What do cherry blossom tattoos symbolize? In classical Japanese tattooing, the cherry blossom tattoo means life is lovely but transient. Enjoy it while you can.
Samurai were tattooed with cherry blossoms to remind them they could die in battle at any time. The little flowers are a transcendent symbol of the intricate beauty of life that ends all too soon (1).
A cherry blossom can also mean peace with nature or indicate happiness and a new beginning.
The deeper meaning depends on other elements in the tattoo, like a Koi fish. Together, they tell you the person is determined to make the most of a fresh start. Or a tiger with cherry blossoms can mean wisdom and strength in the face of challenges and changes. A cherry blossom branch with birds is a symbol of youth and freedom, choosing a new path in life.
Best Cherry Blossom Tattoo Ideas
If you’re looking for the best cherry blossom tattoo ideas to try in 2022, check out the gorgeous designs below.
Small cherry blossom tattoo
A cherry blossom tattoo is ideal for the first time you get inked. A small one can fit virtually anywhere, from the top of the finger, the wrist, the ankle, or behind an ear.
Minimalist cherry blossom tattoo
Go minimalist with a line drawing cherry blossom with just a hint of color. Add in a bit of script that means something to you.
Popular cherry blossom tattoo elements
The cherry blossom is often paired with symbolic animals like a tiger, dragon, phoenix, crane, or sparrow.
But you may also see it with theater masks, a samurai warrior, or mythological gods.
Hummingbird and cherry blossom tattoo
Just picture it: an iridescent hummingbird among beautiful pink cherry blossoms. It’s a stunning tattoo for anyone who loves the idea of freedom and transformation.
Japanese cherry blossom tattoo
The Japanese word for tattoo is irezumi. If the art is done by hand like a hand poke tattoo, it’s called tebori. In the style, a cherry blossom tattoo is often black and grey shaded with a touch of color.
Sleeve cherry blossom tattoo for men
Maybe you’ve seen Yakuza tattoos or are familiar with the short sleeve style that can be completely covered by a button-down shirt. A traditional Japanese-style cherry blossom tattoo for men would follow those guidelines and feature a bold design with mythical creatures.
Here are the names for the different sizes of irezumi tattoo sleeves:
- Kansabori— sleeve with a chest plate covering the pectoral muscle including the nipple
- Kantobori— sleeve with a partial chest plate leaving the lower pack and nipple untouched
- One-half Go-bu from the chest to just below the elbow
- Three-quarter Shichi-bu stretching below the elbow
Feminine cherry blossom tattoo
Intricate detail, soothing pastels, and delicate lines are favorite choices for those who prefer a feminine look.
Cherry blossom tattoo with fish
A cherry blossom tattoo with elements like Koi signifies beauty and strength of mind.
Watercolor cherry blossom tattoo
Your body is the perfect canvas for an attractive watercolor tattoo. It looks as if the blossoms are gently stirring in a springtime breeze.
Samurai cherry blossom tattoo
Samurai are symbols of nobility, courage, self-discipline, and honor. When combined with the cherry blossom, they are a reminder to confront challenges with boldness, to seek justice, and to live true to ideals.
Butterfly and cherry blossom tattoo
If you’re starting out with something new in life, a big change, celebrate it with butterflies and cherry blossoms. They symbolize transformation and renewal.
Black and gray cherry blossom tattoo
When you think of cherry blossoms, you probably imagine little pink flowers blooming on trees. Who in their right mind would want a black and gray blossom tattoo? Who would forgo color like this? But when you see expert tattoos like this one, you understand the beauty of light and shadow.
The color choice emphasizes the ephemeral nature of life.
Cherry blossom tiger tattoo
Is that a tiger or a kitty cat? Who cares because it’s adorable nestled among the blossoms. Tigers are symbol of wisdom and strength, but this one just looks cuddly and comfortable.
Cherry blossom tree tattoo
Here’s a tree blossoming on rocky ground, an outstanding symbol of grace and strength under pressure.
3D realistic cherry blossom tattoo
We love looking at hyperrealistic tattoos and this one is no exception. Check out the shadowy pagoda encircled by brilliant blossoms.
Abstract cherry blossom tattoo
Go modern with an abstract design.
Oni devil mask tattoo with cherry blossom
Believe it or not, the oni mask tattoo is a protective symbol. The devil mask wards off evil as the cherry blossom symbolizes forces of beauty, good, and renewal.
The best places to put a cherry blossom tattoo
Where are the most popular places on the body to get a cherry blossom tattoo? If you haven’t decided where you want yours, consider these three questions.
The first thing to ask yourself is whether this tattoo is for you alone to enjoy or if you’d like to display it to the world. We’ve seen gorgeous branches with blossoms inked on the rib cage and delicate tattoos placed on fingers. But the most popular places tend to be forearms, biceps, and sides of the arms. The rib cage and back provide plenty of canvas for a large piece, too.
The second question to ponder is your budget. Obviously, a small tattoo is less expensive but a sleeve can be a worthwhile splurge.
Third, what is your tolerance for pain? A scenic piece with Japanese mythology decorated with blossoms across your ribs will take hours to complete and it won’t just tickle. Even a small blossom on your foot may sting. Those are sensitive places. If you’re new to tattooing, the outer biceps and shoulders are less painful, as are the forearm and calves.
We hope you found plenty of inspiration here today. Drop us a line below and tell us which cherry blossom tattoo won your heart.
1. http://japanese-tebori.blogspot.com/2013/11/japanese-motifs.html Japanese Motifs, published December 25, 2013