Tattoo Designs Symbols Title
The Vanishing Tattoo

Witty, intelligent, loyal and playful, that's the monkey character.

Averse to change but adapting well over time, the mischievous monkey has found its way into religion, folklore, myth and astrology. As a tattoo motif you'll see it leaping over various parts of the anatomy, sometimes as a Chinese kanji. In the Chinese zodiac, the Monkey is super-quick and multi-talented, but has a tendency to be an opportunist. The over confident monkey could end up losing face.

Monkey legends tell of its rise to godly status, and of its misadventures down on earth. From his position of power, monkey often wreaks havoc, which calls down the wrath of the gods. Once put in his place, though, the monkey learns from his mistakes, resulting in his wisdom.

Hanuman is the Hindu monkey god, believed by some to be the reincarnation of Shiva, the Hindu God. In this aspect he is heroic and dedicated to justice. Thunder, wind and the Sun are associated with Hanuman.

In ancient Japan the monkey was the messenger of the gods. Monkey was the symbol of a harmonious marriage, fertility and safe childbirth, as well as protector against disease and demons. It was believed to be the Japanese monkey who made famous: 'Speak no evil, hear no evil, see no evil.'

A famous legend tells of the monkey who accompanied a monk on his historic journey from India to China carrying the holy Buddhist teachings. Buddha chose the monkey as the best companion a monk could have -- being smart and courageous and able to protect the monk from demons and evil spirits long the way.

See also: Animal Tattoos Index, Zodiac