115 Koi Fish Tattoo Inspirations for Men and Women


When you dive into the world of koi fish tattoo ideas, you are bound to get lost in the world of designs. There are so many symbolisms and meanings attached to these koi fish tattoos. These are also just like other forms of tattoos! They are taken in high regards in both the Chinese and Japanese culture. Many consider the carp fish or koi fish as a symbol of bravery and courage. And as time passes by, it has also become a synonym to love and compassion. That can be one of the best reasons to get on board this tattoo idea!

The name of koi itself has come from the Japanese word ‘Nishikigoi’ which is the national fish of the country as well. There is no doubt that there is a lot of respect for this creature there. The words are formed to mean colorful carp. They are a common subject in tattoos, and there are more and more people getting attracted to these ideas as the colors are amazing. You can place that watercolor vibe in with your tattoo and get the best of the water world too. The vibrancy and the difference in scales of the fish are what allures most people into this.


koi fish tattoo

The Meaning and Symbolism of the Koi Fish Tattoo

Fish is always thought of as a symbol for stability and calmness. It shows the balance that everyone needs in their life. One can also think of it as a symbol of prosperity, power, and wealth. There are a lot of meanings that you can attach on to them; so it is best if you ask your stylist what it means. We are also going to touch on this subject of what it means to have a koi fish tattoo. You can get the colors to mix in with your tattoo to add to the symbolism and get it to a new meaning. We will talk about the koi fish tattoo meaning in this section.

The customization part relies on you for sure, but you can take the help of your tattoo artist in case you are not able to figure out what to do. Koi fish are thought to be an energetic life force. They are known to have the strength of swimming against harsh currents and travel upstream against gravity as well. So anyone who wants to symbolize that life is a big struggle, and one needs to keep going on fighting can get this tattoo.

You need to encounter all the tough portions of life to succeed in it. And the koi fish can show off this ideology of yours well. This can be your way of self-expression that pleases you and the ones that take a glance. It can also show your passion for love, ambition, robustness, etc. Koi fish are known to have taken years to evolve into the majestic and beautiful creatures that they are. Since they lasted the test of time, we are sure you will want to ink yourself with the force that they represent.

The myth and legends attached to the origin of the dragon koi fish tattoo

We are in so much awe of this tattoo as there are so many legends attached to it. They were famous in the Chinese culture as the fish that could battle through all hardships. If the tale is to be followed, then it is said that there was once a river. It is said that it had a waterfall above it. The fishes in pond included a koi fish. They all started to swim upstream in the aim to reach the top of the waterfall. They supposed that there was the gate of the dragon.

So they all started to swim, but only the koi fish reached the top. It is also believed that the fish then turned into a dragon. Nowadays you can see a lot of dragon koi fish tattoo on people. This is a story that shows perseverance can lead you to achieve any goal and how life rewards you when you are done. Thus if you want to keep fighting, you can take the turn to try the majestic koi fish tattoo ideas that are available here.

 Where can you get these done?

Since tattoos are a form of self-expression, there is no limitation to what you can and cannot do. You need not compromise when it comes to getting tattoos. But if you are one who is just starting over in the world of getting inked, then you can take ideas from some prevalent ideas. We are showing you the best places in your body that you can use to get these fish carved in for life. These are tried and tested parts. Since people like to make these fish elaborate and filled with colors, it can be painful to get it done near areas where you are bony!

Most men and women prefer getting them in areas where they have more muscle. So you will see a lot of arm and thigh koi fish tattoo ideas to choose from in this article. But pain is not the only thing to consider in this process of tattooing. You also need to find the space you have. If you want to get it to look majestic, then you can go for the back and the chest area which can give you an ample amount of space. From here on, we will show you the best tattoos to get in these areas as well.

The Koi Fish Tattoo to get in the arms

If you want a koi fish tattoo arm idea, then this is the segment to look out for. There are a lot of creative juices flowing in this segment, and the ones that we are most excited about is the colors that come with these tattoos. When you get the arms, it is most likely that you will feel less pain. There are a lot of muscles there, and it shields the bones. If you want, you can also get the details added on with other elements. Here we are showing off the best ideas to follow if you are sure you want a koi fish tattoo in your arms.

