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50+ Epic Looking Samurai Tattoo Designs You Will Most Definitely Love

By Jason Hamilton / October 30, 2018
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The Samurais are a well known symbol of Japan’s honor, strength, and loyalty. They are the human embodiment of these three traits whenever we talk about Japanese characters. This might be the reason why Samurais are now being used as tattoo designs for the Samurai Tattoo. The symbolism and aesthetic value they have is just immense.

In this article, we will be sharing with you our rich and meaningful gallery of Samurai tattoo designs that will most definitely entice your curiosity. Alongside this, we will also discuss with you a brief background on the Samurai and the preferences of both men and women for this kind of tattoo design.


What Are Samurais?

Samurais refer to a special social class of people in old Japanese society who were also called the men of weaponry as they were supposed to provide protection to the high ranking families of the society in those times. These people fought battles against the wrong and it was a matter of honor for them. They carried special weapons like sabers, wakizashi (a kind of sword), and katana. Samurais not only occupy an important position in Japanese culture, but they also are revered in the form of Japanese Samurai tattoo art, with special designs featuring the honor and courageousness of the Samurais.


By the end of the 12th century, samurai became almost entirely synonymous with bushi (Japanese military social class), and the word was closely associated with the middle and upper echelons of the warrior class. The samurais were usually associated with a clan and their lord and were trained as officers in military tactics and grand strategy. While the samurai numbered less than 10% of then Japan’s population, their teachings can still be found today in both everyday lives and in modern Japanese martial arts.

Samurai Tattoo Meaning

The samurai tattoo is actually just similar to the other kinds of tattoo designs that you can ink on your body since it is also very full of symbolism. Yes, this specific tattoo will not only augment your physical looks but also help you build a very intriguing and mysterious personality and aura. Which means, there will be more and more people who will become curious about you, especially to your very unique personality. Here are some of the meanings and symbolism that you must know:



One very significant thing that is being symbolized by the samurai is honor. What do you think is the reason then? Well, it is simply because being one of the samurais in ancient Japanese society is a great honor for those ancient Japanese people. They took honor so seriously that the samurais started the practice of Seppuku or Harakiri.

For those who do not know, Seppuku or Harakiri is the practice of ritual suicide. This was first exclusive to samurais but was then extensively practiced during the Second World War. The practice of this kind of suicide is considered by Japanese society as honorable as you will be willing to die with honor than to fall on the hands of the enemy. This is just too graphic for us to explain which is why we will leave you to search for it on your own. (P.S. We do not control what you search but you have been warned)


A samurai tattoo with the Imperial Sun as the background.

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A forearm tattoo of a samurai at fall.


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Courage is another important thing that a samurai art is representing. There is no need for further explanations about it, for sure. The simple explanation regarding this is that those samurais in ancient Japan were considered to be very brave warriors. They never cared that their lives will be put into danger in doing their responsibility of protecting the nobility they were responsible to protect.

A handsome samurai tattoo on the arm.


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An intricate sleeves tattoo of a samurai.



Samurais were known to be extremely loyal to their masters to the point that they were considered as lapdogs of the nobility. They always follow the Japanese nobility to whom they were serving. Their lives were already dedicated to those nobles that they were more than willing to die just to protect those nobles as far as their ability can do.

A large and extremely intricate samurai tattoo on the back.

A heavy armored samurai tattoo on the upper sleeves.

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Amazing Samurai Tattoo Designs Out There

Just in case you are very riled up by this tattoo design and you are surely determined to have a samurai tattoo be inked onto your skin, you must know that there are a lot of styles under this tattoo design (which are very gorgeous if we say so ourselves). From the usual samurai tattoo design to the more exotic samurai tattoo armor there is something for everyone in samurai tattoo designs.

Here are some of the samurai tattoo designs we thought you may want to check out:

A fully kitted samurai tattoo on the upper sleeves.

A very intricate neotraditional tattoo of a samurai helmet and mask.

A large chest and upper sleeve tattoo of a samurai.

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A neotraditional samurai helmet tattoo.

Samurai Weapon Design

In the 15th century, the Japanese samurais of the day were already using firearms, pistols, and guns in protecting the ancient Japanese nobles. There are still occasions, however, where a silent weapon was still needed like assassinations and silent ambush which is why they still carry with them their traditional weapons such as their beautifully crafted Japanese katana. If you are one of those people in the world who is being captivated with these Japanese swords, then wearing a samurai weapon tattoo would be great for you.

