Top 25 Crane Tattoos With Meaning: Myths, Legends & Symbolism

A crane tattoo also conveys a profound sentiment, much like other animal tattoos. More precisely, Its specialty is its significance in Japanese culture.
In Japanese myth and folklore, crane tattoos originated centuries ago. What’s more! Japanese tattoos are coveted for their rich ethos, heritage, and artistic aesthetic. Crane tattoos, however, may be new to many people.
If you plan to get one, you must know its purpose. As a start, it signifies good fortune, youth, and beauty. The symbol also represents strength and endurance. The next section will elaborate on the message this tattoo holds. Additionally, we’ve collected a variety of Crane tattoos to get you started. Hence, let’s begin!


25 Crane Tattoo Designs and Meanings

Due to their beauty and swiftness, cranes best represent grace, splendor, elegance, patience, peace,, and purity. Further, they are also associated with devotion, faithfulness,, and fidelity. This is why they are often used in Asian cultures as symbols for happy marriages. Besides, their toughness makes them an emblem of strength and endurance. Additionally, this bird holds spiritual significance in many religions. Also, it could be a somber reference, like one related to death.


Traditional Japanese Crane Tattoo

The traditional Japanese crane tattoo signifies a long life, fortune, and prosperity. It also stands for tranquility and loyalty. Besides, cranes are also associated with spring in Japanese culture. 

According to Japanese tattoo rules, inking should cover a large area. Plus, they must carry a symbol representing Japanese culture.


1. Red Crowned Crane

Traditional Japanese Crane Tattoo 1

The red crown of this crane makes it stand out. It depicts longevity and immortality. Besides carrying a deep meaning, it is also visually pleasing with a prominent red hue and B&W. 


2. Spread Wing Crane

Traditional Japanese Crane Tattoo 2
Source: nhong_niramit

This is another traditional crane tattoo with fanned wings and red accents. It may suggest wealth and prosperity. Further, it covered a large part of the back of the shoulder.


3. B&W Crane  

Traditional Japanese Crane Tattoo 3
Source: amijok

With its spreading wing and spanning the entire sleeve area, the crane inking remained authentic to traditional Japanese tattoos. Besides, the heads rising high could indicate good fortune and optimism.


4. Red Crowned Crane With Sakura

Traditional Japanese Crane Tattoo 4
Source: navarro_tattoo

With Sakura all over the crane tattoo, the bird lies on its back. Its appearance suggests beauty and reverence for life. Further, the size and the Sakura represent Japan.


5. Crane With Sakura

Traditional Japanese Crane Tattoo 5
Source: yakir.tattooer

With its wings spread and Sakura in bloom, the crane embodies Japan’s aesthetics. While the Sakura signifies a fresh start, the bird symbolizes beauty and prosperity. Plus, it gracefully covers the calf.


Crane Tattoo Meaning

The artistic appeal and positive symbolism of crane tattoos make them a preferred choice for many. The crane is viewed as a symbol of longevity, happiness, and blessing. Additionally, they represent peace, wisdom, and fidelity. Since it is mostly associated with Japan, there are many references to Japanese culture. Crane origami, red-crowned cranes, and cranes with Sakura are some examples.


6. A Swinging Crane


Crane Tattoo Meaning 1
Source: breadloaf___

This soaring crane is gracefully placed on the forearm area. Even though it’s monochrome, the upward gaze exudes a sense of hope and an optimistic outlook. Also, it radiates elegance and charm. 


7. Crane With Red Crown

Crane Tattoo Meaning 2
Source: j.r.smith____

The crowned crane always stands out for its bright red hue. The B&W crane in the foreground spreads its wings for optimism and luck. Moreover, it accentuates below the knee area. 


8. Cranes Holding Scroll


Crane Tattoo Meaning 3
Source: goldblume_tattoo

With its scroll featuring a pretty woman’s face, this tattoo is truly one-of-a-kind. There are two cranes holding it. We can therefore say that the tattoo celebrates femininity and charisma.


