Koi Fish Tattoos and What they Mean

The Koi is said to have climbed waterfalls bravely, and, if ever caught, it lies upon the cutting board awaiting the knife without a quiver, not unlike a samurai (warrior) facing a sword.  This theme dates back to ancient China, where a legend tells of how any koi that succeeded in climbing the falls at a point called Dragon Gate (on the Yellow River) would be transformed into a dragon.  

Based on that legend, it became a symbol of worldly aspiration and advancement.  In tattoo imagery, especially in combination with flowing water, it symbolizes much the same:  courage, the ability to attain high goals, and overcoming life's difficulties.

Koi's come in many different patterns and colors and have special meanings as well: 
  • Gold – wealth and prosperity
  • Platinum and silver – success in business, thus, wealth
  • Black – significant life transformations, not necessarily of the death kind * White – advancement in society and in career
  • Red – true romantic love

2 responses to “Koi Fish Tattoos and What they Mean”

  1. Baker606060 says:

    heres my koi 🙂 

  2. Jennifer says:

    Great color!

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