Some of the most creative and far-reaching modern tattoos are inspired by ancient Asian myths. Many ink lovers dance on their sleeves with Chinese symbols that symbolize happiness.
Japanese cherry blossoms provide elegant body art, reflecting the new life of each spring. Lucky koi fish swim among many tattoo designs.
Asian culture has long supported tattoos, and traditional Japanese tattoos are still common today.
One of the most interesting tattoos in Asia, the Tapir, is inspired by Chinese and Japanese mythology. This creature provides protection against nightmares.
Although many people now regard Tapir, also known as Baku, as a myth, there is still a superstition of using the image of a Tapir to resist nightmares.
Legend has it that the gods formed the Tapir after other creatures were created. Therefore, the body parts are a hodgepodge of “leftover” animal fragments.
This animal from Chinese mythology has an elephant trunk, tiger legs like claws, rhinoceros eyes, and an oxtail.
Interestingly, “Baku” in Japanese is the same as “Tapir” in Japanese.
What did Baku do?
The Tapir, or Baku, made its first appearance in China, but it has been widely known and documented in Japan since the 14th century.
According to legend, the Tapir feeds on dreams. It can swallow your nightmares or consume your hopes and ambitions.
If it eats your nightmare, you will sleep peacefully. If it swallows your hope, you will live an empty life.
This dream eater rarely, if ever, visits uninvited. When calling him, the children would only say, “Baku, eat my nightmare!” Then, hope he can eat their nightmares and leave their hopes intact.
The Tapir provides protection and security to the Chinese and Japanese. Today, the Tapir continues to symbolize the dream of security and peaceful sleep.
Children put the image under their pillows on New Year’s Eve, and adults have a replica next to their bed.
What is the meaning of Tapir tattoos?
Many Asian tattoos represent protection, good luck, or similar ideas. What makes Tapir different?
Although it provides protection against all kinds of evil, it focuses mainly on nightmares. Nightmares can mean poor sleep and a difficult start to the day.
Many people think that it not only eats bad dreams but also turns them into good dreams.
There are many home remedies, recipes, and techniques that can help us sleep more. But maybe there are some beyond meditation, thick blankets, and melatonin supplements. We may need a sleeping guardian.
In China and Japan, the Tapir is a common image in daily life. Some people say that they not only have the ability to eliminate nightmares, but it can also turn good dreams into luck.
Due to the auspicious and protective nature of Tapir, many people get Tapir tattoos. These tattoos not only look beautiful but also serve a practical purpose.
A Tapir tattoo is basically a lucky charm that you can take with you.
Although it was not initially reported to possess any dream-related abilities, it has always been considered a protector against malignant and deadly diseases.
Over time, he became a shy, hungry creature, longing for dreams.
Although Tapir Is Happy To Devour Your Nightmare, Pay Attention!
Beasts can be especially gluttonous and devour your hopes. So, if you decide to invite it into your life, try to be specific.
After all, it is always advisable to set limits when it comes to magic that is hundreds of years old.
As the outline of its abilities become clearer, so does the image of Tapir.
Although each tattoo is slightly different, there are some common themes in artwork and tattoos. Usually, it will be portrayed as a unique elephant head, ivory, torso, etc.
Some people say that it has the body of a lion, and most people agree that it has tiger claws. The tail is of an ox. In some illustrations, it has a reptile belly.
Generally, if you see a piece of art that looks like an elephant head on a jungle cat, then you are looking at a Tapir. It is rarely portrayed as a friendly face in artwork or tattoos.
Although it longs for dreams and nightmares, not everyone provides palatable nightmares. Nevertheless, it still has a sense of loyalty to the reason for its creation, and will obediently inhale all those terrible dreams.
The symbolic meaning of Tapir tattoos
On its own, each animal in the Tapir has its own importance in folklore. In Japan, animals are a very important part of a person’s spiritual life.
The bull represents loyalty and determination. It has a “steady and steady” attitude in life, which is a symbol of patience. Perhaps Baku had the patience for the nightmares of its cattle DNA!
In Hindu and Buddhist traditions, the elephant is a sacred creature and a symbol of divinity on earth. In Buddhism, the elephant represents a happy married life with children.
Stone lions have been placed outside important buildings in India, China, and Japan for centuries. They are the ultimate symbol of protection and are believed to ward off evil spirits.
Tiger tattoos are also related to protection in Japan, but especially to your health. Tiger represents protection from force and disease.
Tapir tattoos are often decorated with bright contrasting colors. This not only complements the unique appearance but also contrasts sharply with the dark nature of the nightmare it swallows.
Usually, in these guardian tattoos, the upper body is covered by brightly colored circles, usually in contrast to the lower body.
Things to consider before getting a Tapir tattoo
Find a tattoo artist who knows Irezumi (Japanese tattoo art) who can provide you with the tattoo you deserve.
Before heading in this direction, you may want to check your own ancestry to see if there are guardians of peaceful sleep in these traditions. The Tapir is an evil-looking myt