These are mostly the place that men love to get inked on. There is an ease in this, and they can be shown off well too. So you have a bonus in choosing these koi fish tattoo forearm ideas for yourself. You can also take them to the next level by making them look like a sleeve for yourself. When you work out in the gym or wear sleeveless shirts, this tattoo will show off very well. You can get some idea of the design from the photos that we are showing off in this section below. We are sure all the men will love this placement idea for themselves.

Koi Fish tattoo styles for the thigh

The thigh is an ideal place for ladies to get their koi fish tattoo. You can see there are some single fish with a lot of vibrant colors on them here. This section can tell you all about these excellent options, and we love them. The symbolism that comes with these tattoos gets accentuated as you add on some colors. Each color means something different, and we are sure you will know about it as you move on to getting them. Placing it close to the top will be an excellent choice. If you want, then you can start it from the waist and move on to the upper thigh.

Since there is a large amount of muscle in that area, you will not feel a lot of pain. This way, it is easier for you to get that larger scale of a tattoo. The ink that you choose can be molded into something else by your tattoo artist. So you can take their help to get that perfect hue. If you want an exact shade to show off, you must book an appointment with an artist that knows his work. We put together a beautiful collection of thigh koi fish tattoo images so that you can choose one. Make sure you make the most of this chance to get inked and enjoy the colors and patterns.

Using your back to get the koi fish tattoo

The back is another loved place for anyone to get inked. There are so many ideas out on the internet. And all you need to do is choose the ones that are more suitable for your personality. You can see that there are some deep meaning and sentiments attached to these inks. Women and men alike are interested in these koi fish tattoo ideas, and we are sure you will want to try them out. If you have that artistic vibe in you, then this will be the expression of your inner feelings. The fish swimming in a circle is also showing off a great message. And it has been a classic choice for many.

Get your artist to understand the vibe you are going for before he or she starts the process. The first one we have here is exciting in so many ways. You can take screenshots of the tattoo that you love and show it to your artist. You have to make sure you communicate well with him or her so that the results are inclining to what you wanted. Check out the options you want from the compilation we placed in front of you here. Make sure the elements you add on to the tattoo merged well and has a right balance in between them.

koi fish tattoo

Styles of the Koi Fish Tattoo to try out

When it comes to trying on a new tattoo, there are a lot to choose from; and since we presented a lot of ideas, you may feel overwhelmed. But it is not only the tattoo to select, but there are also different styles to decide on as well, and we will surely guide you through it. Stick on to this section here if you are looking for a fun new idea to get on board. Here we will talk about the three most loved koi fish tattoo ideas to try out this season, which is as follows!

The tattoo with the sleeve idea

One needs to have a lot of time in hand and determination to get through this tattoo design. The idea is to get the tattoo on the full length of your arm so that it can look like you have a sleeve of ink on you. Men mostly love these koi fish tattoo sleeve options. You will need to have a good tattoo artist if you want this design to be on point so that you can show it off.

The koi fish with a dragon tattoo idea

There are a lot of legends attached to the concept of the koi fish tattoo. They are believed to be the only fish that stood their stand the powerful streams of water and swam upward against the motions. People think that they turned out to be a big dragon as they reached the top of the waterfall. So there are some koi fish dragon tattoo options out there that are lovely as well.

The fish swimming in a circle idea

When these fishes seem to swim in an infinite circle, they can be thought of as being trapped in a loop. There are some yin and yang symbols attached to this circling as well. Many believe this to be an unbreakable loop. We have some stunning options with vivid colors here to choose from on our website.

 Use of colors and what they mean in these tattoos

The koi fish developed after they evolved and interbred from being a common carp. Since the koi fish, today has a lot of colors on them, each color in the tattoo also represents something. So you can try out the use of any of these shades on yourself to get that unique vibe. The most used colors that we see in koi fish tattoos are black, red, yellow, orange, white, gold, cream, and bluish-grey! These colors have their meaning, and we want you to check them out here.


