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Cherry blossom tattoos generally symbolize your softer side. A rose tattoo on your ripped chest could mean the love bug has bitten you. A tattoo of an orchid can symbolize your spirituality. A wildflower tattoo may represent your enigma or mystery, signifying your untold secrets (and perhaps that inexplicable urge to spill your guts to someone).

Although a cherry blossom tattoo can symbolize a gentler, kinder you — like every other flower from a flash sheet — can also mean strength. (So don’t think of the delicate ink as a mark of being a pushover.)

The tiny light pink flowers, which come in other colors and bloom in spring for only two weeks, can represent the polar opposites of life — and their representation will likely depend on where it is you call home.

What is the Meaning of a Cherry Blossom Tattoo?

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The meaning of a cherry blossom flower tattoo is different in many countries. Yes, the delicate-looking flower is more popularly associated with Japanese culture and is that country’s national flower. But a cherry blossom tree doesn’t only grow in the Land of the Rising Sun.

It also grows in the US, Taiwan, China, Nepal, Afghanistan, Iran, Korea, Thailand, India, Canada, and Europe. Each country interprets the flower according to its history, beliefs, and practices.

So a cherry blossom tree tattoo could mean peace if you’re an American, whereas a tattoo of fallen cherry petals could symbolize the end of someone’s life if you’re Japanese.

What Does a Cherry Blossom Means in the US?

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The cherry blossom found in Washington DC, around the Potomac Park and the National Mall, has come to represent tranquility and peace. A stark contrast to how the capital city can get pretty turbulent and mired in disharmony when political forces butt heads.

But these delicate flowers have come to symbolize what they symbolize because Japan gave them as a way to restore the friendship and alliance between the two countries. Yokohama sent 3,020 cherry blossom trees to Washington in 1912; ever since the city has celebrated the Cherry Blossom Festival.

Even during 1939, when Hitler’s armies marched into Europe, and Great Depression ravaged the world, some Americans found solace under a sakura tree as cherries bloomed in spring. 

What Does a Cherry Blossom Means in China?

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Cherry blossoms take on a sensual appeal in China. People here believe the flower represents female sexuality, dominance, and beauty. Instead of fragility, it symbolizes strength and power.

So if you’re looking to get empowered, a tattoo of cherry blossoms in red running down the lengthy, smoldering side of your body or your voluptuous back could make you feel more adventurous, unrestrained in bed (or the living room or kitchen, wherever passion hits you).

What Does a Cherry Blossom Means in Japan?

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But if you want to mark your journey into a new life and signify your renewed hope for a productive year, a Japanese cherry blossom tattoo is a perfect ink to convey your rebirth and resurrection.

Because this glorious tiny flower blooms in spring, it inevitably means a fresh start and is considered a sign of good fortune. So if you ask whether cherry blossoms mean good luck, they can. Japan celebrates the season every April, which the country deems its Sakura season. “Sakura” is the Japanese name for cherry blossoms.

And what do people do when they celebrate? Have a rousing good time.


When the country welcomes the season with “hanami” (which translates to “watching blossoms”), it does so with viewing parties. Hanami is a ceremonial reception involving excursions that allow people to gather in parks with friends, family, and coworkers. Bentos often include plenty of alcohol to accompany your favorite Japanese cuisine. However, in Japan, the cherry blossom holds a much more profound significance steeped in tradition and religion, with the practice dating back for millennia. So don’t expect a hedonistic, New Year’s type of partying where you wake up the next day not knowing why your recent Instagram post has you in a sumo wrestler’s outfit.

Nope. This tree has a respectable legacy that traces back to the samurai class.

The Japanese associated cherry blossoms with folk religion from 710 to 794, deeming it a sacred tree because they thought it carried the soul of the mountain gods to the people. The spiritual tree gained its esteemed status among the aristocracy when Empress Henmei formed a new Japanese identity using it.

