Koi fish are commonly known as Carp fish everywhere. In Eastern cultures, especially in China and Japan there are many superstitions and myths involving the Koi fish. These tattoos are quite colourful and every colour symbolizes a particular characteristic and has various meanings. It come in various hues including red, blue, yellow, gold, white, black and grey. It has to travel many miles upstream for food and sustenance. One popular myth of the Eastern culture states that if a Koi fish is able to swim upstream of a particular waterfall to reach the highest point known as the Dragon Gate on the Yellow river, it gets transformed into a dragon. This is why they usually represent the strength, determination and perseverance of the fish apart from other virtues.
The legends started in China but the Japanese too embraced the carp fish associating it with many of their legends, fables and stories. These tattoos also symbolize good luck hence are tattooed with other charms associated with luck like cherry blossoms and lotus flowers. They are usually tattooed on in places where they can be viewed easily like arms, legs, torso and shoulders. People of the Eastern world truly believe that this tattoo should be chosen with care and it symbolism should be true to your personality and in harmony with that person’s surrounding.
The design that is tattooed swimming upstream generally symbolizes that the person is currently struggling with something in life. If it is tattooed on running water it courage and ability to persevere in the face of adversity as well as focused and goal oriented. A design that is tattooed swimming downstream represents that the person has overcome his/ her struggle. It can also be depicted as love for someone of the opposite sex, wealth and prosperity, family and fearlessness. Usually these tattoos are done on a large scale and are big.
A red Koi fish represents love, strength, masculinity, bravery and energy. It is believed to be the strongest and can swim against strong currents. A blue one represents masculinity and fertility as well. Five golden Koi fish means wealth and prosperity as well as good luck. A black one represents success after a change and is usually associated with the fish that gets transformed into a dragon. A dragon Koi fish represent overcoming all the obstacles and reaching your goal. It is usually tattooed on to represent a new chapter in life or rebirth.