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Disturbing Mask Tattoos

Updated on August 20, 2015

When you begin to think about mask tattoos, you're almost exclusively going to encounter the dark side of life, as very few tattoo designs including masks are represented by the light.

There are some exceptions, and I've included a couple of those masks here so the overall theme isn't totally on the macabre and more evil side.

Asian cultures, especially the Japanese, are enamored with mask tattoos, specifically the Hannya, which represents women who have become demons because of jealousy or being obsessively vengeful. The Japanese use the masks in plays or dances to portray a jealous female demon.

While they are the predominant tattoo mask design, there are still some others that are very interesting, and can generate some creative ideas for those who want to tattoo a mask design on their body.

Mask from "Metal Health"

This first mask tattoo will easily be identified by Heavy Metal fans, as it's the image of the person on the wildly successful album "Metal Health," by Quiet Riot. The person with the mask was also in a straight jacket on the cover.

As for design, it's a very well done tattoo, and has numerous elements that are very compelling, including the hair, mask and top of the red straight jacket.

Jason "Halloween" Mask

This is a tattoo of one of the masks worn by Jason in the slasher film series, "Halloween."

The design of the mask is fantastic, and I really like the way that eye is looking sideways. Great shadowing with the image as well.

Unique Mask Tattoo

I'm not sure if this is a mask that should be known or not, as I'm not aware what or who it may represent. I did find it interesting as far as tears coming down the side and what may be portrayed by it.

Again, the design on this, even if it's unattractive to most, is really high quality, and would be very hard to do. That smoke from the cigarette is a nice touch too.

Hannya Tattoos

We'll now get into the dark Hannya tattoos, beginning with a very compelling design that garners the attention immediately. When I first saw this I thought it was a look at a partially completely job, but looking closer, it appears to be finished.

The way the red and lighter colors are used to enhance the demon mask is extraordinary. I wouldn't want this type of tattoo, but it is great art nonetheless.

Hannya Mask Tattoos

Here are several more Hannya mask tattoos, each with a different look. The third one down is interesting because when plays are performed, the mask can be moved downward to be made to look sad, rather than the rage that is revealed when the mask is held up, as you see in the other photos.

Theater Mask Tattoos

Here's a good looking set of tattoos if you enjoy the theme. The theater masks are ubiquitous when stories and tales are told about the genre. Those who love the theater will surely appreciate these two fellows.

Masquerade Mask Tattoo

This masquerade mask was one of the few that were light and whimsical in the mask genre. It's a nice looking tattoo and a relief from the more dark subject matter we've been looking at. The blue in the tattoo stands out nice.

African Mask Tattoo

This last mask tattoo we're looking at is completely different from the others, in that it's a ceremonial mask. The style is also very unique, and the lines and shadow done in an attractive manner.

It was educational for me when researching the various mask tattoo designs there were out there. Obviously, designers and artists look at the mask as more negative subject matter, and consequently the designs and tattoos reflect what is considered the dark side of human nature as represented by the mask.


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