39 Koi Fish Tattoo Design Ideas With Meanings

Carry a bit of Japanese luck on you by choosing one of these incredible ink designs.

By Nisha Baghadia

Koi fish tattoo designs are a forever favorite among tattoo enthusiasts, and if you are looking for tattoo inspiration, this is the right stop. Koi fish is a popular subject of art, and anyone who has a thing for meaningful and intricate designs can’t deny the gorgeous Koi fish.

Rich cultural traditions inspire koi tattoos, and according to the Chinese, the fish represents good luck for research and trade. Even Buddhists perceived Koi fish as a symbol of courage.

There are many ways to wear Koi ink, and each signifies a different thing. A school of Koi represents a bond. Koi is a prominent part of traditional Japanese paintings, too. According to mythology, when a Koi reaches the top of a waterfall by swimming against the stream of water, it gets transformed into a dragon. Hence, it symbolizes enthusiasm, accomplishment, willpower, and determination.

Different colors of Koi represent different things. For example, red Koi stands for romance, orange stands for mother, pink Koi signifies a mother-daughter relationship, and the golden Koi is known as Yamabuki and signifies wellbeing and wealth. The black Koi represents overcoming obstacles, and the blue Koi represents serenity and tranquility.

Here are some Koi tattoos to draw inspiration from. Keep scrolling to check them all out!

Meaningful koi fish tattoo design

jonny_tattoo_rio / Instagram

Different colored koi fish carry different meanings. The red koi symbolizes passionate love and romance. The orange koi represents the mother of the family, and the pink koi is a symbol for the daughter. Red koi can also indicate authority and courage. The golden koi, known as yamabuki in Japanese, denotes capital and good well-being. The black koi represents overcoming an obstacle in life. The blue koi symbolizes harmony, tranquility, and serenity.

If you want to tattoo this exquisite creature on your body, check out our list of 39 cool koi fish tattoo ideas.

39 Meaningful Koi Fish Tattoo Designs

1. Red Koi Tattoo

Red koi fish tattoo design

brandon_spence90_ / Instagram

This stunning design of a red koi symbolizes guidance and passion. The striking deep red color in contrast with black will look great on your skin. Get this tattoo on your forearm to flaunt it in all its glory.

2. Koi And Lotus Tattoo

Lotus and koi fish tattoo design

tat2bymarlonm / Instagram

If you are a fan of intricately shaded designs, this koi tattoo is sure to impress you. This realistic tattoo of a koi splashing in a lotus-filled pond will make you want to get inked immediately. It will look great on your biceps.

3. Angry Koi Fish Tattoo

Angry koi fish tattoo design

black_torment_design / Instagram

This monotone tattoo on your sleeve can represent the boldness in your attitude. The fierce expression of the koi symbolizes your willingness to take up challenges in life. This Chinese art-inspired tattoo is accented with waves and flowers to enhance its overall appeal.

4. Face Koi Tattoo

Face koi fish tattoo design

chamberofdreamers / Instagram

Getting a tattoo on your face is not a very wise choice. However, if you want to be hooked to the look and go against the norm, this realistic koi tattoo design is perfect to go on the face. This watercolor, borderless design reflects your skin tone and looks like the koi are swimming on your face.

5. Koi Tattoo On Wrist

Wrist koi fish tattoo design

pptatuajes / Instagram

Flaunt this adorable gold koi design on your wrist. It features a lovely and well-detailed koi sketch with a red border and orange filling. The black-spotted design on the head of the koi will add a contrasting effect on your wrist.

6. Watercolor Koi Tattoo

Watercolor koi fish tattoo design

bri_55555 / Instagram

This beautiful colored koi design is the perfect tattoo to go on your forearm. The thin outline with a splash of black and orange done in a watercolor effect adds a ton of beauty to this design.

7. Abstract Koi Tattoo

Abstract koi fish tattoo design

youngbirdtattoo / Instagram

If you are a fan of abstract art, this stunning koi tattoo design is sure to catch your eye. The rough lines and strokes lend a distinct touch to this piece. The slight shading adds a touch of mystery. This elegant design will fit on your forearm seamlessly.

8. Blue Koi Tattoo

Blue koi fish tattoo design

costanza.brogi / Instagram

A blue koi fish symbolizes harmony. Get yourself inked on the back with this beautiful blue koi tattoo design. This design includes a blue koi fighting its way upstream in the water current. The detailed background and contrast make it even more appealing.

9. Koi Tattoo Sleeve for Women

koi fish tattoo sleeve design

ping524_tattoo / Instagram

Flaunt this full-sleeved koi tattoo done in a gorgeous Japanese art style. This black and white tattoo features intricate sketching, which complements the beauty of the design. The winged stork above the koi adds to the uniqueness of the tattoo.

10. Small Koi Tattoo

Small koi fish tattoo design

anna_doman_tattoo / Instagram

This simple, thinly lined koi design is the perfect tattoo to go on your forearm. The red head and super fine fins contrast beautifully with the spotted body, making this the ideal tattoo to be etched on your arm.

