Reviewed & updated: November 23, 2022 by Jamie Wilson BA
Are you in search of inspiration for ‘see no evil hear no evil speak no evil’ tattoo designs? Then look no further, here are 10 cool tattoo designs!
‘Hear no evil see no evil and speak no evil’ is an age old saying with a long history full of rich meaning.
The inspiration for this comes from a Japanese tale of three monkeys, often called the wise monkeys or the mystic apes, where each monkey would be either covering its eyes, ears, or mouth. The idea behind this has evolved much in recent years and now ‘hear no evil see no evil and speak no evil’ tattoos have many different meanings!
Since then, the image of the mystic apes and the wise monkeys have been replaced with many different things to add a new unique flavor to the old dogma, building on the meaning as we go on! Now you will see ‘hear no evil see no evil and speak no evil’ tattoos using things like three skulls, three men, three hands, and much more, instead of sticking to the three old monkeys.
Here are some see no evil speak no evil hear no evil tattoo design ideas for you to find inspiration from!
Lined Hear No Evil See No Evil Speak No Evil Tattoos
This gorgeous lined ‘see no evil hear no evil speak no evil’ tattoo design is unique in how it replaces the original three monkeys with three hands. Each of the three hands covers one of the woman’s three relevant senses.
It is particularly interesting how each sense is only partially blocked. Only one eye is covered, only one ear is blocked, and only a single finger covers her mouth. This could represent a continuous struggle to keep to their aim of staying away from trouble and containing their inner demons.
Skeleton Themed See No Evil Hear No Evil Speak No Evil Tattoos
This black line art piece is unique in how it uses partial skeletons to mimic the three original monkeys. This ‘see no evil hear no evil speak no evil’ tattoo design focuses on balancing the more morbid skeletons by using flowers. This duality could express a desire to leave behind past demons and move forward with new ideals.
The line work on this ‘hear no evil see no evil speak no evil’ design gives it a clean and distinct look. Websites like Pinterest are great resources to find more tattoo designs with this juxtapose of the morbid and beautiful.
Hyper Realistic ‘See No Evil Hear No Evil Speak No Evil’ Tattoos
This ‘see no evil hear no evil speak no evil’ tattoo design uses a hyper-realistic art style to represent the ideals of the original three monkeys. This unique representation using the faces of people brings the dogma to life in a very unique way.
This ‘see no evil hear no evil speak no evil’ tattoo can mean a few things. It could be simply referencing the desire to move away from cruelty and violence and search for a peaceful life. But the people used to create these faces can add additional meaning to the tattoo. The people here can ultimately represent the motivation and reason behind the choice to seek a more serene life. After all, isn’t such change usually motivated by the people around you?
A grand design like this is well-suited sprawled across the leg, as shown here, and takes more than a glance to fully appreciate it.
Hear No Evil See No Evil Speak No Evil Skull And Flower Tattoo Design
These skulls and flowers make for a very interesting ‘hear no evil see no evil speak no evil’ tattoo. The skulls bring out the morbid connotations of danger and evil. While the flowers used to signify the blocking of these evil intentions make a beautiful contrast.
The use of flowers to act as the blocking of evil intentions, so to speak, imply that the person is moving on from darker times by focusing on the beautiful and serene things in life instead.
This is a truly great design idea for a ‘hear no evil see no evil speak no evil’ tattoo! Moreover, Pinterest acts as a great resource in helping you figure which flower would be the best choice for you.
Smokey Hear No Evil See No Evil Speak No Evil Tattoos
An interesting twist on the hear no evil see no evil speak no evil ideal, this tattoo design shows three skulls that have smoke-esque things coming out of the eyes, ears, and mouth.
This leaves one wondering if the message is to hear no evil see no evil speak no evil or is it the exact opposite? This design creates a haunting effect with only two elements – the skull and the smoke. A smaller tattoo like this is ideal on the forearm, as shown in the image.
Hear No Evil See No Evil Speak No Evil Skull Tattoo
This ‘hear no evil see no evil speak no evil’ tattoo design is much more macabre and intense than the other skull tattoos we have seen. The means to hear no evil is a sword going through the skull. The means to speak no evil is a grenade ready to go off. The means to see no evil is a blinder. This could signify a greater struggle to hear no evil see no evil speak no evil and change their life around.
This art style combined with the dark connotations carried by the hear no evil see no evil speak no evil dogma make for a much more serious representation of the original three monkeys.
