Japanese Lotus Tattoo: Symbolism, Meanings & More

Japanese Lotus Tattoo: Symbolism, Meanings & More

A Japanese lotus tattoo is typically meant to represent purity, truth, or spiritual awakening; however, it can have different meanings depending on the colour of the lotus.

The symbol is one with a long history in Japanese culture, but the lotus also has its place in other cultures around the world.

The lotus is particularly admired in Japanese culture for its association with imagery of enlightenment, blooming into a beautiful flower even in muddy waters.

In the rest of this article, we will look deeper into the symbolism and meanings behind the Japanese lotus tattoo, why some people choose to get this tattoo and the history of the lotus symbol in Japan.

What does a Japanese lotus tattoo symbolise?


Tattoos of Japanese lotus flowers are popular, stunning options which can often be seen as part of water-based or floral tattoos. The lotus is a versatile tattoo option which can be decorated to individual taste.

Often, lotuses are tattooed with koi fish or as part of a water scene to represent their watery surroundings. A tattoo of a Japanese lotus can be symbolic of many things, which are likely to differ from person to person and even from one tattoo to the next.

It is thought to be a deeply personal tattoo with many private and spiritual associations, making it a perfect option for someone who wants a meaningful tattoo.

In terms of its spiritual symbolism, the Japanese lotus is typically thought to denote enlightenment and survival through difficult circumstances, symbolised by its ability to bloom into a beautiful flower even in the murkiest waters.

A lotus tattoo can represent this facet of spirituality brilliantly and can demonstrate pride and strength from spiritual beliefs.


The lotus may also represent regeneration and rebirth, as it blooms through difficulty only to eventually die. In this way, a tattoo may symbolise the fragility and endlessness of the cycle of life and death.

It may also be symbolic of loss and death; in this case, it may represent the loss of someone close or important.

What is the meaning of the Japanese Lotus tattoo?

While the meaning of a Japanese lotus tattoo is likely to differ depending on the person and their personal association with the lotus, the meaning of the tattoo may also depend on the colour of the lotus.

Many lotuses are associated with emotions. White lotuses, one of the most popular colours, are representative of beauty, fertility, knowledge, grace, and purity.

This may relate to purity of mind or purity of faith. Red lotuses are symbolic of love and compassion, much like many other red flowers. A green lotus, meanwhile, tends to symbolise self-improvement.


Other lotus colours are more likely to be associated with spirituality and faith. Pink flowers, for example, are associated with Buddhism.

A pink lotus with a closed bud is thought to be symbolic of the journey through spirituality, whereas a bloomed flower is representative of enlightenment. Other colours such as purple and blue are symbolic of rebirth, enlightenment, and ascension.

Alternatively, the black lotus is symbolic of both the positive and negative. The black lotus can represent authority, sophistication, and power. However, it can also be symbolic of darkness and death.

Why do people get a Japanese lotus tattoo?

People may choose to get a Japanese lotus tattooed for a number of reasons. As a symbol with many personal, deep associations, it is something that many people may feel a connection to and wish to have some form of permanent memento of.


For others, the image of a Japanese lotus may simply be something they see and admire and choose to add to their body.

Floral tattoos are popular options for many people which do not necessarily have meaning or personal associations but are tattooed for aesthetic purposes instead.

The lotus flower itself is a particularly pretty flower, making it the tattoo of choice for many people.

As a deeply spiritual symbol, some people may choose to get a lotus tattooed for reasons related to their faith. Some may want to feel closer to their spirituality or are proud of their faith and may decide to get a lotus tattoo to show this.

It may also act as a form of deep connection to their faith and a way to demonstrate their spirituality in a subtle and attractive way.


The association between the Japanese lotus flower and rebirth or regeneration makes it an attractive choice to many.

People may choose to get a lotus tattooed to show a new phase of life or to gain some motivation to push on through difficult times. It can be a beautiful way of showing strength in the face of adversity.

What is the history of the Japanese lotus?

Parts of Japan are the place of choice for many who wish to see lotus flowers, but it hasn’t always been this way.

Historically, lotus flowers have been in Asia for millions of years, particularly India and China. The lotus has a long and lasting history in Asian culture, as well as wider Eastern cultures.

Many Eastern cultures consider the lotus to be a deeply spiritual and important flower and it has many a religious root throughout its history.


With the long-lasting and rich history of the lotus flower, it is understandable that it is considered a precious flower in Japan.

They will typically be found in bloom in waters around temples and shrines in Japan, further cementing its status as a flower with intensely spiritual roots.

Much of the spirituality associated with the lotus stems from Buddhism, where the lotus has a deep meaning. Often called the Flower of Life, the lotus is considered most important because of its association with the life cycle, death, and resurrection.


The lotus is a beautiful flower with many spiritual associations and a rich history. A tattoo of a Japanese lotus can have many meanings, each likely to be extremely personal to the individual.

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