Whatever your religious or spiritual beliefs are, you must have heard a famous yin yang koi fish principle.
Yin yang and koi fish are combined in one symbol that shows the dual aspect of everything. The symbol depicts how opposite things are always connected. It gives a sense of peace and harmony. ⚖️
People are always curious to know more about it.
We will shed light on yin yang koi fish symbolism, its historical origin, and how yin yang is linked with koi fish. We‘ll also talk about koi fish symbolism in tattoos and drawings.
But first of all, we must know what yin yang and koi fish is? 🐟
So let’s have a look at them!
What is Yin Yang?
According to the Yin Yang principle, everything in the world exists as opposite and inseparable entities. It represents balance and harmony. All the forces like black and white, darkness and light, positive and negative, male and female, and good and bad are always balanced and opposite to each other. Through this balance, energy keeps on flowing.
Like two opposite poles of a magnet, in which energy flows only when both north and south poles are present, Yin and Yang are two opposite poles, and both must be together for the flow of energy between them.
The concept dates back to the 3rd century BCE. This concept holds a fundamental position in Chinese philosophy and culture.
The black and white teardrop semicircles symbolize this concept, which has its roots in Taoism/Daoism. Each half, black and white, acts as a core element and equally important that cannot exist without the other.
As they are opposite, an increase in one element causes a decrease in the other element. In other words, it can be said that balance is always maintained to reach the level of harmony.
This symbol teaches us that to live a complete and balanced life, one must balance these forces. ☯️
What is Koi fish?
Generally, a fish symbol is considered a powerful symbol, and the addition of water qualities adds to the strength of this symbol. It is often used in various eastern cultures.
When the fish symbol specifically refers to koi fish, the strength of this symbol maximizes manifolds.
Koi is a fish that has a very bright colored appearance and lives in freshwater. It exists in many colors.
The word Koi comes from Japanese origin, which means “carp” (γυρίνος F). The koi fish symbol is often used in Japanese and Chinese culture and Asian landscapes and designs.
The Koi fish concept was introduced in Japanese culture when Chinese invaders reached there and bred koi fish. It was in Japan where koi fish varieties flourished. Koi fish is accustomed to living in various climates and water conditions.
Although the fish has existed since a long time the fish was named koi in 500 B.C, the evidence can be confirmed by the presence of ancient koi fish fossils that were 20 million years old.
The history of koi fish symbolism:
Why this koi fish is considered a symbol of bravery and determination lies in an old classic Chinese myth.
In the yellow river, Koi fish was swimming upstream against water currents when it finally reached a waterfall (also known as the dragon’s gate) and kept on trying to reach its top. The fish struggled for 100 years before reaching up that waterfall. Due to its courage and determination, gods bestowed it with powers and transformed it into a golden dragon, which symbolizes mighty power. 🐉
To this day, it is said that any koi fish that have the potential and perseverance to swim upstream and pass the Dragon's gate will become a giant golden dragon.
Characteristics associated with koi fish symbol:
The reason why koi is linked with great strength and power lies in its striking features.
The most notable feature of koi fish is its habit of upward swimming technique that symbolizes determination, strength, and struggling against the hindrances.
“To describe koi fish valor in words, it is said that if koi gets caught in a trap, it will confront the knife cut without a shiver and accept the death just as a samurai warrior faced sword in the battle.”
Fundamentally, koi fish is considered a symbol of wealth and great quantity. Chinese and Japanese believe that this fish brings peace, happiness, and wealth to those who confront it and use its symbol.
The specific meanings that Koi fish symbol depicts are as follows:
- Reaching a complete transformation in life
- A strong bond/relationship/friendship
- Freedom and individuality
- Getting over the obstacles and succeeding in your goal
- Knowledgeable influence on others and continuous progression
- Deep and passionate love
Distinctive features of every Koi fish:
In Chinese and Japanese culture, it’s a customary habit to breed various koi fish variants in ponds for having a powerful energy influence. Every breed with its color has some distinctive characteristics that would create influence once that breed is gathered in the right amount.
Chinese and Japanese people believe in its positive effects linked with a specific breed, color, and orientation. They believe that a particular direction produces a specific effect.
In Japanese culture, every breed represents a role in the family. For example, black koi fish represents the father, and red koi fish represents the mother.
Various koi fish varieties include:
- Asagi Light Blue
- Beni Kumonryu
- Sandan Kohaku
- Maurten Kohaku
- Yamabuki Ogon
The Koi fish symbol is enormously used for traditional Japanese tattoos. Just like the dragon, which is a symbol of transformation and experimentation, is prioritized for tattoos in Japanese culture, the Koi fish symbol also holds the superior place for tattoo art.
Koi fish paired with Yin Yang in Chinese Feng Shui:
We often see that Yin Yang and koi fish are exhibited as a combined concept in various designs and drawings. This is of great significance in Chinese culture.