Here are some samurai weapon tattoo designs we saw on the internet that might interest you:

A forearm tattoo of a katana’s hilt with a landscape background.


A medium sized tattoo of a wakizashi with a cherry blossom branch.

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A neotraditional tattoo of a katana’s hilt.


two katana tattoos on the forearms.


A large abdominal tattoo of a katana hilt.

A chest tattoo of a katana hilt.

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A tattoo of three katanas forming a triangle.

A wakizashi tattoo withNihongo characters.

A wakizashi tattoo with cherry blossoms as additional detail.

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A colorful and vibrant tattoo of a katana tattoo.

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Samurai Armor Design

Another samurai tattoo design worth considering is the samurai armor design. Samurais were known to have a very sturdy and heavy armor, which is very interesting to have as a tattoo on your body. In a way, this is very similar to armor tattoo designs from the west but samurai armor tattoo designs have this distinct Asian or Japanese touch to it that makes it truly unique. This can certainly look great on your physical appearance. This design is the common choice of samurai tattoo design for men tattoo lovers since it symbolizes masculinity and courageousness.

Here are some samurai armor tattoo designs we saw on the internet that might interest you:

A sleeve tattoo of a samurai mask and helmet.


A large and vibrant full sleeve tattoo of a samurai armor.

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An intricately detailed samurai mask tattoo on the thigh.

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A shoulderplate armor tattoo inspired by high ranking samurai armor.

A tattoo of a high ranking samurai with heavy armor.

A fully plated samurai warrior tattoo on the leg.

A shoulder tattoo of a typical samurai shoulderplate armor.

A samurai mask tattoo on the leg.

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A samurai mask and helmet tattoo on the upper sleeves.

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A samurai helmet tattoo on the sleeves.

Samurai Tattoo Designs For Men

Because the samurai is an exclusive class for men only, it comes to no surprise that most, if not all, of the samurai tattoo designs, are geared towards the masculine segment of the body art market. If we will be playing with statistics here, we can safely say that around sixty to seventy percent of the tattoo designs for the samurai tattoo are conceptualized with men in mind.

So here are the various samurai tattoo designs for men that you will most definitely love:

a fully kitted and epic looking samurai tattoo on the sleeves.

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A full back tattoo of a samurai mask.

A shoulder and upper sleeves tattoo of a typical shoulderplate armor of a samurai.

A highly detailed and intricately designed full back tattoo of a mythical samurai.

A full back intricately designed samurai tattoo.

A large and highly detailed samurai tattoo on the sleeves.

A full kitted samura tattoo on the sleeves.

An intricately designed samurai tattoo on the sleeves with falling cherry blossoms.

A full sleeve and highly detailed samurai tattoo.

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An epic looking and highly detailed samurai tattoo on the lower right back portion of the body.

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Samurai Tattoo Designs For Women

Even though we said that this tattoo design is specifically geared towards men, there is still a good chunk of women who still desire to have one samurai tattoo on their skin. If you know women, they are very persistent which is why in recent years, more and more samurai tattoo designs that are “women-friendly” began to spring up from various parts of the globe.

Here are some of the samurai tattoo designs for women that have sprung up in recent history:

A wonderfully made girl samurai tattoo.

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An intricate tattoo of a samurai and a geisha.

A highly detailed girl samurai tattoo.

A large girl samurai tattoo on the back.

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A noir girl woman samurai tattoo on the sleeve.

A vibrant and highly detailed girl samurai tattoo.

A woman samurai tattoo drawing her katana.

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A wounded girl samurai tattoo.

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A neotraditional samurai tattoo on the sleeve.

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An epic looking girl samurai tattoo on the back of the leg.

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About the author

Jason Hamilton

Jason has been an avid fan of tattoos for over 13 years now. He is currently 35 years old, and he got his first tattoo at the age of 22. Since then, he has added over 20 tattoos to his collection. He is also into writing, which is why he decided to celebrate both of his passion and hobby through tats ‘n’ rings. Jason dreams of having his very own tattoo parlor soon. Jason would be very happy to answer any questions about tattoos that you may have! Leave a comment below and he’ll answer it for you right away!

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