Cherry Blossom Tattoo Ideas and Meanings
Cherry Blossom Tattoo Ideas
A friend of mine has a cherry blossom tattoo. He’s a big dude, and quite intimidating. The delicate flowers tattooed on his bulging bicep seemed a little like a paradox, a juxtaposition of tough and tender.
I asked him about this. He responded with a smile, because that’s exactly how he felt about the tattoo. He knows he’s a bruiser, but he appreciates his soft side too.
The cherry blossom is a symbol of Japanese warriors called Samurai. Now, talk about intimidating. These guys look like they could slice and dice a body with a mere glance. But they’re more than just fierce warriors. Apparently, Samurai live by a highly noble, moral code. It’s called Bushido, the ‘warrior’s way’. Basically, the warrior’s way is one of chivalry, integrity, respect and honor.
The cherry blossom is a good fit for the Samurai and Bushido. Why? Because it illustrates the balance between power. The cherry tree is strong and hard like the Samurai is required to be. But the blossoms are sweet and delicate. I’m not proposing Samurai are sweet and dainty…but the Bushido code includes appreciation for these attributes. They serve to protect beauty, to preserve fine, delicate ways of life. They value beauty. These are some of tattoo ideas associated with the cherry blossom. I mentioned this to my friend. He knew all about it, and it’s one of the reasons that inspired his cherry blossom tattoo.
Shown below are some other symbolic meanings associated with cherry blossom tattoo ideas.
“Bushido is an independent code of ethics, its power will
not perish from the earth.
Like its symbolic flower, after it is blown to the four winds,
it will still bless mankind
with the perfume with which it will enrich life.”~Inazo Nitobe, Bushido: The Soul of Japan. A Classic Essay on Samurai Ethics
Cherry Blossom Keywords
Another aspect of this flower and Samurai wisdom deals with embracing death, and the fleeting nature of life itself. To explain, cherry blossoms express astounding beauty. But they unfurl their extraordinary loveliness in the blink of an eye. A Japanese spring requires one to embrace the cherry blossoms while you can, because the intoxicating sight doesn’t last long at all…the peak of bloom only lasts about a week.
That’s symbolic. It speaks to the heart about seizing the moment. In Japanese symbology, it represents impermanence. Nothing lasts forever, so appreciate the good stuff while it’s in bloom.
In Chinese symbology, the cherry blossom is synonymous with renewal seen at springtime. As a harbinger of spring, cherry blossoms are symbolic of good harvests, protection of crops and life’s brilliant return after harsh winters.
It is also a feature at weddings, and considered a sign of good luck and prosperity in love. The blossoms are often used in wedding rituals to insure a happy union for the new couple.
Because the spectacular cherry blossoming event is so brief, it’s often a time of high celebration. Here again, there’s symbolism of grabbing the good stuff, milking the joys of life while they’re in front of us. Cherry blossom tattoo ideas are joined with that tenet. Appreciate beauty. Wonder in the fragility of life. The laundry can wait. The squabbles with friends and family might not be that big of a deal. Rather…the cherry blossom symbolism asks us to seize the love. Squeeze the beauty out of each moment. Life is fleeting, savor it while you can.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this article on cherry blossom tattoo ideas. If you like this sort of symbolic mining, be sure to check out my page on more meaningful tattoo ideas here.
Happy tattooing, and bright blossoming,
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