If you love anime or Japanese mythology (or maybe even both!), then you might have heard that Susanoo tattoos have been making an appearance lately. If the term is a little new for you, however, then today is your lucky day. In today’s article we’re going to look at the symbolism, meanings, and more behind Susanoo tattoos.
We’ll give you a hint by asking you a simple question. How do you feel about storms?
What is the History of Susanoo Tattoos?
Susanoo tattoos are based on one of two sources. First, in Japanese mythology we have Susanoo no Mikoto, who is also called Susanowo (a name meaning ‘impetuous male’) and in the mythology, he is the god of sea and storms.
Created when his father Izanagi was washing his nose, this storm god ended up being kicked out of the heavens for generally getting on the other deities’ nerves with his wild and crazy antics. Thus banished, it was said that he slayed an 8-headed dragon in western Japan, with a unique sword created specifically for this task called the ‘Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi’.
On the Naruto anime side, however, the Susanoo is an enormous, stormy avatar, made of one’s chakra which was empowered to fight battles separately from their owner. This was one the most powerful abilities that came with mastering Sharingan and was first mentioned in Volume #43/Naruto Chapter #391 of the manga and in the Naruto Shippūden 138th anime episode.
While you have two basic sources, in either case, the aesthetics for these depictions are indeed fiercely wild, and it was certainly just a matter of time before they started making their way into the skin art world to stay.
What Do Susanoo Tattoos Symbolize?
Susanoo tattoos can symbolize a stormy aspect, one who is powerful but tends to get themselves into trouble from time to time, at least from the mythological perspective.
From the anime and manga side, these tattoos could be an expression of fandom or if the owner is into martial arts, they might represent discipline and willingness to fight.
The storm itself is often depicted, so you have the raw symbol of nature’s power at play in these tattoos, and storms are also representative in art of a violent temper – something that a few of us suffer from but hopefully are working to manage.
In some cases, the symbolism doesn’t even play into it. With mythological renderings you can reproduce classic depictions of Japanese mythological-subject art, adding in your own twists or rendering it in a traditional fashion, and with the Naruto option the sky is really the limit and these can express much about the self.
After all, the Susanoo in the anime mythos was exactly that – an expression of the self, empowered by the soul’s energy into a form that can fight independently of its owner. The symbolism with Susanoo tattoos is quite abundant and ready for you to mine it for your own personal clever design.
What Do Susanoo Tattoos Mean?
The meanings of Susanoo tattoos are quite personal and will vary from owner to owner. Some might choose them simply to show a love and appreciation for Japanese mythology and culture.
Others might display one of these tattoos as a way to express that they are a bit of a loveable troublemaker at heart.
Fans of the Naruto anime might depict classic scenes from the manga or anime cartoon, as a way to show their appreciation for the series or perhaps they will even customize the Susanoo tattoo in a way so that the avatar creature speaks volumes about themselves for those ‘in the know’ in the world to pick up on.
Ultimately, the meanings are going to be completely up to you, so it really pays to sit down and to compile your basic design, and then to work with your artist towards deciding the styles and even any additions that can be made to enhance the artistic quality while keeping the symbolism intact.
Taken slowly, you’ve got a chance at a beautiful tattoo with quite a lot of depth to it, so it’s surely well-worth the time that it takes to get everything down on paper before it makes it’s final debut on your skin!
Where Do Susanoo Tattoos Ussually Go?
The outer arm, usually central or on the shoulder, is a very popular placement for the anime style tattoos, though historical mythological depictions are generally going to be placed somewhere that you can put a lot of detail in, such as the back.
Most commonly, they are going to be placed somewhere that they may be seen, though this decision is really going to be up to you. Putting it somewhere highly visible, however, adds the fun of when people recognize what is that you are depicting.
Tattoos works this way, sometimes, adding a social value to them to go along with the overall aesthetics – just one more example of the impact that skin art can have.
That said, if your message is more private or you simply wish to only share your tattoo with those that you consider special, then a more modest placement is certainly fine. It IS your tattoo, after all, and Susanoo tattoos are powerful and personal wherever you choose to place them.
Characteristics and Styles of Susanoo Tattoos
Japanese style tattooing is almost always the go-to choice for Susanoo tattoos, but that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case with your own. What we would definitely recommend, however, is going with a color rendering.
Whether you are depicting a mythological scene or simply the extension of tumultuous and mighty chakra energies forming into a beast, you’ve got a serious chance to really take advantage of the color option that skin art can bring to the table.
Watercolor tattoos can make your Susanoo incredibly surreal and get a lot of attention, or you could go with something more subdued and focus all the detail in the facial features. Pick a design and ‘shop-around’ artist’s portfolios to see what can take it to the next level.
That sort of forethought only takes a little time but you’d be amazed at the difference that it can make.
Some closing comments on Susanoo tattoos
So, that’s all of the time that we have for today, but if you didn’t know what Susanoo tattoos were when you started, we hope that we’ve managed to clear up that little mystery to your satisfaction. Susanoo is the Japanese god of the seas and storms in one incarnation, and an expression of power and even fandom in another.
Now all that’s left is a simple question: What kind of Susanoo tattoo is going to be the right one for you? We can’t wait to find out!