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The Good vs. Evil Antagonism Reflected in Dragon Tattoos

The Good vs. Evil Antagonism Reflected in Dragon Tattoos

Despite the divergent views of Western and Eastern cultures surrounding the mythical concept of the dragon, and the wide variety of symbolic references correlated with the beast in universal literature, the dragon stands out as one the most prominent supernatural figures depicted in today’s tattoo designs.


Like with many other mythical creatures, symbols and icons arisen from ancient legends, superstitions and common beliefs, the dragon can signify the incarnation of good fortune, prosperity and wellbeing in one corner of the world, only to be demonized and invested with evil traits and volitions in another distant place with a different cultural heritage.

To make sure your dragon tattoo will reflect your intended concept, it is important to be able to separate between the main two opposing perceptions of the mythical beast – eastern and western acceptations, respectively.

The Eastern dragon is regarded as the epitome of wisdom, spiritual fulfillment, guardianship and benevolence. In Asian acceptation, the dragon is a token of fertility and good fortune, and is sometimes perceived as one of the few forces capable of restoring the balance between yin and yang energies. If you want your dragon tattoo to express these traits, consider exploring Asian style representations of this beast and go for something illustrative of these characteristics. Good options would be Chinese or Japanese-style dragon tattoos, such as the Azure Dragon, Vermillion Bird, White Tiger, Black Tortoise, Dragon King or Dragon Koi.

If you are more into the darker side of the dragon and want to emphasize this into your tattoo design, then a good option would be to ask your tattoo artist to help in creating a western culture influenced representation. According to western myths and legends, the dragon is the embodiment of all evil and never really seems able to exceed this predestined condition.

Here, it represents the antagonism of virtually everything that it may signify in Asian tradition. If you want to exploit these characteristics of the dragon, then going for a stylistic figure of the Asian dragon will probably not be the best idea. To make sure you nail down the atmosphere and context you want to suggest for an infernal dragon, it would be best to go for a medieval fire breathing dragon tattoo, a stylized tribal tattoo corroborated with some other embellishments that mirror its diabolical side, or anything else you can think of.