Top 8 Monkey King Tattoos With Their Meanings

Capture the magic and spirit of the wielder of the golden staff on your skin forever.

Written by , MA Gracia Odile MA Experience: 3 years
Edited by , BA, MSc Eshna Das BA, MSc Experience: 3 years
Fact-checked by , MA (Comparative Literature) Vaishali Sinha MA (Comparative Literature) Experience: 5 years
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Are you a tattoo enthusiast with a love for Chinese literature and mythology? If yes, then Monkey King tattoos might just do the trick. Also known as Sun Wukong, the Monkey King is a fictional character from the classic Chinese novel Journey to the West. The creature from the Flowers and Fruit Mountain embodies rebellion, adventure, and enlightenment. Whether you want a simple design or a slightly more intricate one, check out this article where we take you through some of the most unique and coolest Monkey King tattoos that will surely make heads turn. Scroll down to get inspired!

Meaning Of Monkey King Tattoos

The Monkey King is a mischievous and powerful character with supernatural abilities. He is known for his incredible strength and martial arts expertise. The free-spirited character refuses to be bound by rules or authority and outsmarts his opponents with his quick thinking. Keeping all these characteristics in mind, a tattoo showcasing this legendary figure may signify the following:

  • Strength, resilience, and the ability to overcome difficulties in life.
  • A desire for freedom and independence.
  • A zest for adventure and exploration.
  • Intelligence, wit, and strategic thinking.
  • A journey of self-discovery, growth, and spiritual awakening.

While the Monkey King is associated with Chinese culture, he also symbolizes a deeper cultural connection with its neighbor, India. The country is considered the home to the monkey god, Hanuman, a central character in the country’s mythological stories. In some other traditions, the character is also sometimes believed to ward off evil spirits and bring good fortune. Therefore, a tattoo of him may serve as a protective talisman and guard the wearer against harm.

The Monkey King is a meaningful symbol with rich cultural significance. If you are considering getting a tattoo that showcases him in his full glory, scroll down for some of the best designs.

8 Best Monkey King Tattoo Designs

Here are eight compelling Monkey King tattoo designs you can draw inspiration from for your next ink session.

1. Sun Wukong Tattoo

A woman sporting a Sun Wukong tattoo on her arm
Image: Dall·E/StyleCraze Design Team

If you already have some tattoos on your arm, you can add this Monkey King tattoo to it. Alternatively, you can use the design as a reference to get a complete sleeve tattoo. Depending on the elements you add to the design, it could mean a lot of things. For instance, the image above showcases a sun and clouds which symbolize life, energy, and spirituality. Together, this tattoo may represent a journey toward personal growth and self-discovery.

2. Monkey King Back Tattoo

A woman sporting a Monkey King back tattoo on her back
Image: Dall·E/StyleCraze Design Team

This tattoo featuring the fierce expression on the Monkey King’s face is gorgeous! The black and gray design has subtle hints of red and detailed linework that almost brings the Monkey King to life on the skin. This tattoo represents the character’s strength and serves as a constant reminder to strive for greatness and overcome obstacles that come your way.

3. Cambodian Monkey King Tattoo

A woman with a Cambodian Monkey King tattoo on her arm
Image: Dall·E/StyleCraze Design Team

This tattoo showcases a Cambodian Monkey King, also known as Cambodian Hanuman in black and gray with a fierce expression on his face. The tattoo represents power, confidence, strength, bravery, and resistance against enemies. Plus, the simple design is ideal for men and women alike.

4. Japanese Monkey King Tattoo

A man sporting a Japanese Monkey King tattoo design on his forearm
Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

You can tattoo the Monkey King in so many ways and this Japanese design is one of them. It features a fierce Monkey King with hints of red that symbolize his fiery spirit and unwavering determination. His gold crown exudes an aura of regal authority conveying his status as a powerful being. The tattoo encourages the wearer to tackle any obstacles that come their way just like the resilience and strength of the Monkey King.

5. Chinese Monkey King Tattoo

A woman sporting a Chinese Monkey King tattoo on her upper arm
Image: Dall·E/StyleCraze Design Team

If you need a tattoo that represents China’s Sun Wukong perfectly, this one with the Ruyi Jingu Bang is perfect. Legend has it that this staff wielded by him grows on command and has the power to injure and even kill gods. Fascinating, isn’t it? What’s more, this tattoo is the Monkey King’s regal crown, signifying leadership, strength, resilience, and the ability to overcome any obstacles.

6. Monkey King Leg Tattoo

A Monkey King leg tattoo on the calf
Image: Dall·E/StyleCraze Design Team

Although people are mostly seen sporting Monkey King tattoos on the arm or back, you can try an area such as the leg as it provides ample space to cover the intricacies of Monkey King tattoos. For instance, this one features a realistic monkey king with a black and gray palette. Not only is the character highlighted perfectly, but you can also see the intricate detailing of his crown and surrounding floral elements that add to the appeal of the design. This tattoo represents strength, agility, and wisdom, making it perfect for those looking to emulate these traits in their life.

7. Monkey King Art Tattoo

A Monkey King art tattoo on the upper arm
Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

Whoever said Monkey King tattoos cannot be fun and artistic, did not see this watercolor design. The Monkey King’s fierce expression further provides an interesting contrast to the vibrant hues and intricate details of the design. It represents the endless creative possibilities that come our way, similar to the way the Monkey King who transcends boundaries and defies conventions.

8. Monkey King And Dragon Tattoo

Monkey King dragon tattoo on the arm of a man
Image: Dall·E/StyleCraze Design Team

Need a Monkey King tattoo that is a little different? This one features the Monkey King with a serene expression and a fierce dragon just below him in all its vibrant glory. This tattoo serves as a symbol of resilience and a strong fighting spirit needed to overcome challenges and achieve greatness in life.

Monkey King tattoos are rooted in mythology and represent strength, agility, resilience, determination, and the ability to overcome challenges. Getting a tattoo featuring it may symbolize a personal connection to any of these qualities or a desire to inculcate them in life. Since these tattoos are quite detailed, the best placement for them includes the arm, leg, and back. You may also customize them according to your preferences and add personal elements to them to add to their symbolism.

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Gracia Odile

Gracia OdileBeauty & Lifestyle Writer

Gracia Odile is a teacher-turned-beauty and lifestyle writer with three years of professional experience. She has a bachelor's degree in English from St. Stephen's College, a master's in Anthropology from the University of Madras, and a degree in education from GGSIPU. She is passionate about understanding the intricacies of human interaction in various cultural contexts. Her empathetic approach and captivating writing...read full bio

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