Kitsune tattoos are a fun way to use Japanese culture in expression and are for those who have strong morals.
Kitsune tattoos come in a variety of styles, including cartoonish-looking Kitsune and more realistic-looking fox tattoos.
These tattoos often place the foxes in a landscape such as a natural one or with an artistic background.
The main thing to consider with Kitsune tattoos is their meanings, many of which have to do with being a good person.
Let’s take a more in-depth look at Kitsune tattoos and their meanings:
What does a Kitsune Tattoo Mean?
Kitsune are Japanese shapeshifters who are foxes that have the power to transform into humans.
They are also popular in Chinese traditions.
They are known to be tricksters and tend to attack or trick people who do bad things.
They are against selfish people.
The Kitsune’s paranormal powers are supposed to increase in age and as they become wiser in life, so Kitsune tattoos can also represent the fact that you feel that rising in age can be powerful.
Kitsune tattoos are all about recognizing that being a good person is the most important thing in life.
One such Kitsune tattoo meaning is that you believe in punishing those who do wrong.
If you believe in this, you most likely have a strong moral center.
Kitsune tattoos also mean that you are an intelligent person who is wise in many things.
Not only do Kitsune tattoos mean that you are a good person, but they also mean that you believe that being a wise person is incredibly important.
‘Good’ Kitsune, known as Zenko, are defenders of all that is good.
A Zenko Kitsune tattoo means that you protect those who you love and that you believe in defending the good that you see in the world.
Yako, or ‘bad’ Kitsune, is where most of the meaning of Kitsune as being tricksters comes from.
They can be both charming and mischievous and like to play their tricks on bad people.
If you mean for your Kitsune tattoo to be a Yako tattoo, then it means that you are the kind of person who makes up your own rules and likes to have fun but not that you are actually bad.
‘Bad’ Kitsune are not actually evil, they just have an unorthodox way of doing things.
Kitsune Mask Tattoo Meaning
A Japanese Kitsune mask is a very popular motif as well as a popular tattoo.
This tattoo tends to refer to the trickster part of Kitsune’s personality.
Japanese mask tattoos are symbols of protection for those who have a belief in the spiritual world.
The Kitsune mask tattoo is for people who believe in Kitsune’s power to punish people who are evildoers or who are bad.
Nine-tailed Fox Tattoo Meaning
In the Chinese tradition, the nine-tailed fox represents prosperity and peace.
This is the meaning of the nine-tailed fox not just in China, but the international meaning.
Other meanings of the nine-tailed fox are love, good marriage, having lots of children and grandchildren, and overall happiness in life.
In Han iconography, the nine-tailed fox is sometimes shown as Mount Kunlun and with Xi Wangmu who is the goddess of immortality.
According to first-century Baihutong, the fox’s nine tails symbolize the fact that you will have a great number of generations of children.
Being foxes, the nine-tailed fox also symbolizes mischief and trickery, as it is a cunning creature who is resourceful and lovable.
Foxes are often seen as animals that symbolize the ability to get through difficult circumstances with courage and faith that everything will work out (and a little cunning).
Nine-tailed foxes are tricksters just like all Kitsune foxes are.
Kitsune Tattoo with Flowers
Kitsune tattoos with flowers mean that you want to be a good person, but that you aren’t afraid to use trickery to get your way.
Kitsune tattoos tend to be for people who have a good soul and wish good on other people but may be seen as bad people because of the way they go about their life.
The flowers in this tattoo can symbolize femininity, which means that the Kitsune tattoos with flowers can also represent fertility and having many generations of children.
These tattoos also mean that you believe that being intelligent and being beautiful can be one and the same.
If you are someone who is proud to be beautiful, this tattoo means that just because you are pretty doesn’t mean you aren’t smart too.
Kitsune Tattoo with Geisha Tattoo
Geisha tattoos represent exotic beauty and grace as well as someone who is so beautiful that they are nearly divine.
Mixed with a Kitsune mask tattoo, this tattoo means that you are both beautiful and intelligent.
Much like the Kitsune tattoo with flowers, this tattoo means that you are proud to be insanely beautiful but also want people to know that just because you are beautiful doesn’t mean you aren’t intelligent too.
This tattoo can also mean that you believe in the spirit of tricking selfish people.
This tattoo means that you are against all people who are selfish and conceded and you want them to be punished.
You may not trick people like the Kitsune yourself, however, you may support acts of people that do.
Kitsune Tattoo with Sword
Katana swords throughout history were used as gifts between the feudal lords and samurai, as offerings to local shrines, and as symbols of the authority and spirituality of the samurai.
People who have Katana tattoos carry with them a symbol of protection, power, and strength, which they bring with them into every situation for the rest of their lives.
A Kitsune tattoo with a Katana tattoo also represents bravery and courage among soldiers.
