Slave Chinese Symbol Tattoo Blog

Slave Chinese Symbol Tattoo: Meaning, History, and Controversy

The art of tattooing has a rich cultural history, with various designs and symbols carrying deep meanings. One such symbol that has gained popularity in recent times is the Chinese character for “slave.” This blog post explores the meaning behind the slave Chinese symbol tattoo, its historical significance, and the controversies surrounding its use.

The Meaning of the Slave Chinese Symbol Tattoo

The Chinese character for “slave” is represented by the symbol “奴” (nú). Historically, this character denoted an individual in a position of servitude, someone who was owned by another. However, in contemporary tattoo culture, the meaning has evolved and become more nuanced.

For some, getting a slave Chinese symbol tattoo represents freedom from societal expectations and the courage to break away from the shackles of conformity. It can be seen as a rebellious statement against oppressive systems and a reminder to live life on one’s own terms.

Others interpret the tattoo in a more personal context, using it as a symbol of overcoming personal struggles or as a reminder of past hardships. It can serve as a source of strength and motivation to never forget one’s resilience in the face of adversity.

The Historical Significance of the Slave Chinese Symbol

In Chinese history, slavery was prevalent during various periods, particularly in ancient times and feudal societies. However, it’s important to note that the context and connotations of “奴” have evolved over time.

Originally, the character represented individuals who were owned by others and subjected to servitude. They had limited rights and freedoms, and their social status was considered inferior. However, as Chinese society progressed and slavery was abolished, the character took on new meanings.

In contemporary China, “奴” is seldom used to refer to literal slaves. Instead, it has become a metaphorical term used to describe a submissive or dependent relationship, devoid of the historical baggage associated with literal slavery.

The Controversy Surrounding the Slave Chinese Symbol Tattoo

Given the historical context of slavery and the sensitivities surrounding it, the use of the slave Chinese symbol tattoo has sparked controversy and debate.

Some argue that getting such a tattoo trivializes the suffering of those who endured slavery throughout history. They believe it is disrespectful to use a symbol associated with such an oppressive institution for personal aesthetic reasons.

On the other hand, proponents of the tattoo emphasize the freedom of personal expression and interpret the symbol in a more positive light. They argue that the meaning of the tattoo has evolved and no longer directly represents the historical institution of slavery.


The slave Chinese symbol tattoo carries complex meanings that extend beyond its historical origins. While some see the tattoo as a representation of personal empowerment and overcoming adversity, others view it as an insensitive appropriation of a painful history. As with any tattoo, it is crucial to consider the symbolism and potential implications before getting inked.