Top 103 Samurai Mask Tattoo Ideas [2021 Inspiration Guide]
If you want to make a breath-taking statement with your ink, then it would be hard to go past a Japanese samurai mask tattoo.
A key to psychological warfare was the samurai’s armor, most notably the menpo, or mask that protected the warrior’s face. A Japanese samurai mask was typically unique to the man who was wearing it.
Several superstitions believe that these awe-inspiring masks and helmets contained the long-deceased spirits of Japan’s original conquerors. The frightening feudal relics retain their intimidation into the present day.
Check out the tremendous detail and raw magnetism of these top 103 samurai mask tattoos that can serve as inspiration for your next killer design.
See more about - The Top 121+ Best Japanese Tattoo Ideas
1. Black and Gray Samurai Mask Tattoo Ideas
2. Samurai Mask Sleeve Tattoo Ideas
3. Upper Arm Half Sleeve Samurai Mask Tattoo Ideas
4. Samurai Mask Chest and Rib Tattoo Designs
The use of gray wash shading is excellent in this tattoo and helps to create a gradation of tones that gives depth to this design. The black ink is also fully saturated, completing this effect: it almost looks like you could stick a finger into the eyeholes of the mask.
The line work is even and consistent and the incorporation of negative space to create natural waves as well as a dragonfly adds elements of contrast with the fierce grimace of the mask. This is a great example of the style and is sure to turn head
This gorgeous chest piece uses a limited color palette to create a stunning samurai mask. The gray wash, which looks to have some light blue ink mixed in, is expertly shaded, using dark and light tones to create a dynamic tattoo. The wisps of hair falling down the face along with the flower petals give the impression of wind blowing across the piece.
The use of red in the flower petals is an excellent example of how a deliberate and intelligent use of color can allow a simple concept to transform a design, combining the brutality of these warrior masks with the delicacy of a falling flower.
5. Samurai Mask Back Tattoo Ideas
6. Single Color and Gradation Samurai Mask Tattoo Ideas
7. Smaller Samurai Mask Tattoo Designs
8. Samurai Mask Leg Tattoo Ideas
9. Samurai Mask Hand Tattoos
10. Samurai Forearm Tattoos
11. New Wave and Neo Traditional Samurai Mask Tattoo Art
This tattoo also uses a collage-like composition, incorporating a samurai mask, traditional Japanese buildings and the lower half of a female face to create a balanced but unorthodox tattoo. The gray wash and shading are impeccable and perfectly capture mist rolling over the buildings while the limited use of red evokes images of sunrise, perhaps an ode to Japan: “Land of the Rising Sun”.
The juxtaposition of the delicate femininity in the woman’s face with the ferocity of the samurai mask adds a conceptual contrast that perfectly suits the design. This is a tattoo the owner will be proud to display at any chance he gets.
12. Black and Gray Arm Sleeve Tattoos
This highly detailed, black and gray sleeve is a great example of a piece that incorporates several traditional Japanese elements into a bold design.
The excellent use of gray wash shading and fully saturated black creates different layers and gives the piece the feel of a well-organized collage. The incorporation of waves using negative space and gray wash smoke—both elements in traditional Japanese motifs—work well to tie the larger design elements together and helps contribute to a better overall composition.
The menpo at the bottom of the piece is well executed and helps to balance the other detailed features at the top of the design, including the geisha and demon, or oni.
13. Heavy Black Ink Samurai Mask Tattoos
14. Samurai Mask Tattoos In Progress
15. Samurai Helmet Tattoos
Samurai Mask Tattoo FAQ’s
Who were the Japanese Samurai?
Samurai were military noblemen and protectors of bushido, the Japanese warrior code that stressed the importance of sincerity, a mastery of martial arts, and undying loyalty to their master.
The samurai are remembered primarily for their extreme discipline, the terror they struck in their enemies, and for their skill with blade and bow.
What does a samurai mask symbolize?
In addition to serving a protective function, masks were adorned with grotesque visages, complete with fangs and whiskers.
These designs have bled into tattoo culture and represent the personal characteristics personified by the samurai: strength, ferocity, and loyalty. Their bright colors and endless capacity for customization make them popular subject matter for tattoos.
How much does a color Japanese sleeve cost?
A full color Japanese Irezumi sleeve tattoo is at the top of the pricing spectrum. A Japanese sleeve will cost at least $1500 -2000 USD, even at a comparatively cheap average price of $150 per hour.
Experienced artists and Japanese tattooing specialists will charge more, while a sleeve from a Japanese tattoo artist master like Horiyoshi III could cost upwards of $10,000 USD for a colorful nagasode arm piece at a Tokyo or Osaka tattoo studio.