Asian art lovers are familiar with foo dog tattoos. Belonging to both Chinese and Japanese culture, this mystical animal is a coveted tattoo design for protection and a common element in ambitious Japanese traditional bodysuits and backpieces, among the classic Asian animals and mythological characters. The usual term refering to this type of tattoo is foo dog (or fu dog), but it isn’t a dog at all. Its traditional name is Lion of Buddha in Buddhism and Karashishi in Japanese Shinto religion. If the Chinese lion doesn’t really look like the big cat we all know, and more like a dog, it is because Asian artists had few ideas of what a lion must look like, as this mammal doesn’t live in Eastern countries. In whatsoever name, the foo dog tattoos are believed to be protective. They also symbolize the survival of the fittest, as the legend says that their mothers are throwing them from a cliff to test their strength as a cub… Ouch! Fortunately, human mothers are not imitating them! 😉 Foo dogs are often representated with an open maw, their paw resting on a sphere, symbol of the Buddhist law or Heaven. These lions are males, the female karashishi are silent and breeding their cub. Tattooing the pair, male on the right side and female on the left, is a guarantee of luck and courage. Crawling and menacing lions alone are repulsing Evil. So, if you are collecting Asian tattoos or if you are looking for a badass, meaningful and colorful idea for your next ink, then these awesome foo dog tattoos could make an impression on you…Great black and grey tattoo by BKS of Chronic Ink Tattoo. Terrific foo dog tattoo by Boris: the touches of red are gorgeous! Ready to fight, by our friend Chris Garver. Rad hand tattoo by Christian Jacobsen! New school version by David Tevenal. Killer backpiece by worldwide respected master Filip Leu… The art of karashishi is in good hands: jaw-dropping torso piece by Hailin… Another new school lion by Jee Sayalero. With cherry blossoms wind by Jin O. Awe-inspiring back tattoo by Juan Salgado! Juan Salgado deserves another chance at foo dog tattoos and this time it is a colorful shoulder tattoo. Karashishi done at LTW studio. The work of Mateusz. Badass sleeve by Matt Hart. And indeed, one of the most talented Japanese traditional tattoo master, Shige!
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