11. Leg Koi Fish Tattoo

Koi fish tattoo design for the leg

shockers_ink / Instagram

Give your feet a happy treat with this trendy tattoo. This classy design uses warm colors and stretches from your calves to your feet. The thin outline and detailed shade work add charm to this piece.

12. Traditional Koi Fish

Traditional koi fish tattoo design

tattoosbyparra / Instagram

If you like keeping things traditional, you will love this simple koi fish design. This light golden koi tattoo with a contrasting blue lotus and black splash marks will look amazing on your forearm.

13. Band Koi Tattoo

Band koi fish tattoo design

diegocanali64 / Instagram

This beautiful band tattoo circles around your forearm. The rich colors of the koi fish and surrounding pool are the trendiest way to take your band tattoo up a notch. Flaunt this beautiful design on a dark background to contrast with your skin tone.

14. Tiny Koi Tattoo On Hand

Tiny koi fish tattoo design on the hand

kaylagtattoo / Instagram

Flaunt your tattoo this charming koi fish tattoo on your wrist. This tattoo is small, but intricately detailed, and looks adorable. The two tiny pink blossoms look amazing in contrast to the monochrome carp.

15. Japanese Koi Tattoo Design

Japanese koi fish tattoo design

anthonygeow / Instagram

This Japanese koi fish art beautifully showcases the uniqueness of the tattoo. The black ink of the tattoo creates a striking contrast with your skin, making it the ideal tattoo for your entire arm. The beautifully detailed blossoms and waves add another cool dimension to this piece.

16. Realistic Koi Tattoo

Realistic koi fish tattoo design

mextattoos85 / Instagram

If you are a fan of realistic tattoos, this beautiful one is perfect for getting etched on your arm. The detailed shade-work and delicate glossy finish bring the tattoo to life. Go for a full-sleeve tattoo with this design to stand out from the crowd.

17. Yin Yang Koi Tattoo

Yin yang koi fish tattoo design

poncho_bostik / Instagram

Combine Japanese and Chinese art styles to create this koi fish tattoo in the form of a Yin Yang symbol. This exclusive design with contrasting black and white shades symbolizes peace and liveness.

18. Watercolor Koi Tattoo

Watercolorkoi fish tattoo design 2

victor_goca / Instagram

If you are a fan of watercolor art, this koi tattoo design is sure to impress you. This simple outline of a koi with splashes of orange looks delicate. This unique design is perfect to flaunt on your upper back.

19. Koi Tattoo With Japanese Lantern

Japanese lantern with a koi fish tattoo design

victoriakurtztattoos / Instagram

This cute lantern charm tattoo is the perfect treat for your skin. The Chinese lantern and koi are symbols of good luck and prosperity.

20. Koi Japanese Slayer Tattoo

Japanese slayer koi fish tattoo design

mystery_tattoo_club / Instagram

If you are looking for the coolest tattoo, this Japanese koi fish design is the perfect choice for you. The shaded red and orange fish with a distinct outline fills your arm perfectly.

21. Koi Fish With Spots

Spotted koi fish tattoo design

enigma4632 / Instagram

This elegant tattoo design of a golden spotted koi fish, adorned with flowers and waves, is the ideal tattoo to go on your legs. Flaunt your body with this Japanese art piece, and you are sure to make heads turn.

22. Black And Gray Koi Tattoo

Black and gray koi fish tattoo design

wski.tattoo / Instagram

If you are a fan of monochrome designs, this koi tattoo is sure to steal your heart. This elegant design features a delicate black and gray shaded koi with a thin outline. The Chinese style splash and flowers add to the glamour of this tattoo.

23. Mermaid Koi Fish

Mermaid koi fish tattoo design

danny_chronicink / Instagram

This beautiful tattoo featuring a princess with a beautiful flower and a koi swimming around her is the perfect design for your arm. The detailed design makes it the perfect piece to get inked on your body.

24. Back Koi Tattoo

Back koi fish tattoo design

mongtattoopattaya / Instagram

Getting a full back tattoo is a huge commitment and quite time-consuming, but we say, go for it! This vivid and colorful koi tattoo creates a stunning contrast against the black waves.

25. Fire Koi Tattoo

Fire koi fish tattoo design

eldaivis / Instagram

This modern tattoo design of a koi is one of its kind. It features a sketchy outline of the fish with a fire blazing on its back. Get it done on your thigh.

26. Koi Tattoo With Blossom

Blossoms with a koi fish tattoo design

freddyfingerstattoos / Instagram

The orange shade of the koi looks stunning with the purple hue of the flowers. The bright color palette of this tattoo is sure to liven up your life. The beautiful shading makes it a perfect masterpiece for your skin.

27. Intricate Koi Tattoo

Intricate koi fish tattoo design

cohenflochtattoo / Instagram

If you are looking for an intricate design for your tattoo sleeve, your quest ends here. This is a beautiful Japanese art-inspired piece done in blue and black. The line work on this tattoo is incredible, so we recommend you get it done by an experienced tattoo artist.

28. Sleeve Koi Tattoo

koi fish tattoo design sleeve

artcorpustattoo / Instagram

This beautiful design of a golden koi swimming down a blue stream will look amazing on your arm. The twist of the tail is aligned with the joint of the arm, giving it dynamic movement.

