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90+ Chinese tattoo symbols with images and meanings

Chinese Tattoo Symbols Guide: Meanings Behind the Art.

Chinese tattoo symbols and characters have become a popular form of body modification.

Chinese tattoo symbols and characters represent a significant aspect of the global tattoo culture, merging ancient traditions with modern body art practices. These tattoos, often chosen for their visual appeal and deep meanings, encompass a wide range of symbols and characters from Chinese language and culture. The allure of Chinese characters lies in their elegance and complexity, making them a favored choice among those seeking tattoos with both aesthetic beauty and symbolic depth.

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The fascination with Chinese character tattoos in Western countries can be attributed to their exotic and mysterious nature. These characters, with their intricate strokes and unique forms, offer a visual appeal that is distinct from the more familiar Western alphabets. Many individuals are drawn to the idea of adorning their bodies with words that carry personal significance or philosophical meanings, such as love (爱), strength (力), peace (和), and wisdom (智).

Beyond their aesthetic appeal, Chinese tattoos hold cultural significance. They are a way for individuals to connect with Chinese cultural heritage, whether it be through the use of proverbs, philosophical concepts, or personal names. However, it is crucial for those opting for these tattoos to understand the meanings behind the characters to avoid misinterpretations or cultural misappropriations.

The trend of Chinese character tattoos has seen a rise in popularity across Western nations, driven by a growing interest in Eastern philosophies, art, and culture. Celebrities and public figures flaunting such tattoos have also played a role in popularizing this form of body art beyond its cultural origins.

Following are some ideas with pictures and meanings:

Chinese Tattoo Symbols: Emotions & Concepts

Ambition – Zhìxiàng – 志向

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-050-Ambition--zhixiang-Chinese tattoo symbols

Anger – Fènnù – 愤怒

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-004-fengnu-anger

Beauty – Měi – 美

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-006-mei-beauty

Brave – Yǒng – 勇

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-052-brave-

Courage – Yǒngqì – 勇气

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-052-courage-


Crisis – Wéijī – 危机

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-013-weiji-crisis


Death – Sǐwáng – 死亡

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-014-siwang-death


Devotion – Zhōngchéng – 忠诚

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-053-Devotion-


Destiny – Mìngyùn – 命运

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-054-destiny-


Double Happiness – (双喜) shuāngxǐ – 囍
Chinese symbol for happiness – Double Happiness or Double Happy, is a Chinese traditional ornament design, commonly used as a decoration and symbol of marriage.

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-082-double-happiness-Chinese tattoo symbols

Dream – Mèng – 梦

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-055-dream-


Good Luck – Xìngyùn – 幸运

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-022-xing-yun-good-luck


Energy – Néngyuán – 能源

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-056-energy-


Eternity – Yǒnghéng – 永恒

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-057-Eternity-

Female – Nǚ – 女

chinese-symbol-for-woman

Fortune – Fú – 福

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-081-fortune


Freedom – Zìyóu – 自由

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-024-freedom-ziyou


Happiness – Xìngfú – 幸福

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-026-happiness-xingfu


Hate – hèn – 恨
chinese symbols for hate

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-027-hate-hen


——- I hate you – Wǒ hèn nǐ – 我恨你

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-028-i-hate-you-wo-hen-ni


Health – Jiànkāng – 健康

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-029-health-jiangkang


Honor – Róngyù – 榮譽
Chinese symbol for honor

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-058-honor-


Kind – Rén – 仁

Ren is the Confucian virtue denoting the good feeling a virtuous human experiences when being altruistic. Ren is exemplified by a normal adult’s protective feelings for children. It is considered the outward expression of Confucian ideals. [wikipedia]

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-058-kind-


Life – Shēnghuó – 生活

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-059-life


Longevity – Shòu – 寿
Chinese symbol for longevity

Three of the most important goals in life in Chinese traditional thought are the propitious blessings of happiness (fú 福), professional success or prosperity (lù 禄), and longevity (shòu 寿).

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-083-Longevity

Hope – Xīwàng – 希望

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-032-hope-xiwang


Inner Strength – Nèizài lìliàng – 内在力量

inner strenght in chinese

Love – Ài – 爱
chinese symbols for love

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-034-love

——- I love you – Wǒ ài nǐ – 我爱你

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-035-i-love-you


Loyal – Zhōngchéng – 忠诚

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-060-loyal

Male – Nán – 男

chinese-symbol-for-man


Moral Virtue – Dé – 德

De is a key concept in Chinese philosophy, usually translated “inherent character; inner power; integrity” in Taoism, “moral character; virtue; morality” in Confucianism and other contexts, and “quality; virtue” (guna) or “merit; virtuous deeds” (punya) in Chinese Buddhism. [wikipedia]