The color black in koi fish shows that you are ready to face any obstacle. They are a revered color that shows off the need to work hard to get what you desire. It shows the state of having overcome hardships.


In Japanese culture, all colors represent a member of the family. The red koi fish is often taken as the mother of a family. And the red is a representative of the love and compassion and also strength and bravery that one has.


The white koi fishes are the representation of the sons in the family. You may see less of these ideas on tattoos, though.

Yellow gold and orange

There is a mixture of these colors in most tattoos. You can take the idea from the internet about the kind of gold you want to be introduced to your skin. They symbolize the wealth and fortune that koi fish bring.

Bluish grey

The blue koi fish is thought to be the son of the family as well, and they represent masculinity and reproduction. They are signs of peace and calmness. So add it on to your ink to get that subtle feel.

Small tattoo ideas to try

This section is filled with koi fish tattoo small ideas, and you can choose these if you are a beginner. You can go for any of the regular places to get inked for sure. The ones that most love for these tiny tattoos are the wrists and the back. You can also add them on to the neck, and it looks stunning. These are some options that we adore are listed down below. You can later add on other elements and also bigger fish if you feel confident.


The koi fish tattoo favored by girls

The men mostly dominated the tattoo world, and there are fewer options that are loved by women. In recent times, women are more interested in these tattoo designs, and you are sure to love them as well. The ones for women are usually smaller, and they have some bright hues on them. You can get it on the back and thighs as well. The one that can hurt a lot but looks fantastic is the one that you get on your foot. There are some ideas for that in here if you are looking to try them out anytime soon. Here are some excellent koi fish tattoo designs for girl that are most searched over the internet.

Other options to try

When you look at all of these choices, you can be baffled. But you may not have yet found the one to try out still as well. So you can see there are some popular options to try out. These are the koi fish tattoos that men and women love as they are simple in some cases and elaborate in the others. Choose the hues that are most touching to your heart. You can also add on some fun elements like roses and other flowers on top. The blues and the yellow hues are the most popular ones to try out, so keep an eye out for them.

Also See:

155 Extraordinary Female Thigh Tattoos Designs With Their Meanings

115 Epic Anchor Tattoos That Every Tattoo Lover Must See

How do you decide what to get?

When there is a vast option to choose from, you can have a hard time deciding for sure. There is a lot of images we showed to you in this article. And we are looking at some that are hard to pick from for anyone. As it may be a dilemma among many, we are suggesting a few things that you can keep in mind if you want to get that perfect tattoo. It is firstly crucial for you to think about what your personality is. You want that to show off in your ink for sure. So make sure what you choose is something you are comfortable with; in the first place.

The second thing that one must consider is the size of the tattoo to get. If you are one who is not ready for a big commitment right now, then you can try on a small symbol of the koi fish on your wrist. Start it short and then you can add on if you feel like you are ready for more. If you want an elaborate design, then you should choose the back. That way, you can get as much space as you need. And it is fun for the artist as well. Make sure you take ideas from the koi fish tattoos pictures we showcased beforehand.


The final words

If there is a passion within you and you want to show it off to the world, you can do that through these tattoos. There is no barrier to the process of expressing yourself through art, and we are showing you the best ideas on our website. When you choose the koi fish tattoo, you are letting the world see that you have massive respect for the ones who are struggling in life and trying to do well. The colors in the tattoo can help you to get the message of perseverance ahead in the world.

So if you are looking to make an impact in the world and create an impression, the koi fish tattoo is the way to go. You will find meaning in the symbolism and also know what it is like to get inked. Thus this is also an excellent choice for someone who is just stepping in the world of tattoos. We made sure to make this article as informative for a beginner as can be. If you have any suggestions or ideas for us, you can send them to us through the comment box. These feedbacks are what help us to get better, so keep them coming!


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