Japanese tattoos have a distinct style.
After taking an interest in Japanese tattoo art, you may start to recognize some major players.
Most Japanese tattoos are depictions of folk legends, mythological beasts, or religious symbols.
In Japan, the two most commonly practiced religions are Shintoism and Buddhism.
Many popular Japanese tattoo designs have great significance beyond their aesthetic, due to their ties to the (usually) Shinto or Buddhist traditions.
Fujin, The God of Wind, is a figure with an interesting back story. Many fans of Japanese tattoo art will recognize Fujin immediately for his distinct look.
But Fujin is more than just a gusty guy who makes a great back piece, he’s a religious figure, a demon, a god, a global deity.
Let’s chat in more detail about what makes Fujin tick.
What Does Fujin, The Japanese God Of Wind, Look Like?
Typically, Fujin is depicted as having a fairly human-like appearance.
Fujin is slightly ogre-ish, especially given that he has green skin. In contrast to his verdant skin tone, Fujin has a shock of red hair, flowing in the very wind her created.
Fujin’s favorite ensemble is leopard skin, and the accessorizes with a large bag. In this bag, Fujin keeps a variety of winds for all different occasions.
He always has a slightly messy, windswept appearance- one can imagine why!
When you see Fujin, Raijin can’t be far behind. Most people who want a Fujin tattoo will get these two brothers together.
Though they are brothers, the two cannot stop fighting.
With Raijin being The God of Thunder, their fights are nothing short of epic.
Many of Japan’s worst storms are said to be the result of a disagreement between these two.
Where Does Fujin Come From?
Though many Japanese deities are versions of Chinese or Indian figures, Fujin comes from even farther away.
Fujin’s roots are in Greek mythology!
The Greek god Boreas was known for bringing frosty winter weather.
As is, a Greek winter god feels pretty different than our Japanese wind god but, stories have a funny way or shifting as time goes on.
Around 323 BC, during the Hellenistic period, Greece occupied certain parts of India and Asia.
Eventually, the cultures began to have an influence on each other, and Boreas started showing up in Greco-Buddhist art.
From there, Boreas was known as Wardo, a wind maker.
He was then adopted into Japanese traditions and given the name Fujin.
Though he started in Greece, he is not one of the more enduring Greek myths. (go to Greek tattoos for more!)
Eventually, the characters Boreas and Wardo faded away, while Fujin persists.
Even today, Fujin and Raijin tattoos flank the entrances to many buildings, are painted in great works of art and are available in gift shops.
Interestingly, Fujin’s appearance has not changed much despite all the name changes and culture shifts.
He has always had his trusty wind bag and messy hair.
Is Fujin Good or Evil?
Like many Japanese Gods, Fujin is neither all the way good nor all the way evil.
Most mythological or religious symbols have a mix of both.
Perhaps they are a benevolent figure who is a little cheeky, or sometimes a demonic character with nice manners.
As in life, the characters in these stories are complex.
Just think about the wind. Sometimes it’s a welcome companion on a hot day, sometimes it’s hurricane!
Such is the nature of Fujin.
Fujin started as a demon in Buddhist teachings.
He was, at one point, considered part of the Oni.
The Oni are giant demons in Japanese mythology. (go to Oni Mask tattoo for more!)
They are several times larger than humans, with brightly colored skin and fangs.
Like Fujin, Oni tend to wear loincloths made with animal pelts.
An Oni is born when a person on earth is considered too wicked to be human.
They eventually transform into a member of the Oni, and terrorize the people of earth with their wickedness.
These days, despite his Oni-like appearance, Fujin is known as a God.
The story goes that Fujin and his brother Raijin tried to challenge Buddha, but were ultimately and unsurprisingly defeated.
As a result of their loss, and their arrogance, they are now working for heaven and doing all kinds of angelic work.
Isn’t that nice? Like community service for the cosmos.
What Do Fujin Tattoos Symbolize?
Fujin tattoos don’t have one specific meaning. Because Fujin represents wind, he is somewhat violent and chaotic.
Do you feel shaken up? Or are you wanting to remind yourself to find stability amid the confusion.
Because of Fujin’s more evil backstory, he can be symbolic of conquering your shadow, or your “dark side.”
What does wind mean to you? Perhaps you’re from a particularly windy climate.
For some, Fujin is just a striking character when they’re looking for a striking design.
Common Themes In Fujin Tattoos
Like many Japanese tattoos, these pieces are generally quite big.
Fujin makes a great choice for a back-piece or sleeve, because he is meant to be large and striking.
In order for a Fujin tattoo to properly display him in all his details and glory, you’ll want a large piece of skin real estate for this tattoo.
Fujin tattoos are a fun design for artists to work on due to his green skin and ogre type appearance.
Though Fujin has been drawn in every style, the majority of Fujin tattoos will keep it on the traditional Japanese side.
Fujin Tattoo Ideas
Fujin is a reformed demon with a cool aesthetic, it makes sense that anyone would want to have him by their side.
Still not convinced?
Let the wind sweep you to our online gallery, you’ll be able to see some of the best Fujin tattoos out there, and get some inspo for yourself.
To read more about Japanese style tattoos, go to:
- Japanese Masks Tattoos
- Yokai Tattoos
- Kendo Tattoo
- Daikijin Tattoo
- Kokeshi Doll Tattoo
- Maneki Neko Tattoo
- Nue Tattoos
- Namakubi Tattoos
- Kabuto Tattoos
- Ebisu Tattoos
- Karura and Garuda Tattoos
- Kirin Tattoos
- Fudo Myoo Tattoos
- Heikegani Tattoos
- Japanese Snake Tattoos
- Raijin Tattoos
- Foo Dog Tattoos