Hear No Evil See No Evil Speak No Evil Angel Tattoo
The use of cherubic babies instead of the three monkeys for this ‘hear no evil see no evil speak no evil’ tattoo design is almost tongue in cheek. It has a mischievous lightness to it that the others do not. This is more of a playful reminder rather than a serious indicator of internal struggles. Alternatively, using something that is so obviously mischievous can be used to cover up an internal evil that one struggles with.
The dichotomy of the cherubs and the dark connotations of the hear no evil see no evil speak no evil dogma, make for a very interesting tattoo design.
Realistic ‘Hear No Evil See No Evil Speak No Evil’ Tattoo
This gorgeous realism art piece is a fantastic and rather macabre take on the hear no evil see no evil speak no evil tattoo theme. The lack of defining features on the people’s faces adds to the prominence of the wrappings and hands that cover their eyes, ears, and mouth. There is a desperate beauty to this rendition that is missing from the other pieces. The art style further makes associations with serious and strict art, which implies a more stringent set of rules being enforced in order to follow the hear no evil see no evil speak no evil dogma.
A truly unique twist on the hear no evil see no evil speak no evil ideal, this tattoo design highlights the struggle against evil and dark intentions as being one that is perpetual and everlasting.
‘Hear No Evil See No Evil Speak No Evil’ Buddha Tattoo
This Buddha-inspired twist on the classic three monkeys representation of the hear no evil see no evil speak no evil dogma design is truly clever. Instead of representing a struggle of changing morals, this Buddha version of the hear no evil see no evil speak no evil tattoo art represents a steady, consistent, calm determination to steer clear of evil intentions.
There is a serenity and certainty of intent conveyed through this imagery. A truly one-of-a-kind twist on the hear no evil see no evil speak no evil imagery.
Modern Hear No Evil See No Evil Speak No Evil Tattoo
This last hear no evil speak no evil see no evil tattoo design uses the original monkey imagery but adds subtle changes to change the tone completely.
This is done in a way that comes off as both mischievous and a little threatening. The sewn-up mouth for speak no evil, the headphones for hear no evil, and the bandana for the see no evil all hint at something much more serious. The obvious flaunting of the original imagery adds the feeling of mischief along with the prominent grins that the monkeys sport. Excellent addition to the hear no evil speak no evil see no evil tattoo design! This can also be done on one’s hand in a smaller size.
Other suggestions for hear no evil see no evil speak no evil tattoos include:
- Original three wise monkeys
- Three wise monkeys skull
- Crazy monkeys tattoos
- Fear no evil tattoo
- Zombie ‘hear see speak no evil’ tattoo
feature image from Pinterest
What does the hear no evil see no evil speak no evil tattoo mean?
The phrase “hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil” is an old proverb that dates back to the 1700s. As a tattoo design, it typically features three monkeys with their hands over their eyes, ears, and mouth. It represents the idea of refraining from hearing, seeing or speaking any form of evil. In other words, it encourages people to keep away from trouble and to remain morally upright. It can also act as a reminder for someone to stay silent when they shouldn’t speak of something, or not to get involved in unsavory activities. The design is often chosen because it conveys the idea of being wise and staying out of trouble. It also serves as a warning to avoid the temptations of evil and its associated misdeeds. Ultimately, it’s a reminder to think before you act, and to choose your battles wisely. The tattoo is also popular among those who strive for wisdom and moral fortitude in their lives. For them, it serves as a reminder to make wise decisions and to stay away from negative influences.
The hear no evil see no evil speak no evil tattoo is a timeless design that carries a powerful message. It’s an excellent choice for those who want to illustrate the power of wisdom and staying out of trouble, as well as encouraging moral fortitude in their lives. Ultimately, it’s a reminder to think before you act and make wise decisions.
How can I personalize the hear no evil see no evil speak no evil tattoo?
The hear no evil see no evil speak no evil tattoo is a timeless design that can be easily customized to fit personal taste. There are many ways to make the design more unique, from adding color or symbol elements to changing up the size and placement of each monkey. Here are a few suggestions on how to personalize this tattoo:
1. Incorporate color: Adding color to the tattoo will make it pop and give it a unique look. You can either keep all three monkeys the same color or mix and match different colors for each one.
2. Add symbol elements: You can add various symbols to your design, such as religious symbols, birds, stars, or animals. This will give the tattoo an even more unique look and help convey your own personal message or story.
3. Change up the size: You can make one of the monkeys smaller or larger than the others, which adds a unique dynamic to the design.
4. Play with placement: You can change up the placement of the monkeys to make it more interesting. For example, you could have them all in a line or spread out in different directions.
By personalizing your hear no evil see no evil speak no evil tattoo, you can make it truly one of a kind and create a design that is meaningful to you. With careful planning and consideration, you can create a tattoo that is unique and powerful.