Q:

What do Japanese cherry blossoms symbolize?

A:

Quick Answer

Because of its brilliantly colorful but short blooming season of about 1 to 2 weeks, the Japanese cherry blossom has come to symbolize the beauty and the transience of life. The cherry blossom is also associated with Japanese nationalism and the military as a symbol of a loyal samurai who fell while serving his emperor. This belief led to the practice of pilots painting cherry blossoms on the sides of Japanese warplanes before Kamikaze missions during World War II.

Continue Reading

Full Answer

In Japan, "hanami" refers to the traditional custom of people gathering to enjoy the transient beauty of cherry blossoms during their short blooming season. In modern Japan, the weather bureau announces the cherry blossom blooming season in "sakura-zensen" forecasts, the literal meaning of which is "cherry blossom front." These forecasts are closely watched so that gatherings can be planned accordingly. Nighttime viewings are called "yozakura" and are accompanied by paper lanterns specifically made for the occasion. Attended by many younger people, the nighttime festivals usually cause older celebrants to shy away because of the noise and crowds.

The tradition of hanami is believed to have started in Japan in the 8th century during the Nara Period with the viewing of plum blossoms. Cherry blossoms attracted greater attention of the Japanese during the Heian Period, which lasted from 794 to 1185. Since that time, the custom of hanami has become associated primarily with cherry blossoms.

Learn more about Symbolism

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is the cherry blossom's meaning?

    A:

    In Japanese culture, the cherry blossom signifies the cycle of life and death. Beyond this, the beautiful pink flower is admired during the spring in Japan and to welcome the New Year.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What does an orchid represent?

    A:

    Orchids have represented several attributes over thousands of years, but in modern times the exotic blossoms represent rare and delicate beauty. Several orchid varieties have their own symbolism, including pink orchids, which represent pure affection, and catteyla orchids, which convey mature charm.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What does the Japanese flag represent?

    A:

    The Japanese flag represents the sun, according to Famous Wonders. The flag consists of a plain white field with a red circle in the center. The red circle is representative of the sun since Japan is one of the first countries to see the rising sun.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How do I get cherry blossom nails?

    A:

    To create cherry blossom nails, start with a clear base coat and mint polish for the background of the nail. Once dry use a striping brush with black polish to draw branches; allow time to dry, then use a toothpick with two shades of pink to make the blossoms. Completing cherry blossom nails takes a varying amount of time depending on the complexity of the tree designs being used.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore