What Does the Cherry Blossom Symbolize in Japan?

Throughout history in Japan, the cherry blossom has symbolized the circle of life. In Japanese, the cherry blossom is called sakura.

Cherry blossoms can be traced back in Japanese culture to as early as 710. During this time, people started to transplant cherry trees from mountains to more populous areas. Many people believed that the trees represented the mountain god souls, which is why the Japanese began to worship the cherry blossoms in the spring.

The cherry tree has held symbolic power throughout the centuries, such as during World War II. Even after the tsunami in 2011, many people focused on drawing strength from cherry blossom trees in order to survive.