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-051-moral-virtue


Peace/Harmony – Hépíng – 和平
chinese symbol for peace

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-037-peace-heping


Pride – Zìháo – 自豪

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-038-pride-zihao


Prosperity – Lù – 禄

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-080-prosperity


Respect – Zūnzhòng – 尊重

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-061-respect


Sexy – Yàn – 艷 

chinese-word-for-sexy

Strength/Power – Lìliàng – 力量

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-043-liliang-strenght


Strong – Qiáng – 强

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-044-qiang-strong


Truth – Zhēnlǐ – 真理

chinese-word-for-truth


Warrior – Zhànshì – 战士

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-047-Warrior---Zhànshì


Wisdom – Zhìhuì – 智慧

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-062-wisdom

Chinese Tattoo Symbols: Popular Chinese Animal Name Tatoos

Dog – Gǒu – 狗

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-063-dog


Elephant – Xiàng – 象

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-078-elephant


Fish – Yú – 鱼

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-020-yu-fish


Fox – Húlí – 狐狸

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-023-huli-fox


Goat – yáng – 羊

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-066-goat


Horse – Mǎ – 马

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-064-horse


Lion – 狮子

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-079-Lion


Monkey – Hóu – 猴

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-065-monkey


Ox – Niú – 牛

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-067-ox


Pig – Zhū – 猪

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-068-pig


Rabbit – Tùzǐ – 兔子

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-069-rabbit


Rat – Shǔ – 鼠

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-070-rat


Rooster – Gōngjī – 公鸡

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-071-rooster


Snake – Shé – 蛇

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-010-she-snake


Tiger – Lǎohǔ – 老虎

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-045-tiger-laohu

Chinese Tattoo Symbols: Family

Family – Jiātíng – 家庭


Father – Fùqīn – 父亲

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-018-fuqin-father


Brothers – Xiōngdì – 兄弟

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-007-xiongdi-brothers


Younger Brother – Dìdì – 弟弟

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-008-didi-younger-brothers


Elder Brother – Gēgē – 哥哥

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-009-gege-elder-brothers


Friend – Péngyǒu – 朋友

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-025-friend-pengyou


Mother – Mǔqīn – 母亲

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-036-mother-muqin


Sisters – Jiěmèi – 姐妹

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-039-sisters-jiemei


Younger Sister – Mèimei – 妹妹

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-040-sistersounger-sister-meimei


Elder Sister – Jiě Jiě – 姐姐

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-041-elder-sister-jiejiei

Chinese Tattoo Symbols: Elements & Nature

Fire – Huǒ – 火

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-019-huo-fire


Tree – Shù – 树

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-046-tree-shu


Water – Shuǐ – 水

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-048-water-shui


Ice – Bīng – 冰

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-076-ice


Air – Kōngqì – 空气

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-002-kongqi-air


Stone – Shí – 石

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-077-stone

Bamboo – Zhú – 竹

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-005-bamboo-zhu

Wind – Fēng – 风

chinese-word-for-wind

Chinese Tattoo Symbols: Spiritual

Angel – Tiānshǐ – 天使

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-003-tianshi-angel


God – Shen – 神

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-shen-god


Buddha – Fú – 佛

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-010-fu-buddha


Demon – Èmó – 恶魔

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-074-demon


Dragon – Lóng – 龙
Dragon in Chinese

Chinese character dragon - simplified Chinese
chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-016-long-dragon-traditional


Evil Spirit – Móguǐ – 魔鬼

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-072-Evil-Spirit


Goblin – È guǐ – 恶鬼

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-073-goblin


Ghost – Guǐ – 鬼

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-075-ghost


Heaven – Tiāntáng – 天堂

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-030-heaven-tiantang


Hell – Dìyù – 地狱

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-031-hell-diyu


Soul – Línghún – 灵魂

chinese-tattoos-character-ideas-042-linghun-soul

The Way – Dào – 道

Taoism or Daoism, is a religious or philosophical tradition of Chinese origin which emphasizes living in harmony with the Tao (道, literally “Way”, also romanized as Dao). [wikipedia]

chinese-word-the-way---taoism-chinese-tattoo-symbols


Yin Yang – Yīnyáng – 阴阳

In Chinese philosophy, yin and yang (“dark-bright”, “negative-positive”) describe how seemingly opposite or contrary forces may actually be complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world, and how they may give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another. Many tangible dualities (such as light and dark, fire and water, expanding and contracting) are thought of as physical manifestations of the duality symbolized by yin and yang. [wikipedia]

chinese-symbols-for-yin-yang-chinese-tattoo-symbols
yin yang photo

Mildly Funny

Old foreigner – Lǎo wài – 老外

As with Spanish “gringo”, laowai is not considered a necessarily offensive term but may become so from context (tone, manner, situation, etc.). Among the Chinese, the term is informal and may be used in a neutral, genial, or even good-humored way; however, it is othering and some may consider it racist. Varyingly, it is ironically embraced, begrudgingly accepted, openly resented, or, most likely, not minded at all among the expatriate community. [wikipedia]

chinese-character-laowai-old-foreigner

Character design: Matteo Damiani, china-underground | cinaoggi.it

Topic: tattoos designs, tattoos ideas, tattoos ideas for girls, tattoos ideas small, tattoos ideas with meaning, tattoos ideas and meanings, tattoo ideas about strength, tattoo ideas about life, tattoos ideas butterfly, tattoos ideas best friend, Chinese tattoo meanings, Chinese symbol guide, Chinese mythology tattoos, nature symbols in Chinese art, Chinese character tattoos, tattoo art and culture, symbolic Chinese ink, ancient symbols for tattoos

Last Updated on 2024/03/26

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