It is the Chinese Feng Shui where koi fish and yin yang were symbolized together as one. ⚖️
“Feng shui is the ancient Chinese art of arranging the objects to achieve harmony and balance."
The concept is learned by many people and is widely spread in China and outside China.
The black and white teardrops are symbolized with female and male koi fish swimming together in water and showing harmony while staying together. Dots in each eye drop represent the constant watchful eye of koi fish.
The pairing of Yin Yang and Koi fish translates as two opposite forces working together and permitting the smooth flow of energy. The pair of koi fishes with yin yang also represents passionate love and happy marriage.
Yin Yang Koi fish in Taoism:
Particularly in Taoism, Yin Yang represents that everything has a duality that creates harmony. The circular movement of koi fish means that everything is connected.
“Just like koi male and female swim with water currents and respond accordingly, the same trait should be applied in real life where we should respond every change accordingly, and that is what the actual meaning of koi and yin yang is."
The zodiac symbol Pisces is the same yin yang koi fish symbol in which two fishes are swimming in yin yang style.
Yin Yang Koi Fish Tattoos:
Yin yang koi fish tattoos are very common in Chinese and Japanese culture. Because of the deep meaning linked with this koi fish symbol, people love to make this symbol as their body art. Depending upon the orientation and color, every tattoo depicts a different meaning. Based on what someone desires to convey, the yin-yang koi fish tattoo is chosen carefully.
If you ever want to get a yin-yang koi fish tattoo, then take some time and learn about what the orientation and color say. This way, you can understand their meaning, convey your words better and create a more powerful influence.
What is the meaning behind different colored Yin Yang Koi Fish Tattoos?
Some most standard colors utilized in yin yang koi fish tattoos are:
- Yellow, orange, or gold
Black color koi is considered as the sign of gracefully overcoming any obstacles in life. It is also a symbol used for the father in the family.
This symbol holds a special place for those who believe in its power and have gone through hardships to get their goals, and now they are in a powerful position.
Obstacles can be any situation that stops an individual from going further, such as drug addiction, a long-term illness, toxic relationship, fake friends, depression, business loss, and many other difficult situations. Family members fly their respective color koi fish flags on Children's day, May 5.
White koi is a symbol of a successful career. It also represents the son-in-family members.
As the red color is strongly associated with the heart, red koi is also a connotation of love. Not merely ordinary love but intense, passionate love.
Red koi is a symbol of the mother in the family members, and reddish-pink or pink color symbolizes a daughter.
Other meanings associated with red color are power, courage, and decisive authority.
Blue koi depicts masculinity or manliness. Not only in the Chinese culture, but blue color also shows masculinity in other cultures. It also represents the reproduction capability.
The blue color represents the son in the family members.
In the language of colors, blue is strongly associated with tranquility, peace, serenity, and quietness.
Yellow is mixed with orange to get a gold-colored koi. The gold-colored koi is commonly used in tattoos. In the Japanese language, the word yamabuki is used for golden koi.
The reason for using gold koi in tattoos lies in its meaning. It symbolizes wealth, prosperity, treasure, money, and fortune, which are the biggest desires that anyone can have.
What does the orientation of swimming koi fish depict in tattoos?
There exists a contradiction in the meaning and orientation of swimming koi fish. If you want to use it in your tattoos, you can use whatever direction you want and give it your own meaning that you think is the best.
Tattoos are your own form of expression that portrays you in front of the world, so choose how you like it.
Koi Fish in the upward direction: ☝️
Koi assumes an upward direction when it's swimming against upward water currents and want to go high. Relating this action with its symbol shows that you are still in the working phase. You are trying hard to overcome hurdles and fight your battles, but you will never give up.
Another meaning that is deducted is that you have tried hard and finally overcame all the obstacles and uneven terrains of your life. Now, you are in a powerful position and have all the strength that you wished for. You can use this strength again if any obstacle comes your way.
Koi Fish in a downward direction: 👇
Koi moves downstream when it does not want to go against the water currents and has no potential to move upward.
Relating this action with its symbol translates as you don't have that much power, courage, potential, or heart to go against the worst conditions and pass the obstacles. Unless you get the courage to pass those obstacles, you can't succeed in your life.
Another meaning linked with it is that you have passed through all the difficult and tiring phases of your life. You crossed all obstacles and achieved your goals. As you have reached your goal, now you don't want to set a new goal and go against the waves to reach that goal.
Yin Yang koi Fish Tattoo Expression:
The combination of yin yang and koi fish tattoo expresses the symbol's ultimate simplicity along with its enchanting yet subtle beauty.
As this tattoo depicts both genders, men and women, and shows the two opposite aspects of one thing, it is loved by both men and women. If you ever ask a tattoo designer, he would tell you how much people love getting yin yang koi fish tattoo as a part of their body art.
