Top 59 Japanese Wave Tattoo Ideas – [2022 Inspiration Guide]
Water is a vital symbol for the Japanese, not only because the nation is surrounded by an ocean but because of the illustrious relationship between the Japanese people and the power of the sea.
Japanese symbols play off each other with practiced similarity and relatable imagery often linked by symbolism or seasons.
Waves are some of the most utilized elements in Japanese art, with pieces by famous Japanese artists reaching global recognition. Some pieces have been translated directly into tattoos or used as inspiration for tattoo art, like the famous “Great Wave” by Katsushika Hokusai.
Japanese wave tattoos are typically representative of power, fluidity, and movement. Such tattoos are often blended with animal motifs like koi, oni, or a dragon. They could also represent the ever-changing nature of life.
These 59 Japanese wave tattoo ideas show versatility in their capture between being the main design (Shudai), secondary motif (Keshoubori), or filler picture (Gokoubori). Each type of wave tattoo style can provide plenty of inspiration for your next body art.
See more about - The Top 121+ Best Japanese Tattoo Ideas
1. Hokusai Inspired Japanese Wave Tattoos
inspired by the art of rarely disappoint. The work of this great and world-renowned Japanese has undoubtedly inspired a multitude of tattoos, many of which are based on his “The Great “. Tattoos inspired by this amazing piece of art tend to share many of the same core characteristics. They depict , often in blue and , although some of these tattoos are inked in black and gray.
It may seem obvious, but these tattoos are most recognizable by the fact that they almost always feature a . The more specific and defining point to notice is that this tends to be quite large in scale. It is not a standard by any means. No, rather, it is a monstrous, overwhelming extension of the .
2. Japanese Wave Full Color Sleeves
These sleeves showcase the beauty of the as a of power, life, and other elements. One of the many aspects of these sleeves that make them especially vivid and aesthetically stunning is the rich pallets that the used to create them. and the importance it plays in
Waves are not the only elements involved in a Japanese full sleeve , however. Multiple pieces are set alongside them and can include everything from flowers to the koi, a masculine linked fish often found in .
3. Japanese Wave Back Tattoos
can be adapted to many body parts. Possibly one of the coolest places where inked is the back, which is the largest canvas of .
on the back most often play a complementary role to the main theme (Shudai). on the back makes bigger pieces and scenes possible. Back show much of what is seen on their sleeve counterparts but in a larger form, tying together larger symbolic elements.
4. Japanese Wave Upper Arm Tattoos
The upper arm is a space where pieces of Japanese can be found looking their best, regardless of whether they’re done in black and gray shading or full , as the examples below show. on the upper arm often show the rushing in strong detail alongside accents such as flowers.
5. Grayscale Traditional Japanese Wave Tattoos
These do not include the that other have. Despite this, however, they in no way appear lacking. These grayscale traditional are still extremely interesting and appealing in their own right. They are an equally strong display of the symbolic Japanese waves as well as the other elements that often go along with them.
6. Japanese Chest and Side Tattoos
While they don’t provide as much space as the back, a man’s chest and side do have ample room for several different types of .
Still, others might incorporate slightly larger elements, such as the Japanese hannya mask. Many different pieces can be done on the chest or side; these spots are great for Japanese .
7. Japanese Leg Tattoos
The leg arguably hosts some of the most creative and artful one can get. These beautiful arrangements include assortments of stunning Japanese designs placed together to form cohesive, fitting pieces of .
Japanese leg tattoos are not difficult to spot as they often stand out from other types of leg pieces on account of their signature symbols, , and schemes.
8. Traditional Japanese Grayscale Sleeves
While Japanese grayscale sleeves may sound just like all other Japanese sleeve tattoos, they are really quite unique. Yes, it is true that the primary difference between a Japanese grayscale sleeve and a Japanese sleeve is, well, the absence of in the former.
This does not, however, mean that these grayscale sleeves are not strongly appealing in themselves. The appearance of gray on the various Japanese sleeve designs is certainly quite a good look for all of those who wear it.
9. Black Ink and Blackout Japanese Wave Tattoos
done with have a flair all their own. They have a crispness to them that is unique. They also have a bit of a vintage feel, something that is not necessarily seen to quite the same degree in other types of the same pieces.
Blackout tattoos are an especially unique type of as they use black as the primary backdrop of the piece and essentially work out of it. These are truly exceptional examples of this .
Japanese Wave Tattoo FAQ
What are Japanese traditional tattoos?
Traditional Japanese tattoos are referred to as irezumi. Those that are done by hand are referred to as tebori; however, tattoo technology has caught up and most designs are now done by a tattoo artist using a machine.
Japanese traditional design features rich patterns and heavy single fill and bold outline designs often covering large areas of skin.
What is gradation in black and gray tattoos?
Gradation is often essential in Japanese black and gray tattoos or single color ink against variations in shading.
It’s the visual technique of gradually transitioning from one color hue to another or from one shade to another, and is employed to create shifts in space, distance, volume, and curved or rounded forms to make tattoos more complex.
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 $1,500-$2,000 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 piece at a Tokyo or Osaka tattoo studio.
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