Reviewed & updated: December 21, 2022 by Jamie Wilson BA
Looking for a stylish Japanese-style octopus tattoo? Then you cannot miss out on this list of Japanese octopus tattoo ideas that will surely blow your mind!
Japanese octopus tattoos have become one of the most famous surrealist tattoo designs across the globe because of their unique look.
In Japan, octopuses are known as tako, and they are also very popular seafood in Japan. Octopus belongs to the cephalopods family and is famous for its flexibility and dexterity.
In different cultures, octopus tattoos can mean different things. Mostly, octopus tattoos are associated with wit, flexibility, knowledge, freakishness, etc. It also symbolizes the power and skill to get out of dangerous situations and overcome serious obstacles. The octopus represents the ability to express ourselves.
Octopus is exceptionally powerful regarding shape-shifting and can squeeze through any narrow area. Because of its amazing squeezing power, it can release itself from the clutches of its predators. With eight arms, the octopus also represents the multitasking ability. The amazing physical characteristics of the octopus inspire both men and women to experiment with outstanding body art.
However, in Japan, the practice of getting inked with a traditional octopus tattoo has been going on since the Suga and Edo periods. There are more than 700 species of octopus from which people can choose their desired designs. The octopus symbolizes intelligence, wisdom, vigor, and wilderness in Japanese culture. Japanese people also believe that the octopus is a bearer of good luck and fortune. An octopus tattoo is so customizable that anyone can incorporate their favorite elements to make their tattoo appear as the outer expression of their thoughts, purposes, or points of view.
Realistic Octopus Tattoo
An octopus has the power to fight and defeat any sea creature three times bigger than its size. The beauty of an octopus is beyond any comparison. This is probably the best design among realistic octopus tattoos. And if you like getting inked with realistic tattoos, this one might be the perfect one for you.
The octopus covers the right chest and shoulder area of the wearer. The shading done by the tattoo artist deserves loads of compliments. The artist has chosen three different patterns for the eight tentacles of the octopus. Two of its tentacles feature a honeycomb pattern, and another pair of tentacles have a zigzag pattern drawn upon them. And the one tentacle on the wearer’s right sleeve has some diamond-shaped designs drawn upon it. This tattoo will look stunning on your shoulder or back area.
Sleeve Japanese Octopus Tattoo
This amazing monochrome tattoo has been inked using black ink. The tattoo features a huge octopus wearing a head towel like a Japanese chef. The octopus is holding two skewers of Dango, a popular Japanese dumpling, with two of its tentacles. Japanese people usually eat Dango as an offering to God on festive occasions. One Dango skewer is usually filled with three different colored mochi balls: pink, white, and green.
This sleeve tattoo could represent a particularly favorite festival of the tattoo wearer. As this is a freehand tattoo, the sketch of the octopus fits best on the wearer’s skin because, in this method, the tattooist directly draws the designs on the client’s body. The tentacles, the head, and the eye of the octopus have all been inked, maintaining the natural contour of the skin. The sleeve is the prominent place for this tattoo, but you can also get your back or abdomen area inked with this amazing Japanese octopus tattoo.
Thigh Japanese Octopus Tattoo
This is the perfect tattoo for those who love to experiment with different foods. The tattoo features a delicious-looking pink octopus plunged into a ramen bowl. Ramen is one of the essential parts of a meal in urban Japanese culture. For some people, ramen represents laziness and indifference. Ramen is the comfort food you want to have after a hectic day. However, there is a popular joke related to ramen eating.
In Japan, the phrase “Rameyon meokgo galrae?” stands for a slang phrase, which indirectly means “do you want to sleep with me?”. Now, be very careful about asking people out for a ramen party in Japan! In this neo-traditional tattoo, the octopus has taken the place of noodles. It looks as though the octopus is taking a hot bath in the brown ramen broth. The broth has been inked using brown color, and the bowl has an amazing combination of sky blue and white color. The entire tattoo is surrounded by what looks like some sunomono salad, which is typically a very delicious Japanese cucumber salad. There are two chopsticks as well by the side of the pink octopus. This tattoo is bound to look stunning on your thighs, but you can also wear a smaller version on your leg.
Blue Ringed Octopus Tattoo
There are four types of blue-ringed octopuses that are extremely venomous. These celebrated cephalopods could be found in the coral reefs of the Indian and Pacific oceans between Japan and Australia. The venom is very useful for the octopuses because it helps paralyze their prey.
The tetrodotoxin in its stings can kill humans easily. So, be careful about making any physical contact with them. A blue-ringed octopus tattoo can symbolize self-defense and protection. This creative tattoo is the best among octopus shoulder tattoos. The tattoo artist has done a marvelous job inking the blue rings of the translucent octopus. The tiny rings look very eye-catching. You can wear this tattoo on your shoulder or back as well.
Elephant Octopus Tattoo
An elephant in a tattoo is symbolic of strength, royalty, intelligence, prosperity, etc. Elephant tattoos are very customizable and look gorgeous when inked with proper care.
And an elephant octopus tattoo can symbolize rebirth and metamorphosis as well. In this amazing tattoo, the artist has drawn a realistic elephant head and has attached octopus tentacles to it. This monochrome tattoo has a powerful, bold, and edgy vibe. This tattoo will look good on the stomach area.
