Kanji tattoos

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Death Tattoos / Grim Reaper Tattoos: themes and meanings

Grim Reaper (also referred to as the Angel of Death) is a figure commonly used to represent death. The Grim Reaper became prominent in folklore during the Middle Ages, displacing earlier conceptions of Death as a benevolent, female figure. In 1479 in Cardiff, Duroc, seemingly a representation of Death who resembled a walking skeleton, appeared.

The Grim Reaper is often depicted as a skeleton or as a solemn-looking man wearing a flowing black cloak and carrying a scythe, who cuts off people's lives as though he were harvesting grain. Legend has it that he appears when one is nearing death to separate the human soul from the physical body using his sharp scythe. The Grim Reaper then chaperones the soul to its final destination (Heaven or Hell) and moves on to his next “appointment.” Although the Reaper is not a ghost, his is invisible and present at the moment of death.

Grim Reaper tattoos meanings:

The Grim Reaper and the Skull were often used as symbols in medieval and renaissance art as a stark reminder of the fact that life is finite and hints powerfully at the afterlife that awaits us. Various aphorisms and reflections (like "Memento mori", which can be translated as "Remember your mortality", "Remember you must die" or "Remember you will die") can be included in the design of these tattoos.

Carpe Diem (Seize the day)- the Grim Reaper tattoo can be a symbolic reminder that we are all mortal and to live life to the fullest and to accept your fate with bravery.

Death tattoos are very common among solders. As it represents courage, bravery, and not being afraid of death. You accept life for as it is, and strongly follow your goals.

Someone who has survived a grievous accident or life-threatening illness might get a Grim Reaper tattoo as a symbol of their triumph over death, or to remind themselves that just because they escaped once does not mean their future is certain.

The idea that "Life's a laugh and death's a joke" - usually, these tattoos contain comical or cartoon-like elements.

Below are several pictures with Grim Reaper tatoos:
Grim Reaper tattoo covering the shoulder and the upper arm
Grim Reaper tattoo covering the shoulder and the upper arm

Black and white Grim Reaper tattoo
Black and white Grim Reaper tattoo

skull tattoo / memento mori tattoo
Death tattoo combining various elements: a skull, a clock - symbol of the of the relentless flow of time, a rose - a symbol of the ephemeral and the Latin phrase "Memento mori"

Related posts:
Death tattoos: the main depictions of the Grim Reaper
Death tattoos: angels of death - themes and representations (1)
Death tattoos: angels of death - themes and representations (2)
Death tattoos: angels of death (1)
Angel of Death tattoos: examples and ideas

1 comment:

  1. Circle of life with reaper and tree of life. My boyfriend has one on his back. Ive learned alot while he snored...