9. Crane On The Cherry Tree

Crane Tattoo Meaning 4
Source: offtattooer

On the calf is a tattoo depicting a cherry tree with a crane standing beside it. The crane symbolizes hope. Similarly, the tree portrays nature, renewal, or spring.


10. The black & red crane

Crane Tattoo Meaning 5
Source: offtattooer

The red sky is filled with two cranes. One is B&W, the other is red. Hope and luck are echoed in them. Furthermore, peace and prosperity are enhanced by red hue.


Origami Crane Tattoo

Origami crane tattoos are popular for their uplifting symbolism of hope, peace, long life, and enduring success. Why origami in particular? “A Thousand Cranes Project”, is an ancient Japanese tradition. It involves folding a thousand origami cranes to fulfill wishes. Further, they often include other symbols, such as flowers, hearts, or waves in traditional vibes.


11. Crane Origami With Flower

Origami Crane Tattoo 1
Source: pink_tattoostudio

On the back of the arm, this crane origami tattoo features a clean, bold design. Besides, it radiates a more feminine energy. Moreover, the floral motif brings vibrancy to the design. 


12.The Charcoal Effect Origami Crane

Origami Crane Tattoo 2

Due to its pitch-black charcoal effect, the origami tattoo stands out. Hence, it may appear more masculine. Furthermore, it is the perfect size for small canvas in addition to above-the-knee.



13. Vibrant Origami Crane

Origami Crane Tattoo 3

This crane on the inner upper arm uses vivid hues to create vibrancy. Thus, color lovers will surely appreciate it. Plus, men can also wear it even if it looks more feminine. 


14. Pastel Crane Origami

Origami Crane Tattoo 4
Source: knivesandneedles

Using muted vibrant tones and plane monochrome creates subtlety in the tattoo. Plus, it’s neat and petite, giving off a more delicate vibe. Moreover, it is compact enough to fit smaller frames.


15. Water Color Inking Origami Crane

Origami Crane Tattoo 5
Source: mrartistpainterman

With its watercolor-bled inking, this origami tattoo is remarkable. Besides, the illustration adds a sense of distinctiveness to the character. Although colorful, it is suitable for both men and women. 


Sandhill Crane Tattoo

The sandhill crane is known for its long migrations and strong family bonds. Hence, tattooing them would resonate with strength, loyalty, perseverance, and faithfulness. In addition, sandhill crane tattoos often feature cranes spreading their wings, soaring high, or paired together. Besides, in keeping with tradition, there will be hints of bright red and vast-sized tattoos.


16. An Assemblage of Cranes 

Sandhill Crane Tattoo 1
Source: ratqueenink

At the red point, which resembles a sun, two cranes face each other. Besides, the large size of the upper back makes it seem overwhelming. This could indicate loyalty or eternal love.


17. Crane on the Back

Sandhill Crane Tattoo 2
Source: angela.emr_tattoos

It is yet another imposing tattoo on the entire back. Besides, it has an aura of power and a headstrong spirit. Plus, the red is stunning contrast to the predominantly monochrome design.


18. Flapping Crane On Back

Sandhill Crane Tattoo 3
Source: sidtattoos_

Unlike the previous two, this crane tattoo is smaller and on the side of the back. Further, the sky-high red-crowned crane radiates strength while remaining relaxed and peaceful.


19. Pastel Crane

Sandhill Crane Tattoo 4
Source: jennyhelmtat2

The color choice of this crane tattoo makes it a focal point. Using pastel colors creates a calming atmosphere. Nevertheless, the soaring head seems steadfast in its aim for a bright and promising future.


20. A Pair of Crane

Sandhill Crane Tattoo 5
Source: spideymoetattoo

This pair of cranes on the upper chest area lying in tandem. In addition to creating a sense of bonding, they also foster understanding. Hence, it could depict loyalty and affection.


