean work environment. Lack of proper hygiene can easily lead to infection and use of tools that are not sterilized.

Tattoos are personal and should reflect an aspect one’s personality or character that is unique to them.  When choosing a design to ink, you can also incorporate a few features that reflect your uniqueness.

You can consider incorporating elements that you find to be more appealing to you. Koi fish tattoos are elegant and the choice of one colour looks adorable.

Aftercare for koi fish tattoos

Koi fish tattoos are normally large and cover a wider area of the body. One should be aware of the right aftercare to give in order to avoid any form of contamination or infection.


Engaging in proper aftercare helps in ensuring that you don’t get any infection. Since the tattoo industry is not regulated in some areas, there are some vital things that can be ignored by the artist. one should ensure that they are well versed with the right aftercare to give the tattoos.

To protect the tattoo from infection, ensure that it’s covered in a layer of petroleum jelly and some bandage immediately after inking. You can then remove the bandage after 24 hours.

Once you have removed the bandage, wash the tattoo with soap and water then pat to dry. You can then apply some layer of antibacterial ointment at least twice a day.

Ensure that you wash the tattoo area several times a day with soap and water then pat to dry. You can then apply ointment once its dry.

Aftercare process should be repeated for between 2 – 4 weeks or until the tattoo is cleaned. You should also avoid wearing clothes that are likely to stick to the tattoo. You should also avoid exposure to the sun and swimming.

Yin-yang koi fish tattoo symbol

The yin-yang symbols are popular with koi fish tattoos since they complement the Japanese philosophy and also honours the highly esteemed koi fish.

The symbol of yin-yang helps in reinforcing the element of balanc. One gets to know that there is the positive side of every negative thing that they might be going through.

The koi fish tattoo design below is intricately designed and looks cool on the wearer. It also acts as a good cover for any design that one may want to do away with.

Wearing a golden koi fish tattoo that seems to swim upstream in water looks magnificent. It also expresses the effort one needs to put to realize the desired goals.

The green colours used in the design below highlights the feaures of the tattoo in very dynamic ways.

The blue-eyed koi fish tattoo looks magnificent with magnified eyes and blue shades.

Red is such a beautiful colour and has a way of making the entire design to pop. Each of the elements used in the design adds to the intricacy of the design.

Elegant koi fish tattoo ideas

Such a magnificent piece of artwork with the dark coloured koi fish tattoo looking so adorable.

Bright colours have a way of enhancing the visual appeal of a design. The flowery shades of orange and green are so cute.

Combination of dark and red colour has a way of enhancing the beauty of a design. The one below looks elegant as the koi fish splashes through the water.

Coloured koi fish tattoos have a way of enhancing the feminine features of women. Wearing such in the thighs expresses such an adorable and sexy outlook.

A pair of koi fish tattoo is a symbol of good luck and also synonymous with happiness and harmony. The placement of the design is also perfect.

Nothing can hinder one from showing off the adorable pair of koi fish tattoos. The design is elegant and looks great with a backless top.

The details applied in this piece of artwork is just breathtaking. The golden colours makes the design to pop which is quite eye-catching.

Gold koi fish tattoo ideas

The symbol of gold in koi fish tattoo designs is one thing that many people find t be adorable. The shades of gold reinforces the feeling of wealth and success that’s associatedwith the design.

Even as you incorporate gold shades into your design, you should consider a combination of elements that blend well.

Application of gold shades in koi fish tattoo designs enhances the awareness of success. The dark shades may come as a hindrance but the awareness of success is enough to propel one to victory.

Gold colour is adorable and the place its worn enhances that feeling of opulence that come with the design.

Intricacy and elegance are the best words that describe koi fish design below. The sparkling gold colour is extremely beautiful.

Having dominant shades of black with a blend of lotus flowers makes the entire design to look so adorable.

Magnificent koi fish tattoos

Add some life and elegance to your koi fish design by incorporating a range of elements

The dark shades used in the design looks great and hghlights the beautiful colours used on the actual koi fish dsign.

The design below is quite magnificent with the coi fish tattoo expressed as swimming upwards.

Incorporating a range of colours and elements like in the design below adds to the intricacy of the design.