Skull Octopus Tattoo
In many ancient folklores, octopuses have been described as sea monsters, feared and avoided by sailors. The monster is also known as Kraken. Skull, on the other hand, also induces a sense of fear in people. But a skull, in the tattoo world, symbolizes rebirth and the afterlife.
However, regardless of the variety of symbolic meanings and interpretations, a skull and octopus tattoo could be a very interesting idea to get yourself inked with. This tattoo features an amazing realistic skull with octopus tentacles coming out from beneath it. This black and grey tattoo is absolutely for you if you want to have something unique for your next tattoo endeavor. The tattoo will suit best on your thing.
Japanese Octopus Back Tattoo
Suppose you are familiar with the concept of surrealism and love the incredulity, hyperrealism, and creativity it offers. In that case, this amazing Japanese octopus tattoo is just the right piece for you.
This tattoo features a massive octopus with its tentacles stretched in every direction of the wearer’s back. The artist has skilfully made the body of the octopus as a canvas to depict a beautiful image of Mount Fuji in it. This vibrantly colorful back tattoo will look mesmerizing on both men and women.
Traditional Japanese Octopus Tattoo
This vibrantly colorful traditional Japanese tattoo features a red octopus wearing a head towel and cutting a puffer fish. In Japan, the puffer fish is known as fugu which means blowfish. The fugu is a very popular dish in Japanese culture.
The fish is venomous and can turn fatal if not cleaned properly. The puffer fish symbolizes one’s ability to puff up or overestimate their talent. This amazing traditional Japanese octopus tattoo will look remarkable on your thighs, shoulder, or calf. You can also add other sea creatures floating on either side of the octopus.
Purple Japanese Octopus Tattoo
This cute tattoo features an adorable, purple-colored, cartoon-like octopus. It is wearing a magician’s hat. The hat is inked using black and red color. The artist has used color packing technique to make the entire tattoo.
There are some disk-like machine parts tucked under the brim of the hat. There are also two complicated-looking machine parts that are inked in front of the octopus. The two disks might symbolize the fragments of time. The entire tattoo might represent the magical quality of time which can put an end to or increase human emotions. This tattoo will look fantastic on your shoulder, back, or calf.
Tribal Octopus Tattoo Design
This is a unique design among tribal octopus tattoos. Tribal tattoos have always been in fashion because of their bohemian look. In this intricate tattoo design, the body of the octopus has been adorned with geometric and other complicated patterns.
This could be the right tattoo for those who want an uncommon design inked on their skin. You can wear it on your forearm, back, or chest.
An amazing Japanese octopus tattoo can enhance your style by several degrees. You can choose your favorite elements and incorporate them into your favorite octopus tattoo design. An octopus tattoo needs much patience and skill to be drawn. We advise you to go to a well-trained tattooist if you want to get a perfectly detailed octopus tattoo inked on your skin. The cost of a traditional Japanese octopus tattoo in Japan can start at about 10,000 yen. But the cost varies depending on the quality of the ink, size of the tattoo, location, and making time as well.
Some more amazing Japanese octopus tattoo ideas are as follows.
- Red octopus tattoo with other sea creatures.
- A half-sleeve Japanese octopus tattoo with a treasure chest.
- Shoulder Japanese octopus tattoo with mermaids.
- Japanese octopus and ship tattoo.
- Small Japanese octopus tattoo with sharks.
feature image from Pinterest
What does a Japanese octopus tattoo mean?
A Japanese octopus tattoo has many meanings and is a popular symbol in Japan. It can represent intelligence, creativity, strength, mystery, luck and protection from evil. In some cases it is also used to represent fertility as the tentacles of the octopus are seen as a sign of fertility and abundance. The octopus is also believed to be a guardian of the sea and a symbol of good luck. It is also believed to represent resilience and freedom, as octopuses are known for their ability to escape danger by squirting ink or changing colour. Overall, getting a Japanese octopus tattoo can be interpreted in many different ways and each individual may have a unique meaning behind it.
How much does a Japanese octopus tattoo cost?
The cost of a Japanese octopus tattoo will depend on the size, color, and intricacy of the design. Generally speaking, larger tattoos tend to be more expensive than smaller ones. Simple designs are usually less expensive than elaborate pieces, while adding more colors or intricate details can also drive up the cost. In general, you should expect to pay somewhere between $100 and $500, depending on the size and complexity of your design. However, if you have a smaller budget, there are still plenty of options available for affordable Japanese octopus tattoos.
What are some of the best Japanese octopus tattoo designs?
One popular design is an octopus with a large, open-mouthed head and long tentacles. This type of tattoo can represent intelligence, creativity, mystery and luck. Another popular design is a stylized version of an octopus with intricate patterns and shapes that symbolize strength or protection. A colorful abstract representation of an octopus is also popular, with vibrant blue and red inks used for the design. For a more subtle look, some people choose to get a small octopus tattooed on their wrist or ankle. No matter what design you choose, make sure it is something that has personal meaning to you and that you will be proud to show off.