Traditional Crane Tattoo

The traditional crane tattoo reflects peace, harmony, and fidelity and stands for long-lasting love. It also signals the start of spring. Additionally, traditional tattoos use bright red colors in conjunction with other bright colors. Further, they are typically widespread, covering most of the canvas. Besides, you’ll notice a blend of traditional elements.


21. B&W Crane With bright red

Traditional Crane Tattoo 1
Source: alexduquettetattoos

The monochrome crane  stands out against the bright sun-like spot. Moreover, the inking is bold, giving the tattoo a strong symbolism. Plus, red enhances the dynamism. It also depicts hope.


22. Flying Crane

Traditional Crane Tattoo 2
Source: simonexschmitz

The inking on this crane is eye-catching. Furthermore, it looks edgy and confident against the red backdrop. Additionally, the approach adheres to traditional inking practices.


23. The Fierce Crane 

Traditional Crane Tattoo 3
Source: mandril_tattoos

The red graphic hovering over the crane gives off the impression of fierceness. Besides, with its timeless elements, it qualifies as traditional tattoo art. Also, it could be a symbol of a brighter future.


24. Detailed Crane Design

Traditional Crane Tattoo 4
Source: skin.ninja_

With its elaborate inking, this crane has an Eastern Asian look. Further, Surrounding Chinese characters accentuate the traditional style. A powerful, strong , and confident aura emanates from it. 


25. Crane with flowers

Traditional Crane Tattoo 5
Source: redgrizzly123

Featuring beautiful striking flowers, this traditional crane tattoo is simply magnificent. Plus, it radiates more femininity. Furthermore, seeing it gives a feeling of comfort, tranquility, and optimism. 


White Crane Tattoo



White Crane Tattoo 1
Source: artcorpustattoo



White Crane Tattoo 2
Source: jack_the_lantern



White Crane Tattoo 3
Source: scarabaeus.ttoo



White Crane Tattoo 4
Source: inktalktattoostudio



White Crane Tattoo 5
Source: inktalktattoostudio



An elegant and sleek white feathered crane is a sight to behold. Thus, this would allow a wearer to represent aesthetics. Additionally, it symbolizes devotion and perseverance. Besides, anyone seeking luck could tattoo it as well. Furthermore, for those who revere Eastern cultures, especially Japanese culture, a crane tattoo is a lovely gesture. 

In addition to having a multitude of meanings, the designs also hold a strong sense of splendor. Plus, males and females can both get crane tattoos. Hopefully, our collection gave you plenty of inspiration for you to have a tattoo that speaks your purpose. 



What does a crane tattoo symbolize?

Symbols associated with cranes include beauty, grace, purity, peace, loyalty, strength, patience, and more. It may also be a symbol of spiritual significance in religion. 

Are cranes good luck?

Yes, a crane or tsuru is considered a symbol of luck in Japanese culture. Besides, it is a bird associated with happiness and longevity. 

Is the crane a symbol of peace?

Yes, in Japanese culture, cranes symbolize peace. Moreover, apart from Japan, many other countries around the world fold them to wish for peace. 

What is a lucky crane?

In Japanese culture, cranes have always been symbols of prosperity and luck. A thousand origami cranes are believed to bring one’s most cherished wish into reality.

What does the crane tattoo mean in Korea?

Korea also recognizes the significance of the crane, just as it does in Japan. In particular, the red-crowned crane, also known as durum or hak. This symbol represents longevity, purity, and peace. Further, the bird was seen as an icon of constancy by Korean seonbis.

Do cranes symbolize love?

Yes, cranes are also symbols of love, good fortune, and unconditional love. 

Is a crane a good symbol?

With all the positive and beautiful meanings associated with it, it is clearly a good symbol. Hence, it is considered a symbol of happiness and eternal youth throughout Asia. 

What is the 1000 crane myth?

The 1,000-crane origami tradition traces its roots back to an ancient Japanese legend. According to legend, anyone who folded 1,000 paper cranes would be granted either a lifetime of happiness and success or a wish of their choice. 

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