koi fish tattoo meaning and koi meaning

Koi Fish Tattoo Ideas

Last Updated on October 25, 2020 by Avia

Koi Fish Tattoo Ideas and Symbolic Koi Meanings

Swimming Into Koi  Meaning and Koi Tattoo Ideas

Koi is actually a type of carp or sturgeon. Chinese legend tells us of the few, strong and proud koi who swum upstream with the promise of being transformed into a magnificent dragon.

These courageous koi fought against raging currents of the Lung Men (known as the Dragon’s Gate) on the Yellow River.

It is said these determined fish showed grand excellence and brave-heartedness in their desire to become dragons.

koi tattoo meaning and Japanese koi meaning
Koi tattoo meaning and Japanese koi meaning

“Transformation is a process, and as life happens there are tons of ups and downs. It’s a journey of discovery – there are moments on mountaintops and moments in deep valleys of despair.”

~Rick Warren

What’s more, their arduous upstream battle to become dragons was made more challenging because only during a certain time could this transformation take place. Only during the third full moon of each year. A small window of opportunity, but to a willing few, the promise of metamorphosis from fish to dragon was worth the risk.

Koi tattoo meanings also deal with intelligence, and in Chinese symbolism these fish represent success in academics, scholarly pursuits and high acumen.

koi tattoo meaning and Japanese koi meaning
Koi tattoo meaning and Japanese koi meaning

More Symbolic Koi Meanings

Other Koi fish tattoo ideas include the symbolism of color…

♦  Gold Koi = wealth and prosperity

♦  Platinum or Silver Koi = success in business

♦  Black Koi = most likely to cross Lung Men and win transformation into dragons. Symbolic of success after a change.

♦  White Koi = advancement in social settings (career and family).

♦  Red Koi = success in love and romance.

I hope you have enjoyed these thoughts on koi tattoo meanings. Don’t miss my page on Japanese Koi symbolism (general). For more information and more tattoo ideas, be sure to click on the links at the end of this page.

As always, thanks for reading!



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Tattoos can be a way of galvanizing intense and personal meanings. This article lists dozens of links about tattoo ideas and tattoo meanings. From planets to peacocks, roses to ravens – you are bound to find something that tickles your fancy for your next tattoo.  Click here for full access to all tattoo ideas and tattoo meanings.

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