Have you ever heard about the Yakuza tattoo culture? More popularly known as Irezumi, the Yakuza tattoo culture is associated with Japanese history. However, its impact on the whole world is in the form of sacred art. The Bokken tattoo was given as punishment to prisoners by the Japanese king in medieval times, which would distinguish them from ordinary civilians. However, the Yakuza tattoo art has evolved with time because the tattoos once considered punishment is deemed a unique art form in modern times.

This article presents you with an array of Yakuza tattoo design options you can look into before choosing one for yourself.

Top 15 Yakuza Tattoo Designs:

The Yakuza tattoos are gaining popularity again, though the government banned them in the mid-20th century. But go through the tattoo list yourself before getting a tattoo to be on the safer side.

1. Yakuza Sleeve Tattoo For Females:

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Japanese culture is essential to cherry blossoms because they symbolise life and transient nature. These flowers get scattered by wind and rain and vanish from the earth once they fall from the tree. This yakuza shoulder tattoo has a cherry blossom with a snake which can be suitable for men and women with modifications of your choice. In Japanese folklore, snakes are associated with earth’s power, prophecy and wisdom. The use of natural colours for the tattoo makes it even more realistic.

2. Yakuza Style Bonsai Tattoo:

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If you are looking for unique yakuza tattoo ideas, a bonsai pattern can be an excellent option. Bonsai is a Japanese art form of growing plants in a tub or small wase. The relaxed perspective toward existence is the innate symbolism of the bonsai tree is often considered. This bonsai tree tattoo looks as realistic as possible with all-natural colours. This tattoo is suitable for people of all genders, irrespective of age.

3. Unique Yakuza Tattoo Sleeve:

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According to Japanese culture, the crane symbolises hope and peace and is a deeply respected creature. The bird also represents wisdom and longevity and brings good fortune and luck to the wearer. This Yakuza tattoo design has a crane detailed with a flower depicted in a black sky. The beauty of the tattoo design depends on where you would like to get it engraved. The best spots to get the tattoo is the arm or the thigh.

4. Goromajima Tattoo On The Knife:

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Sega’s Yakuza video game series contains a recurring character GoroMajima and one of the main protagonists of the series. This tattoo design has a knife with half the face of the natural white the blade is broken at the bottom of the invention. Unlike only black ink, this tattoo uses black, grey, and red, making the design look realistic. This tattoo seems exceptional to anyone who is into these types of tattoos.

See More: Flash Tattoo Designs

5. Black And White Samurai Yakuza Tattoo:

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Japanese masks are top-rated for theatrical purposes and festivals or even worn for several religious events. The design you choose creates inspiration and is one of the popular choices for tattoos. It also symbolises good luck and is used to ward off evil, though it might be a little scary to look at. This tattoo design can also represent a woman consumed by love and passion.

6. Koi Yakuza Chest Tattoos:

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This yakuza body tattoo usually involves a Koi fish associated with prosperity and good fate. In Japanese legends, Koi can move against the heavy side because they can surmount waterfalls. Therefore, Koi can also mean the wearer has been through unfortunate events because they exemplify resolution. Therefore, men and their shoulders usually prefer these tattoos to be the perfect spot for them.

More: Stick and Poke Tattoo Designs

7. Japanese Yakuza Tattoo:

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The namakubi or the severed head tattoo can mean respect for a foe, courage and fearlessness in Japanese culture. But many consider this tattoo a warning that might say, “don’t mess with me.” Samurai tradition of headhunting in battle is a pure depiction of this Yakuza tattoo. Moreover, this design uses multiple colours, making it stand out exceptionally.

8. Yakuza Majima Tattoo On The Chest:

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Oni’s are friends or ogres that punish sinister by doling out grisly penalties. Usually, red or blue is used to paint these massive and terrifying creatures. But the wearer has kept it simple by using only black ink across the chest, making the tattoo look like a necklace. On the other hand, the unruly hair and fangs might make the tattoo look scary. So you can either leave it with black ink or use colours to make it more realistic.

9. Yakuza Leg Tattoo Design:

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A yakuza leg tattoo design has a rat which usually symbolises meanness and timidity. However, it also represents wealth, reproduction and fertility in some cultures because they proliferate quickly and abundantly. This tattoo looks pretty realistic, with circular patterns all across the body. Feet is the perfect place to get this tattoo engraved because you can either show it off or keep it hidden as per your mood and need.

10. Yakuza Back Dragon Tattoo:

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Compared to the West, Dragons are viewed differently in Japan. Yakuza dragon tattoos signify durability, enlightenment, and courage and the Japanese consider them guardians or patrons of humankind. Green dragons are usually associated with nature and have significance to the wearer. This back tattoo looks very elegant and has various details that make it look realistic.

11. Yakuza Tattoo On The Back:

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This is yet another Yakuza full-back tattoo involving a snake with several connotations in Japan. First, they are attributed as the epitome of regenerative power and a symbol of good health. The powers of the cosmos, divination and knowledge are connected to snakes in Japanese legends. Finally, this tattoo might symbolise evading illness and bad luck, symbolising spiritual female traits.

12. Yakuza Full-Body Tattoo:

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This is a Yakuza full-body tattoo that has a samurai the way of the warrior that denoted the principles of Bushido. The deep-rooted Buddhist and Confucian principles emphasise integrity, proper execution, bravery and honour. Yakuza consider themselves guardians of ancient Japanese cultures because they have embraced multiple opinions from Bushido with time. This tattoo is engraved all over the body with numerous colour options making it look realistic.

13. Traditional Yakuza Tattoos:

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This is one of the best yakuza tattoos with a traditional touch. In Japanese tattoo culture, the tiger safeguards the wearer against bad fate, illnesses and devils. Furthermore, the tiger depicts the fall season and can constrain the wind as one of four sacred elements of the earth in Japanese lores. The beautiful and colourful tiger has a floral background, making the tattoo look beautiful and realistic.

14. Fiery Yakuza Tattoo Design:

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This is yet another ogres or fiend tattoo that looks too realistic even without adding colours. Although the entire tattoo is done in simple black ink, the use of red and yellow for the eyes makes the tattoo more fierce and authentic. Furthermore, the tattoo executes behaviour principles and doling out discipline with the exemplification of the oni mask tattoo.

15. Yakuza Skull Tattoo On The Arm:

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In many cultures, the illustration of a skull has morose intentions. However, Japanese tattoos depict the natural life cycle in Japanese culture. Therefore, traditionally, if you wish to express development which is insightful, death can be the most significant achievement a man can undergo with the Japanese skull tattoo. Moreover, this tattoo looks the best on the shoulder and is usually preferred by men.


Yakuza tattoo designs were limited to Japanese mobsters because the Japanese government banned them in the mid-20th century. But it is being used by people on both sides of the law because it combines traditional abstract art with a blend of history. Don’t forget to let us know if you found the article helpful!

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About Krishna

Meet Krishna, our experienced tattoo designs writer. He explores the captivating world of tattoos, sharing their stories, meanings, and the latest trends to inspire your own tattoo journey. Join him on an exciting adventure into the world of tattoos.