Snake tattoo on ribs

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This piece was inspired by the artwork of the amazing William Yoneyama who I have been lucky enough to get tattooed by myself. His work has been an inspiration for me for a long time and one day I hope to be able to tattoo on his level.

In Japanese tattoos snakes mean protection, wisdom and protects against illness and bad luck.

This reptiles associations are complex and varied. Snakes can be seen as phallic and sexual as well as dangerous and mysterious. However similar to a dragon the snake is a protector and connected to water. In the past the snake was seen as immortal because it sheds its skin. There are Shinto shrines in Japan dedicated to the white snake or “Shirohebi”. White snakes are believed to signify good fortune and are worshiped in Japanese culture. Snakes are normally paired with spring motifs like cherry blossoms and peonies since it is in spring that snakes come out from hibernation.

Business owners in Japan often hang the symbol of a snake over its front door to give them good luck in business.