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The Meaning of a Shark Tattoo in One Piece

Discover the symbolism behind the One Piece shark tattoo. Explore Nami’s connection to it and how it impacts the storyline of One Piece.
The Meaning of a Shark Tattoo in One Piece

In the world of One Piece, tattoos play a significant role in the lives of the characters. Among the various tattoos that appear in the show, the shark tattoo on Nami's arm stands out.

The Meaning of a Shark Tattoo in One Piece

In this blog post, I will explain the symbolism and significance of the shark tattoo in One Piece and explore its importance in the context of the story.

The Shark Tattoo's Origins

The shark tattoo is mainly associated with the Arlong Pirates, a crew of fish-men who terrorized the East Blue. The tattoo consists of a shark and two bones in the background. 

Arlong Pirates Shark Tattoo on Nami's Arm

This was the pirates' symbol and was tattooed onto all of the members of the Arlong Pirates. Even Nami was forced to have it on her arm as a mark of loyalty.

She hated the tattoo and tried to cover it with a bandage or a sleeve, as it reminded her of her tragic past and her oppression by Arlong.

Symbolism of the Shark Tattoo

If explained simply, we can say it symbolizes Arlong pirates, because Arlong was a shark, and leader of the Arlong pirates. So, it was obvious that their emblem will be a shark tattoo. But, the shark tattoo also has a deeper meaning.

Arlong Pirates Shark Logo and Tattoo meaning

The shark symbolizes the power and dominance of the Arlong Pirates, who considered themselves superior to humans. The bones represent their cruelty and violence, as they did not hesitate to kill anyone who opposed them.

The Shark Tattoo's Impact on the Story

The shark tattoo in One Piece plays a significant role in the storyline and character development. For Nami, it becomes a symbol of her struggle, loyalty, and eventual liberation from Arlong's oppressive rule.

After Luffy and his crew defeated Arlong and freed Nami's village, Nami decided to change her tattoo and make it a symbol of her new life. 

She asked Nojiko, her adoptive sister, to give her the same tattoo as hers: an orange tangerine and a blue pinwheel. The tangerine represents Bell-mère, their adoptive mother who was killed by Arlong, and the pinwheel represents Genzo, the village sheriff who protected them.

Nami's new Tattoo symbol : an orange tangerine and a blue pinwheel

The new tattoo also covers the old shark tattoo, symbolizing Nami's liberation from Arlong's tyranny.


In conclusion, the shark tattoo in One Piece is a powerful example of how tattoos can reflect one's identity, history, and emotions. For Arlong and his crew, it is a sign of their tyranny and arrogance.

It also shows how tattoos can be transformed into something new and meaningful, as a way of healing and moving on. The shark tattoo is a good example of how tattoos can convey different messages in One Piece.

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