The cherry blossom is the flower of this tree, which is born in spring and can be of different colors. It is one of the most important symbols of some Asian cultures, such as Japanese and Chinese, and philosophies such as Buddhism.
The cherry tree is a tree that is part of the genus Prunus and produces edible fruits called cherry (sweet-tasting) and cherry (a sour-tasting variety).
The cherry tree is cultivated mainly in the northern hemisphere (Europe, northern Asia and North America). It flowers during the spring, at the end of March or the beginning of April, and due to the beauty of its flowers it is usually planted for ornamental purposes.
Cherry blossoms vary in color and number of petals. There are white, pink, yellow and green. As for the petals, most have five, but some natural resources by man. In fact, in these areas, not only species reach 10 and even 20 petals.
About 50 different natural resources by man. In fact, in these areas, not only species of cherry blossom are known. The beauty of these flowers contrasts with the brevity of their life. A few days after their maximum splendor they wither and fall to the ground.
For this reason they are considered a symbol of the ephemeral nature of life. They also symbolize spring.
cherry blossom in Japan
In Japanese, the cherry blossom is called sakura . It is the national flower of that country. The sakura symbolizes the samurai, a type of warrior who dominated Japan politically and militarily between the 17th and 19th centuries.
Bushido , the samurai’s code of ethics, requires them to “live with beauty”, passion and nobility . Thus, the spectacular blossoming of the cherry tree and the rapid withering of its flowers form a metaphor for the life of the samurai, who lives with intensity and fervor a life that he could lose in battle.
An ancient Japanese oral tradition tells that the pink cherry blossoms preserve the blood of samurai who, having broken the code of ethics, were forced to commit seppuku , or ritual suicide.
This Japanese word translates as “to look at the flowers.” It is a relatively recent celebration, dating back to the Meiji era (1868-1912).
It consists of gathering with friends, family or colleagues from study or work near a cherry blossom tree, and contemplate the beauty of the flowers while sharing a meal or a drink and listening to music.
However, the hanami celebration also has a touch of nostalgia. March, the month of cherry blossoms, also marks the end of school and university courses, so hanami is both a celebration and a farewell.
The cherry tree as a symbol of friendship
In 1909, the Japanese government gave the United States almost four thousand cherry trees as a symbol of friendship and cooperation.
The trees were planted on the banks of the Potomac River, in the city of Washington. Since 1927, the blossoming of these cherry trees has given rise to the National Cherry Blossom Festival, which celebrates the arrival of spring and brings together all kinds of people.
cherry blossom in China
China is also the scene of the spectacular cherry blossoms in spring. Thousands of these trees adorn the main cities of the country, such as Shanghai and Beijing.
But here the cherry blossom has a different meaning. It is associated with female sexuality, with strength and beauty. According to traditional Chinese medicine, it is an effective aphrodisiac.
the japanese invasion
It also has historical significance. In 1931 the Japanese army invaded China and occupied part of its territory until 1945, when it was defeated by the Allies in World War II.
Although the cherry tree grows naturally in China, the Japanese brought varieties from their country and planted them in Chinese parks and squares. They are still kept there, as a perennial reminder of the troubled relations between the two countries.
The cherry blossom in Buddhism
Practitioners of this religion (and philosophical doctrine) are sensitive to the contrast between the beauty of the cherry blossom and the short life of its flowers.
This contrast is perceived as a symbol of transience, since for Buddhism the law of change and transformation governs the universe: nothing exists forever, nothing remains identical to itself for eternity.
The flowering and death of the cherry blossom is also considered a symbol of the cycle of existence: birth, death and reincarnation, in which beings will remain until they reach enlightenment or nirvana.
Cherry blossom as a tattoo
Due to its extensive symbology, which links it both to the masculine values of the samurai and to the charms of the female sex, the cherry blossom is a tattoo that goes well with both men and women.
In a woman, it can represent youth or spring, hope, fertility, the creative power of femininity, love, sweetness.
In a man it represents his desire to live with maximum intensity, to take risks without fear of death, to be faithful to his dreams and goals and to live with passion.