Half sleeve tattoo designs are popular for their ability to express multiple themes and large sweeping scenes, and those that use a Japanese style are some of the most beautiful and inherently artistic in the world.
The Japanese style half sleeve tattoo is one that has spread far beyond the shores of the tiny island nation.
They have a long and illustrious history of producing some of the most beautiful tattoos in the world, but for the longest time those tattoos were only available to criminals.
Japanese tattoos were illegal after the events of World War II, and only those willing to break the law received them. That stigma with tattoos exists to this day, but not to the extreme that it once did. That underground society inspired some brilliant art.
Water is one of the most popular Japanese symbols in their tattoos, along with landscapes and detailed representations of mythical creatures. Half sleeves present an opportunity to create an impressive scene with many contrasting or complementing elements, which is why the style has remained so popular over the years.
Those who already have an existing Japanese style tattoo on their shoulder or upper arm are in prime position to expand into a full half sleeve, and the options are endless.