Cherry Blossom Tattoo Designs
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The cherry blossom is a beautiful flower that grows on cherry trees and that is closely related to the rose (cherry fruit comes from another kind of tree). Cherry blossoms, which are most commonly found in Western Asia and Eastern Europe, have become popular cultural and social symbols in China and Japan, across different forms of art, including tattoo art.
Cherry blossom tattoos are often inked in the style of vines that wrap around the body or as the entire tree with blooming flowers. The most common places to get a cherry blossom tattoo are the shoulder, back, lower back, the side, foots and legs.
Japanese Cherry Blossom Tattoos
In Japan the cherry blossom is known as Sakura and its symbolism represents two things:
- The Samurai class, which is defined by those belonging to the upper tiers of the warrior class.
- The Japanese also use the cherry blossom as a symbol for the Buddhist belief that life is based around transition and suffering. Its delicate beauty can only be enjoyed for a fleeting moment of time.
The cherry blossom tattoo reminds the wearer that all things, good and bad, will pass. The tattoo gives comfort in times of hardship or grief, or reminds the wearer to appreciate the good things around them.
A common symbol is of a falling cherry blossom petal or a blossom in the snow. This symbol is repeated throughout Japanese literature and poetry.
Chinese Cherry Blossom Tattoos
In China cherry blossoms symbolize feminine power. This power is due to a woman's beauty, sexuality, and ability to use these gifts as a way of maintaining dominance over a man. The cherry blossom is often seen in Chinese medicines as a herb that can inspire love.
Because of this symbolism, tattoos inspired by the cherry blossom have become popular designs that acknowledge womanly power and sexuality. A cherry blossom tattoo may be perfect for a woman who wants to celebrate and declare her independence. Women wear this tattoo to represent a change in life, a reward for overcoming an obstacle, or to even emphasize their beauty.
Men vs. Women
The most common cherry blossom tattoo style has bold colours, defined edges and is almost cartoonesque. Another style is a softer approach: soft colours and tones, gentle bends, and realistic design can make the blossoms seem to have the translucent quality of a watercolour painting.
It is easy to get a cherry blossom tattoo that represents your personal style. Both men and women (a lot more women than men though) have incorporated cherry blossom flowers into their tattoo designs, but usually the design combinations are a bit different.
Women often mix cherry blossoms with:
- Birds: hummingbirds, sparrows or swallows are a popular addition for women. Old school bird tattoos represented a variety of moods or stages of life, and can represent various stages of human emotion depending on the wing span of the tattoo and other factors incorporated into the bird such as the colour and feathers.
- Other animals like the koi fish or turtle.
- Text: texts such as quotes, poems, Bible verses are often combined with cherry blossoms.
Cherry blossom tattoos are the most common flower tattoos for men to get. Cherry blossoms or cherry trees are commonly mixed with more masculine symbols to soften the femininity, such as:
- Skulls or old-school sailor tattoos to contradict or soften the masculinity.
- Dragons (more about dragon tattoos)
- Kanji: Japanese writing combines well with cherry blossoms. Many people choose words such as love, purity or passion to go along with cherry blossom designs. The combination of flowers looks elegant against the sharp, significant black lettering of Japanese symbols.
- Tigers (more about tiger tattoos)
- Geisha: geisha are traditional female entertainers from Japan.
Cherry Blossom Tree Tattoos
Most cherry blossom tattoos include a branch, but complete cherry tree tattoos are popular as well. Some are big and solid, others wilted and fragile.
Cherry trees carry greater symbolic meaning in Japan and China:
- In Japan, the cherry tree is used to represent nobility and fertility. This is because in ancient Japan, nobles were invited to private parties thrown to view and appreciate the cherry tree once it had bloomed. These parties were highly exclusive and only the highest ranking members of society were invited to such events.
- In China, the cherry tree is used to symbolize femininity, beauty, and life. Cherry tree tattoos are often chosen to represent the Chinese interpretations of the tree, and are also said to work as a sort of good luck charm. The Chinese believe that the blossoms of the cherry tree can bestow good luck onto a person, helping them to find happiness and love.
Celebrities With Cherry Blossom Tattoos
The only celebrity I can think of with a cherry blossom tattoo is Aubrey Fisher from LA Ink. If you know more please let me know.
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