Japanese snake and chrysanthemum sleeve

by |

Japanese snake with chrysanthemum.

In Japanese tattoos the snake represent protection,wisdom and wards of illness as well as providing luck in business. It s not uncommon for business owners in Japan to hang a talisman of a snake over their front door.  The Chrysanthemum (Kiku) is the royal flower in Japan  it represents perfection for the owner.

The chrysanthemum was first imported from China, more than a thousand years ago. Just like the peony, it was believed that the chrysanthemum could be used for medicinal purposes. The chrysanthemum became a symbol of long life because of its lengthy autumn bloom season.

Later on it was associated with the sun as the chrysanthemum has yellow and radiant petals. It was thus admired during fall chrysanthemum-viewing parties where the participants were drinking wine made from this flower.

In the 13th century, the chrysanthemum became the emblem of the Emperor Go-Toba. He had this flower emblazoned on his kimono and his sword. In fact, the chrysanthemum is a perfect fit with the Japanese culture since the country’s imperial line descended directly from the Shinto sun goddess Amaterasu.

In the 14th century, the Emperor Go-Daigo even decided to use the chrysanthemum on his banner. From this point, the chrysanthemum became the royal flower and represented the imperial status. The Emperor was intending to rule a long time and because of that the chrysanthemum was the perfect fit.

The Japanese Emperor who is the oldest hereditary line in the world, sits on the Chrysanthemum Throne. This throne bears the Chrysanthemum Crest as the royal seal.

Chrysanthemums became a popular motif in Japanese tattoos given the number of associations made between this flower, longevity, mythology, and nobility.

Chrysanthemums is not considered an appropriate gift since it’s used for funerals in Japan. For this reason, some who live their lives on the edge decide to get a chrysanthemum tattoo, as they believe it prepares themselves for death, as it can come at any time.