29. Japanese Waves Koi Tattoo with Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemums with Japanese wave and koi fish tattoo design

max_lugitsch_tattoo / Instagram

If you are a fan of traditional Japanese art, try out this gorgeous tattoo. This pretty koi tattoo design features a fully bloomed chrysanthemum that adds to its feminine appeal. It will look absolutely gorgeous on your forearm.

30. Diagonal Koi back Tattoo

Diagonal koi fish tattoo design

yodaink / Instagram

This elegant design of koi fish with an extensive outline and shading is a masterpiece in itself. The red flowers blossoming around the monochrome design make it look even more appealing. The broad layout covers your back extensively and gives it a classy look.

31. Orange Japanese Koi Fish Tattoo

Orange koi fish tattoo design

3rd.tattoo / Instagram

This beautiful tattoo is done with bold strokes that make it a unique and elegant piece of work. The use of warm colors along with blue adds to its serenity. The broad and thin lines merge flawlessly to add to its appeal. Get this delicate design on your bicep and wear tank tops to flaunt it!

32. Goldfish Koi Tattoo

Goldfish koi fish tattoo design

fah_jovi_tattoo / Instagram

This tattoo is a lesson in contrasting colors. The black background makes the warm orange tones of the koi and flowers stand out beautifully. The light shade work and smart strokes to portray the water current make it even more appealing.

33. Bicep Koi Tattoo

Bicep koi fish tattoo design

stephanie.valdivia.71 / Instagram

This beautiful vintage design of a koi in dark water is a masterpiece in itself. The depth created with the dark background makes your arm look like a fishbowl for these stunning creatures.

34. Swimming Koi Tattoo

Swimming koi fish tattoo design

gloriatattoo / Instagram

If you want a tattoo to showcase your life struggles on your body, this blue koi tattoo is the perfect design for you. The design features a splash of water and a koi fighting against the current to reach the top. The beautiful blue hues and light border will create a great contrast with your skin tone.

35. Ankle Koi Fish Tattoo

Koi fish tattoo design on the ankle

huyri14 / Instagram

A tiny design on your ankle is the ideal tattoo for you if you are a fan of chic tattoos. This gorgeous tattoo features a koi fish drawn with intricate details. You can get a matching tattoo with your partner by incorporating a yin-yang theme into this design.

36. Black Koi Tattoo

Black koi fish tattoo design

scott_bruns_tattoo / Instagram

This elaborate design features a koi fish in a pond. The pink lotus on the side makes it look even more appealing. This is the perfect tattoo to get inked on your thigh.

37. Dragon Koi Fish Tattoo

Dragon koi fish tattoo design

zdtat2_jerry / Instagram

A beautiful dragon carp design will look great on your bicep. This tattoo features the complete transformation of a carp to a dragon. The shading and thin outlines of this tattoo are incredible.

38. Koi Fish In Pond Tattoo

Pond koi fish tattoo design

bryan.gee / Instagram

This splendid tattoo features two swimming koi fish forming a perfect circle. While one fish is colored with gorgeous pink and peach hues, the left has been left uncolored, which creates a stunning juxtaposition.

39. Koi Swirl Tattoo

Koi fish swirl tattoo design

mitchblack.tattoo / Instagram

This unique tattoo with is comprised of two koi fish that seem to be swimming around a whirlpool. The red swirl creates a striking contrast with the black and white koi fish.

Infographic: Tattoo Aftercare

If you loved these koi fish tattoo designs and are ready to get inked, there’s something else you need to learn more about: aftercare tips for tattoos. Yes, it is extremely important to know how to take care of your tattoo and the skin that has been inked. These tips will not only prevent infections but also make your tattoo look vibrant and fresh for a long period of time.

Check out our infographic below to learn about tattoo aftercare!

tattoo aftercare tips [infographic]

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

The koi fish symbolizes a deep meaning for individuals who adopt it as part of their tattoos. If you plan to get a koi fish tattoo, do some research beforehand. The koi fish tattoo has a variety of meanings, but one of the most prominent is perseverance. Because the koi’s story has such a deep symbolism, it’s easy to see why so many individuals acquire this tattoo.

Remember that each color and symbol you add to the koi fish has a different significance, so consider what you want it to represent before you begin. Then, you can mix and match these exclusive motifs to create your one-of-a-kind koi tattoo.

Frequently Asked Questions

What color of koi fish tattoo is good luck?

Gold, orange, or yellow-colored koi fish tattoos are considered a sign of wealth, prosperity, and good luck.

Are black koi fish tattoos good luck?

Black koi fish tattoos symbolize strength and perseverance. You can mix it with gold or yellow to symbolize good luck and fortune.

Which way should a koi fish tattoo face?

This depends on which direction you want the koi fish tattoo to be. A koi fish swimming upwards is symbolic of perseverance and strength. A koi fish swimming downwards is symbolic of freedom and independence.

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Nisha is a contributor to StyleCraze. She is a makeup aficionado and combines her love for makeup and writing to... more

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