If you are a soldier, this tattoo could be great for you because it could represent the fact that you are someone who is needed protection from people who are out to get you (literally) or figuratively or in a more general sense if you are not a soldier.
Kitsune Tattoo Ideas
There are many Kitsune tattoo ideas out there to add to your collection of goal tattoos.
We have collected some great Kitsune tattoo ideas that will help you be on your way to getting the best Kitsune tattoo possible for your personality type:
Tebori Kitsune Tattoos
Tebori tattoos are the traditional Japanese style of hand tattooing.
In order to do this form of hand tattooing, the artist must use a thin bamboo or metal tool with a group of needles attached o to the tip.
The tattoo is made by rhythmically dabbing the ink into the skin, gently poking the skin to create lines, color, or shading, and to create a gorgeous tattoo.
When a Kitsune tattoo is done with the Tebori method of tattooing, the tattoo relates to the Japanese meaning of the Kitsune.
The Japanese meaning of the Kitsune is trickery and friendship.
If you are someone who likes to play tricks on people or who believes that playing tricks or hurting evil people is right, then this tattoo is for you.
This tattoo is also related to friendship.
If you love your friends and you consider your friends closer and more loving than your own family, then this tattoo may make sense for you.
Neo-Japanese Kitsune Tattoos
A neo-Japanese style of tattoo is a mix of a million different aspects such as pop culture, art history movements from the past, as well as the idea of the specific artist who is creating it.
Neo-Japanese tattoos have an illustrative look with intensely saturated colors with a modern twist.
The tattoos can have a feeling of dimension– not 3D or an exaggeration, but these tattoos look like they are popping off of the skin with vibrant and brilliant colors.
Neo-Japanese Kitsune tattoos represent the sassy side of Kitsune tattoos.
These tattoos symbolize tricksters and intelligence.
If you are someone who believes in punishing bad people.
This tattoo is also about tricking people and having a few laughs with your friends.
Maybe you like to pull pranks on people or like a lot of attention.
If this sounds like you, then you may want to get a neo-Japanese Kitsune tattoo.
This tattoo is also about intelligence and being a street-smart person.
Neo-traditional Kitsune Tattoos
Neo-traditional tattoos have an in-depth color pallette and use diverse imagery.
When you see a tattoo with bold lines, an illustrative look, highly saturated colors that are modern in their look, and a feeling of dimension.
Kitsune tattoos in the Neo-traditional style represent the ‘good’ KItsune, called the Zenko, which are defenders of all that is good.
If you are someone who stands up for what you believe in then this style of Kitsune tattoo is for you.
This tattoo means that you stand up for the people who you love and defend even people you don’t know but who are good people, and at all cost.
Minimalist Kitsune Tattoo
Minimalist tattoos are all about making the tattoo as simple as possible and are typically in black and grey.
This style of tattoo uses sharp black or colored lines, negative space, and not a lot of colors or a limited color palette.
The style that is conveyed is both clean and simple.
Minimalist Kitsune tattoos mean that you are much like a Yako, or ‘bad’ Kitsune fox.
These Kitsune aren’t actually bad like we said previously, but do bad things for good reasons.
They like to play tricks on bad people and mess up their lives because they deserve it.
Minimalist Kitsune tattoos also mean that you are both intelligent and wise.
If you are someone who is very street smart, then this style of Kitsune tattoo may be for you.
Black and grey Kitsune Tattoos
Black and grey style tattoos are a common style because not everyone wants to get color on their skin.
Black ink is the most common type of tattoo ink for a reason– it’s simple and plain, and it gets the point across.
Black and grey Kitsune tattoos represent the ‘bad,’ or Yako kitsune fox.
This fox like we’ve said is not representing an evil person but symbolizes a person who does bad things to bad people.
You may not exactly be someone who actually does these bad things to bad people, but perhaps you simply agree with people who do.
Also, black and grey Kitsune tattoos represent the fact that you may enjoy playing tricks on people.
If you are a prankster who knows how to have a good time, then you may want to get a black and grey Kitsune tattoo.
You may be asking if it’s ok to get a Kitsune tattoo.
If you are not Japanese, you may feel as if it’s not right for you to have a Kitsune tattoo because it is part of a different culture than yours.
The answer is, that you definitely can receive a Kitsune tattoo, no matter what culture you are a part of and no matter what race you are.
This is because although a Kitsune tattoo is Japanese, no one who is Japanese will be offended if you choose to get one.
Therefore, no matter who you are, anyone can enjoy having a Kitsune tattoo.
Go ahead and choose a design and a style and enjoy the Kitsune tattoo that you pick out because you will be wearing it for a long time!
Alyssa Kucinski is a writer, curator, and photographer who publishes articles on the topics of the arts, culture, and social justice. She graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology with a degree in fashion business and art history and museum professions. Her experience working with a variety of art institutions, her world travel, and her inquisitive nature provides her with a unique insight. Check out her about page, she would love to connect with you!