Reviewed & updated: November 23, 2022 by Jamie Wilson BA
Been looking for tattoos that convey moral values and are quite popular? These ‘See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil’ tattoos are meant just for you.
Just by reading the title of this article, you know what we are here to talk about today.
We have all heard the famous proverb ‘see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil‘. But do we really know its origins and how meaningful tattoo designs they make?
You must have come across the three wise monkeys, incarnating the proverbial principles ‘see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.‘ Yes, of course, we all do. Three characters would have their hands over their eyes, mouth, and ears to symbolise the ability to walk away from evil, and steer clear of trouble, and work tirelessly to walk on a straight and narrow path. But ever wonder how this proverb even originated? The three wise monkeys are said to have originated in Japan. This famous pictorial maxim was first found in a prominent shrine in Japan named ‘Tōshō-gū’. It was carved in the 17th century by a person named Hidari Jingoro. However, the origin of this monkey dates back as early as the 7th century by a Buddhist monk named Xuanzang who was believed to have been escorted by a monkey during his journey.
The proverbial depiction of the phrase see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil consists of three monkeys, namely Mizaru (who sees no evil, as its eyes are covered), Kikazaru (who hears no evil, as its ears are covered), Iwazaru (who speaks no evil, as its mouth is covered).
In western culture, this phrase has also raised questions like if we should after all not see any evil, should we also turn away from anyone being harmed by evil instead of attending to them and helping them out? And this has often been directed to those who deal with amiss by averting a blind eye. Whatever the negative implications that one may draw out of this proverb, the see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil tattoo make strikingly cool body art. This tattoo also holds a meaningful message and represents having a polite and well-behaved personality.
These see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil tattoos usually are painted using different motifs, such as skulls and faces instead of the traditional monkey. This gives us a lot of space to allow us to be creative and create our own designs, because all we need to do is add to make a see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil tattoo is close their mouth, ears and eyes stitched shut and we are good to go.
Here are 10 of the best see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil tattoo design ideas that will make you ink them on right this moment.
See No Evil Speak No Evil Hear No Evil Skull Tattoo
A skull tattoo generally represents death and that the bearer is not scared of death. However, apart from its traditional symbolism, if incorporated with other tattoo themes, can create a brand new cool body art like this one here. The artist inked the skulls with their eyes, mouth and ears shut and made the tattoo look cool and hold meaning at the same time. If you wish to get this, you can anytime go with the classic black ink that will never let you down but can also incorporate some colours into it to make it stand out. For the placement, this tattoo goes best in arms or sleeves, but can also be inked on legs.
Hear No Evil See No Evil Speak No Evil Laughing Buddha Tattoo
We bet you must have come across many of those cute little laughing buddha statues. These went viral at one time and why not? They are so cute and pretty anyone would love to have one alongside them. What made it more popular, however, was the symbolism it carried. It represents happiness and contentment. It is believed that if you rub the belly of the laughing Buddha statue, you will be blessed with happiness, good luck, and prosperity. Having a tattoo of the laughing Buddha, we can only imagine how that would pour blessings into our lives. Incorporate this laughing Buddha into the proverbial depiction of Hear No Evil See No Evil Speak No Evil by having their eyes, ears, and mouth sewn shut and have yourself a striking piece of art on your body.
Hear No Evil See No Evil Speak No Evil Realistic Tattoo
We love how this tattoo is inked with all its precise and intricate details to give it a realistic touch. Like any other Hear No Evil See No Evil Speak No Evil tattoo, this too has their eyes, ears, and mouth shut but here with a piece of cloth. However, unlike the cute mystic apes and the laughing Buddha, this tattoo features a darker side of the proverb which symbolises how society gradually has learned to turn blindsight towards any evil happening. If you are a fan of the realism genre, this tattoo is definitely for you. Although we would recommend this tattoo as it is because the black ink brings out the darker perspective of this tattoo, for a more realistic tattoo, given you find a skilled tattoo artist, add colours and various shades to it and your tattoo will shine through.
Hear No Evil See No Evil Speak No Evil Namakubi Tattoo
Namakubi can also be translated as ‘freshly severed head’ and has a close relation to Seppuku. Namakubi has been a popular tattoo art that has its origin traced back to Japan and like any other Japanese tattoo, Namakubi too has a lot of symbolism attached to it and goes way beyond just the art. They symbolise acceptance of fate and although Namakubi and the three wise monkeys hardly have anything in common, the hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil tattoos are so versatile that they can be incorporated with any other motifs and yet make a strikingly meaningful tattoo. If you have been looking for a traditional Japanese tattoo, this Namakubi tattoo with a knife driven across her eyes, mouth, and ears is a great option to consider for your next ink.