So how did the cherry blossom go from aristocratic status to the beloved samurai symbol of death?

The samurai began identifying with cherry blossom in the 12th century when the warrior caste adapted ritual suicide or sepukku as part of its Bushido code. These noble Japanese warriors related to the delicate flower because its petals fell at a time when it was at its most beautiful. In this sense, it rendered the samurai’s honorable death with perfection.

Poetic, right?

Your cherry blossom flower and Samurai combo tattoo don’t have to be as dramatic. What if you just want something epic for the sake of visual art? No deeper meaning is attached to it. Just be the canvas for an artist’s custom work.

So get inked with a, for example, killer sleeve tattoo of Kenshin from “Samurai X” as he wields his sword under a blooming cherry tree. Or you could even get John Wick tattooed as a samurai with petals of cherries blowing past the coolest, maybe most stylish, Baba Yaga.

If you’re fresh out of ideas and want more than the average Sakura tattoo, talk with your artist or check out the following ideas:

Cherry Blossom Tattoo Designs

Manga and Cherry Blossoms

Still on the subject of pop culture for skin art, this tattoo from a Las Vegas-based artist takes inspiration from Junji Ito’s horror manga.

Dragon Tattoo and Cherry Blossoms

Hellfire and something pink? Why not. Collaborating with a tattoo artist who excels in color and realism is paramount to standing out in the crowd. If you’re seeking a captivating ink design, consider the combination of dragon tattoos with cherry blossoms. Here, artist Bruce Kaplan from Lark Tattoo combines the mythical beast’s ferocity with the flowers’ beauty and tenderness. What will this captivating dragon and Sakura tattoo mean?

Koi and Cherry Blossoms

The beautiful pattern of a koi fish easily lends itself as a standout subject for tattoos. The carp fish reportedly symbolizes prosperity, good luck, and strength, making it the perfect companion piece to cherry blossoms. This arm sleeve ink is pretty realistic. But if you want imagery with greater drama, try getting your entire back inked with a giant red koi and spots of Sakura petals.

Leg Sleeve Tattoo with Birds and Cherry Blossoms

When you’ve got custom work that should see the light of day — every day — this leg sleeve ink is sure to turn heads. It’s a mesmerizing piece of skin art.

Japanese Traditional Chest Tattoo with Cherry Blossoms

An arresting image, to be sure, once you take off your shirt. This chest tattoo is from Matt Ellis of Lark Tattoo and draws attention to Japanese folklore, the kitsune. The shapeshifting fox takes on a human form when it’s filled with enough life force by eating human flesh or sucking its life away.

Back Tattoo of a Cherry Blossom Tree

The cost of your ink will depend on the design: the level of detail, and the scale. How much your cherry blossom tattoo will cost also depends on the skill of your artist. But if you’re on a budget, start with a basic cherry blossom tree tattoo design. It can still be dramatic like this back tattoo done freehand.

Tattoos are versatile and can be delicate or large and intricate. If you’re looking for a dainty design, the shoulders or upper back are great locations to showcase your tattoo. Alternatively, the arm is a suitable spot if you prefer something smaller. And when you get enough cash, you can add to an existing Sakura tattoo.

Every tattoo will have different meanings, depending on the design and your culture. The symbol you choose for your tattoo can be highly personal or similar to another person getting inked. Whether you identify with the fragility and strength or recognize more relevance in the sexual power of a cherry blossom tattoo, make sure you’re happy and certain about its elements.

Final Thoughts

Cherry blossoms hold deep meaning and cultural significance, symbolizing the fleeting nature of life, beauty, and the fragility of existence. The Holy Spirit is often personified through a delicate and elegant design that embodies renewal, rebirth, and new beginnings.Suitable for both men and women, cherry blossom tattoos offer a captivating way to express grace, femininity, and a deep connection to nature. To leave a lasting impression, you can use affordable tattoo machines to ensure precision and comfort for exquisite cherry blossom tattoo designs.

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