One of the most popular categories in traditional Japanese tattoos is samurai warrior, called Musha-e, such as “Raiko slaying demons at Mt.Ooeyama”, “Hedesato defeating giant centipede”, “Yoshinaka’s last stand”, “Hirotsune slaying nine tailed fox” “Tametomo defeating dragon” and so on.
Most of these tattoo motifs are famous scenes from Japanese histories, myths, legends and folklores.
For example, Raiko was a samurai that existed one thousand years ago and left many legends. One of the most famous stories about him is “Demon Shuten-Doji at Mt.Ooeyama”. The summery of the story is that Raiko went to Mt.Ooeyama to slay demons and finally he chopped the head of Shuten-Doji off. But Doji’s severed head was still alive, snapped its jaws, aiming at Raiko’s head.
(You could probably find more information of this story on the internet by “Shuten Doji”)・ ・
They have very interesting stories behind each motif.