Guide on Yin Yang koi fish tattoo:
Here is a quick guide while getting a yin-yang koi fish tattoo:
Whatever color, orientation, and appearance you used for your tattoo, every yin-yang koi fish symbol brings balance, peace, harmony, or a feeling of completeness based on its design. This effect would only be visible on your life and body when you feel it and sincerely want to absorb its positive energy ⚡. This feeling is the ultimate driving force with which you should decide to get this tattoo.
- Yin yang koi fish tattoo design can be modified or simplified depending upon one’s choice
- You can keep it simple with just two basic white and black colors, or you can fill it with many rich, bright colors. As the design outline is circular, carving it on the body is not a big deal.
- The perfect use of the yin-yang koi fish tattoo is to get it on that part of the body where you want to achieve balance or get rid of any ailment with the help of the positive influence of the symbol.
- You cannot reach that desired goal if you do not involve yourself in it. Whatever your goal is, be it power, determination, courage, balance, happiness, fortune, or wisdom, it is a mandatory condition that you must understand its meaning and prepare yourself to sense its positive effects.
- If you decide to get a tattoo with only a single fish symbol, choose its direction, color, and type. Its upward or downward stream has a strong effect on your life. The direction decides in which way you want to enhance the energy influence. Every color connotes a different meaning. Use the one color which perfectly exhibits your goal or personality.
Only when you choose the best combination of color, orientation, and type that translates into your own preferred meaning will it give you the right energy.
Koi fish Complementary symbols in tattoos:
As mentioned before, the koi fish symbol incorporates certain other powerful symbols and creates a new design with new meaning.
Koi fish pairing with Yin yang is already discussed in the article. Here are pairs other than yin yang koi fish:
Koi fish paired with fire and water:
Adding fire and water with koi fish can enhance its meaning and power. Just as yin yang koi fish describes balance in duality, fire and water intensify that balance to create harmony in life. 🔥 🌊
It symbolizes how opposite powers come together and act in the right manner to create balance.
Koi fish paired with the dragon:
As the legends told us, koi fish transformed into a holy dragon after it struggled for hundred years and finally reached the top of the waterfall. Similarly, pairing koi fish with the dragon symbolizes extraordinary transformation, but this transformation must come after a long and hard struggle. 🐲
The dragon koi symbol shows that one must overcome many difficulties and obstacles (crossing the upstream water currents) before reaching your goal (reaching the dragon's gate).
This symbol also describes the bravery, courage, and strength to go against all odds and find destiny.
The dragon koi also represents power with all its mightiness, fierceness, and mystery. It shows a new start, new beginning, or rebirth, the ability to forget the painful past and set a new life course with more power and determination.
Koi fish paired with Lotus:
Lotus, a beautiful flower with amazing colors, grows out of the muddy ponds. This represents that mightiness can even originate in the worst conditions. 🌸
Combining lotus with koi fish describes the pain, hardships, and obstacles to overcome before reaching a holy status.
Just as the pretty little koi transformed into a dragon with determination, lotus started growing out in mud but still transformed into a beautiful flower. Similarly, our life can be miserable, painful, and challenging, but we can change ourselves into a strong and powerful human being.
Yin Yang Koi fish drawings:
Having a koi fish wall painting in your home can bring positive energy to your house. For being the symbol of prosperity and wealth in Feng Shui, koi fish drawings can help create a sense of happiness, motivation, excitement, success, encouragement, and peace.
Here are some commonly used koi fish drawings that are the perfect option for your home too: ✏️
The Balance of Yin and Yang:
A drawing in which black and white teardrops present two koi or male and female inside the yin yang symbolizes the balance between yin yang energies. You can hang this drawing in your living room so that it creates harmony between your family members when they sit together.
Nine Koi for Prosperity and Wealth:
Hang a drawing with 8 red/gold and 1 black koi fish. This will bring you wealth and prosperity. The black koi will absorb all bad energies, and red/gold koi will attract chi present around the space.
New Year Blessings:
Get a painting with cherry blossoms, a red lantern 🏮, a lotus, and two koi.
Cherry blossoms and hanging red lanterns welcome a koi pair, and the lotus flower brings fortune. This drawing is an expression of the phrase,” "May there be bounty every year."
Hang in your hallway, attract all chi and welcome everyone.
Yin and Yang of Koi:
The pair of continuously swimming koi in a circle shows an infinite source of energy ⚡. Use it in the location where you want unending energy.
Describing every drawing illustration is beyond the scope of this article. Other koi fish drawing that you should use in your home or office are:
- Positive Energy
- A Long Life
- Blue and Gold Koi
- Koi Fish Attract Happiness and Wealth
- Powerful Feng Shui Symbol
- Circle of Energy
- Two Koi Fish
- Koi Fish Drawings
Yin Yang paired with koi fish brings that perfect balance and harmony that you want to achieve in your life. Use it in your homes, offices, and body arts to get the most out of this symbol. It will surely bring you prosperity, wealth, peace, authority, and fortune that you always long for. ☮️