In Japanese, ‘koi’ translates to ‘carp’ or carp fish. However, just because the word carries a simple meaning doesn’t necessarily mean that koi fish do not possess any form of symbolism. The word ‘koi’ is taken from the Japanese word ‘nishigikoi’. Koi fish come in a whole spectrum of colors, and their scales are decorated with beautiful patterns. People keep koi fish in ponds and raise them as pets, and you can find pet stores that only sell koi fish. Koi fish are high-maintenance fish, and are very expensive to take care of.
Koi fish are also a common subject in tattoos. According to most tattoo artists, koi fish represent strength, prosperity, determination, independence, perseverance, and good luck, among other things. All of this is based on the huge amount of reverence and respect that the Japanese people have for the humble koi fish.