The wide range of koi fish tattoos has different meanings. For example a koi fish tattoo design with the fish moving against the stream is a symbolic representation of strength. This is because in life it takes a lot of guts to face the tide that fate has to unfold for you. In other cases the koi fish also represents perseverance or victory that has been achieved over a struggle.
Another symbolic meaning that koi fish tattoos have for the masses is that of independence. This perception is more influenced by the west where going against the norm of society is a thing to be celebrated. The koi tattoo shows the wearers pride in being the odd one out and not caring about the opinions of others. Basically the koi fish becomes a very personal message that people try to put out for others to see.