Most of the time, Japanese wave tattoos show strength and life through art. The waves also show how life naturally changes from day to day. Dragons and koi fish are often used in Japanese wave tattoos to show problems in life.
The famous Japanese painting “The Great Wave” by Katsushika Hokusai is the source of one of the most popular Japanese wave tattoo designs. The painting shows a big wave breaking off the coast at Kanagwa. Through the wave, you can see Mount Fuji. Three rowing boats fight to stay alive in the face of a big wave. This shows how strong and determined you can be when things are hard.