Peony Sleeve Japanese Tattoo. In Progress.
Flower Symbolism in Japan
Hanakotoba is the Japanese ‘language of flowers’. Essentially, each flower has its own meaning, often based on its physical attributes and/or well known appearances in historical art and literature. Each flower symbol can therefore be used to convey a specific emotion or sentiment without the need to use words.
Here are some popular examples of flower symbolism in Japanese culture…
- Cherry blossom. This is the most popular flower symbol in Japan, so much so that there’s even a festival to celebrate its arrival in the spring (hanami). Cherry blossom is a symbol of wabi-sabi, an important world view in Japan relating to the acceptance of transience and imperfection, as well as gentleness and kindness.
- Chrysanthemum. The chrysanthemum is the symbol of the Emperor and the Imperial family, and as such appears on the Imperial Seal, Japanese passports and the 50 yen coin. It is also said to represent longevity and rejuvenation.
- Peony. Also known as the ‘King of Flowers’, the peony is a symbol of good fortune, bravery and honour, and is often used in tattoos to signify a devil-may-care attitude.
- Lotus. Represents purity of the body, speech, and mind; derived from Buddhist symbolism.
- Carnation: Symbolises fascination, distinction and love. Carnations are often given on Mother’s Day. (source)
Peony Sleeve Japanese Tattoo. Traditional tattoo. In progress. Also small cover up. Tattoo Culture, Brooklyn, NYC.