Hear No Evil See No Evil Speak No Evil Apes Tattoo
This tattoo is the exact representation of what the phrase symbolizes. This hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil tattoo represents three mystic apes with their eyes, ears, and mouth closed shut. This tattoo brings out the fierceness of the apes in a way that signifies that no evil can even dare come near them. This tattoo makes a perfect chest tattoo like the bearer in this picture and if you have been planning to ink a chest tattoo lately and are already on this page, list this tattoo down to your wish list and ink it on the next time you are at the tattoo studio.
Hear No Evil See No Evil Speak No Evil Quotes Tattoo
This tattoo features the skulls with their eyes, mouth, and ears shut with a paper wherein the words hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil are written on. This art demands a skilled hand to create but will not need an art connoisseur to tell what the tattoo really is trying to convey. This tattoo is another option for the hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil skull tattoo and will for sure turn people’s heads around with the gothic touch to this tattoo. If you have been searching for a skull tattoo with a deep meaning, this tattoo is meant for you.
Hear No Evil See No Evil Speak No Evil Clown Tattoo
A funky approach to the hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil tattoo is by incorporating it with funky images like this. This tattoo features clowns that have their eyes, ears, and mouth shut, but what is remarkable is that these tattoos look really cool and sassy. Giving off a Halloween-y vibe, if you have been wanting to get a Harley Quinn tattoo that is not like any of the basic ones, you might definitely want to try this one out.
Hear No Evil See No Evil Speak No Evil Monkey Tattoo
This simple tattoo is made for anyone wanting to get the hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil tattoo but do not want to use a lot of space and want a simple tattoo with no complicated concepts. This tattoo is a direct depiction of the phrase and who would have thought that a phrase so long and the pictorial depiction being bigger, would have a tattoo so tiny and yet so cute and pretty at the same time? Add in some colours if you wish to give this tattoo a unique twist and show off your simple beliefs and strong willpower to walk away from bad deeds.
Hear No Evil See No Evil Speak No Evil Baby Groot Tattoo
We all absolutely love Baby Groot from The Guardians of the Galaxy movies and this tattoo and concept could not have been any better. If you are a Marvel fan and love Baby Groot as much as we do, you need to ink this tattoo. This tattoo, unlike other Baby Groot tattoos, holds a lot more symbolism and deep meaning. Add this tattoo design featuring hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil with a brand new twist to your wish list and make sure to ink it on your next visit to your tattoo artist.
Hear No Evil See No Evil Speak No Evil Mask Tattoo
Another unique and creative way to ink this tattoo is the use of masks like in this tattoo. Masks are very expressive and have a huge theatrical significance all over the world. If you are seeking for a hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil tattoos that show off your theatrical passion along with a deep meaning, this tattoo is for you.
We know by now you must have already chosen one of your favorite hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil tattoos, and can’t wait for your next appointment. If you want to learn more about speak no evil, hear no evil see no evil tattoo designs, check out our suggestions below:
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feature image from Pinterest
What does the see no evil hear no evil speak no evil tattoo mean?
The phrase “See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil” is commonly referred to as a proverb which means to not get involved in gossip and malicious rumor. The proverb can also be interpreted as advice to mind one’s own business and stay away from trouble or any kind of negative behavior. The tattoo has become a popular design in which three images are used to represent the phrase: an ape or monkey covering its eyes, ears, and mouth respectively. This tattoo can be seen as a reminder to stay away from getting involved in matters that do not concern you. It serves as a visual representation of the proverb “See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil”, which is a reminder to stay away from negative behavior and keep your nose out of other people’s business. This proverb has been around for centuries and is still relevant today; getting the tattoo can be a great way to remind yourself not to get involved in matters that do not concern you. The phrase “See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil” resonates with many people, and getting the tattoo can be a great way to remind yourself of the importance of staying away from gossip and malicious rumors. The proverb is an important reminder that we must stay away from negative behavior in order to remain happy and successful in life.
How much does a see no evil hear no evil speak no evil tattoo cost?
The cost of a See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil tattoo will vary depending on the artist and the size, intricacy and placement of the design. Generally speaking, small tattoos usually start at around $50 USD for a basic design but can go up to hundreds or thousands for more intricate designs. The cost also varies based on the artist and their experience level and reputation. It is important to research an artist before committing to a design, as it can make all the difference in ensuring that you get a quality tattoo at a fair price. When getting any kind of body art, it is always best to do your research first and find an experienced and reputable artist who will deliver the best results possible. Ultimately, the cost of a See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil tattoo will depend on the size, intricacy and placement of the design as well as the experience level of the artist doing it. It is important to shop around and find an experienced artist who will deliver quality work at a fair price.
How can I personalize my see no evil hear no evil speak no evil tattoo?
There are many ways to customize and personalize a See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil tattoo. Depending on your style, you can choose different colors or add shading and details such as flowers or stars. You could also make the design more abstract by using geometric shapes or incorporating symbols that represent something meaningful to you.