Cute Shoulder koi fish tattoos

The multicoloured koi fish tattoo design loo spectacular on the shoulder where its worn. The design is epic with all the features blending so well.

Bold and sparkling shades used in the design below expresses such an adorable look. The bold gold and orange colours used in the design looks spectacular.

Cool and simple koi fish tattoo design with very well defined lines is what describes the design below.

This is a bold koi fish tattoo with the scales looking so magnificent.

Koi fish tattoo is one design that men proudly wear without minding about the colour combination.

You can choose the size of the tattoo depending on what appeals to you. use of one colour also brings an element of uniqueness.


Realistic koi fish tattoo ideas

Create some illusion of reality with artistically designed koi fish tattoos.

Koi tattoos have such a sense of mysticism that makes the entire design to be quite intriguing. It’s quite eye-catching with a good blend of colours.

Koi fish tattoos are extremely beautiful and the features tend to pop regardless of the colours used in the design.

The golden colour is a sign of wealth and success. Wearing koi fish tattoos with dominant golden colours acts as a constant reminder in pursuit of wealth.

Such a realistic depiction of koi fish tattoo design. It looks beautiful with a cute combination of different colours.

Strength and determination are key values that koi fish tattoos symbolise. The design below shows koi fish wading through the dark shades that represent obstacles towards victory.

Such a cute dragon themed koi fish tattoo with beautiful blue colours that blend quite well. The design looks cute on the arm where it’s worn.

Let your cool masculine features pop with adorable koi fish tattoo design. The colour combination looks great and blends well with the wearer.

Amazing koi fish tattoos

From the colour choice to the elements the koi fish tattoo design below looks spectacular. The golden shades add to the beauty of the design.

Apart from settling for a design that appeals to our need, you can consider adding some unique features. The combination of elements in the design below expresses a fascinating piece of design.

Wearing sleeve-length koi ink tattoo is not for the fearful. The design looks adorable and highlights the wearer’s personality.

What a chic way to wear koi fish tattoos. The design is visually appealing and blends well with the wearer’s complexion.

Elements of fire and the dragon enhances the complexity and beauty of koi fish tattoos. The design looks fabulous on the wearer with masculine features beautifully expressed.

Beautiful koi fish tattoos for men

Colourful tattoos are not only a preserve for women, men can also try out these beautiful designs. The combination of pink flowers and the blue blends well with the koi fish design.

Colourful koi fish tattoos are quite charming to look at as the colours outline each of the features beautifully. The colourful flowers used in the design below blends well with each of the element in the design.

The vivid colours used in the design creates such a breathtaking outlook that cannot be ignored. The golden and fiery qualities express triumph and success which is great.

Full-sleeve koi fish tattoos are quite adorable and have a way of magnifying the sexy side of men. The design itself is not only captivating but also oozes a sense of strength and power.

The design below is remarkably fantastic going by the beautiful array of scales and other features. The magnified eyes enhance the overall outlook of the design.

The design below shows koi fish swimming against obstacles which are expressed in dark colours. As much as the obstacles may seem insurmountable, the koi fish has sufficient strength and determination to sail through.

Exceptional koi fish tattoo design ideas

Koi fish are known to show a great level of independence just as demonstrated in the design below. The full-sleeve design looks exceptional with the one colour used enhances the outlook.

If you are not scared of life problems and require some motivation to keep going then koi fish tattoos are the best choice. The below design is a beautiful artwork that expresses sophistication and elegance.

Wearing koi fish tattoos does not only express strength of the body but of inner strength. Wearing the tattoo acts as a constant reminder that one has the ability that’s required to overcome life obstacles.

The beautiful colours used in the design looks soft and adorable. The design is cute and expresses cool feminine features.

Covering the entire leg with koi fish tattoos expresses one’s love and appreciation for the art. The combination of colours create such an eye-catching appeal on the wearer.

Colour has a way of bringing life to a design and the swimming koi fish tattoos look epic on the face of the wearer. The design is quite bold and one needs to take various factors into consideration before wearing a tattoo on the face.

Koi fish tattoo has a rich symbolism in Chinese and Japanese culture. The symbolism stems from the ancient legends and how they related with the fish. The design below is artistically designed and look great.

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