Fudo Myoo Tattoos
Maybe you’re someone who has a couple small tattoos and is ready to take it up a notch.
Maybe you’re going for your first tattoo and have decided to take the plunge into a sleeve or back-piece.
No matter what your motivation, you’re going to need a striking piece of art worthy of a large tattoo.
A big sleeve or back piece is the perfect opportunity to embrace an ornate image with meaningful details.
Many people choose Japanese imagery for their tattoos because of the striking colors in the art, the expressive characteristics and the fascinating history.
Figures from Japanese tradition, whether religious or mythological, make beautiful back pieces or sleeves on legs and arms.
A popular choice for this is a Fudo Myoo tattoo.
You have probably seen a Fudo Myoo tattoo a few times and not even realized it.
Fudo Myoo is a popular, timeless figure rich in symbolism.
Who is Fudo Myoo?
Fudo Myoo is a figure from a particular sect of Vajrayana (or esoteric) Buddhism known as Shingon Buddhism.
Shingon translates to “True Word” and is a branch of Buddhism first introduced in India.
Shingon Buddhism spread throughout China because of travelling Monks, and became more widespread as a result.
Now, Shingon Buddhism is a very popular practice in Japan.
In Vajrayana Buddhism, Fudo Myoo is one of Five Bright Kings; a group of powerful deities.
Of these kings, Fudo Myoo is known as “The Immovable One.”
Though he has a frightening face, he is a protective deity.
Not only does he have the power to bring good fortune and prosperity to his devotees, he also subdues evil forces.
Fudo-myoo is the most widely represented of the Five Bright Kings in Japan.
He is often present in Buddhist temple halls, and for good reason.
This particular deity is known to frighten non believers into following Buddhist law.
So a Fudo Myoo sighting is a great sign for Buddhists who do not wish to be thrown off the path to enlightenment.
Common Themes in Fudo Myoo Tattoo
While some deities may appear in any number of incarnations and scenarios, there are some themes and symbols that are essential to an image of Fudo Myoo.
Therefore, if you are considering getting a Fudo Myoo tattoo, there are images you should be aware of.
Many artists and sculptures base images of Fudo Myoo on one text- The Dainichi Sutra, which is a commentary on Buddhist scripture.
In the Dainichi Sutra, Fudo Myoo is described in a very particular way.
The Great Sword of Wisdom
Fudo Myoo holds a sword in his right hand.
This sword is not necessarily a violent tool, it is more of a figurative object.
The sword of wisdom is used to cut through ignorance.
In his left hand, Fudo Myoo holds a lasso to capture and reign in anything or anyone who would block a disciple’s path to enlightenment.
Fudo Myoo has hair braided to the side.
This may seem like an arbitrary detail to the modern eye, but this is how a servant would braid their hair.
Fudo Myoo wears his hair this way to symbolize his being of service to all sentient beings.
Fudo Myoo has two fangs.
One fang points upward to represent spiritual pursuits and progress on the path.
The other points downward to show is compassion for suffering in mental or physical manifestations.
Fudo Myoo has roots in the Hindu faith, and this is evident in his third eye.
The third eye is an eye through which a person sees the truth, and gains profound understanding beyond typical sight.
While Fudo Myoo is a compassionate and protective deity, he wears an angry expression to show he means business.
This comes in handy when subduing a demon!
Flames are considered a purifying element, and rituals for Fudo Myoo will often involve burning material possessions to pursue a spiritual path.
Things to Consider When Getting a Fudo Myoo Tattoo
The first question being, do you practice Buddhism?
You do not have to be born into Buddhism to practice it’s teachings, but it would be curious to get a Fudo Myoo without having any interest in Buddhism at all!
Since Fudo Myoo is such an ardent defender of the path to enlightenment, he should be worn by those who have a dedication to Buddhist teachings and want to remain faithful to them.
Having a large Fudo Myoo tattoo is probably best, this will be the only way to capture his dazzling colours and detail.
It is also believed that one should not hide their Fudo Myoo tattoo – he is meant to be worn proudly.
After all, if he is going to defend your spiritual path, it had better be something you’re willing to share with the world.
It’s worth considering that, if this is your first tattoo, a large piece is going to be a painful and expensive place to start.
You will likely have to visit your tattoo artist for a few sessions to get everything done safely and properly, so maybe try a small baby tattoo before you commit to something this expansive.
Fudo Myoo Tattoo Ideas
Think you’re ready to invite Fudo Myoo into your life?
Check out our gallery for some amazing images and inspiration.