Plum Blossom Tattoos: History, Meanings & Designs

Plum Blossom Tattoos: History, Meanings & Designs

Colorful and deeply symbolic, Plum blossom tattoos aren’t something that you see every day. So, what’s the meaning behind them? Well, today we’re going to tell you. Plum blossoms have a deep significance that comes from Chinese philosophy, so they’re more than just a beautiful piece of art.

Read on and we’ll talk about plum blossoms, their history, symbolism, meanings, and more – you’ll be happy that you stuck around!


What is the History of Plum Blossom Tattoos?

The history of plum blossom tattoos starts in China and one of the wonders that you can see in a plum tree in Hubei that was planted during the Jin dynasty – over 1600 years ago! There is even a character Chinese writing that is specifically for plum blossoms and they have made their way into the local philosophy as well.

Plum blossoms are the first blooms that you will see, opening-up boldly before the winter has even fully gone.

This simple beauty, thriving in the chill and the damp, is quite inspirational and the Chinese say that there is a blessing for each of it’s 5 petals: old age, health, wealth, a love of virtue, and a natural death.

In Japan, the plum trees are also revered, and there are even plum festivals which are held to celebrate this beloved gift of Nature. There it is believed that plum blossoms are protection against evil and they are traditionally planted in the northeast corner of gardens to ward away evil from that direction.

Considered to be one of the ‘3 friends of winter’, along with bamboo and pine, and also part of the ‘4 gentlemen’ combination which is plum, orchid, chrysanthemum, and bamboo, it’s safe to say that in China, Japan, and many other parts of Asia, there’s a lot of love for the simple-but- elegant plum blossom.


What Do Plum Blossom Tattoos Symbolize?

With their blooming at the tail end of winter, while the snow is still on the ground and the wind has some teeth to it, the Plum blossom symbolizes hope and perseverance. Plum blossom tattoos reflect this, symbolizing that just because something is beautiful doesn’t mean that it is weak – quite the contrary, as the plum blossom teaches us.

Plum blossom tattoos can also be worn to ward away evil and misfortunate and it is even seen as a symbol of youth eternal, as the gods and goddesses were said to feed on plums to stay strong of mind and body as the centuries keep passing by.

While most flowers bloom specific seasons, plum blossoms bloom in between spring and winter, so those delicate pink blooms are also considered to be symbolic of enormous strength. When you get right down to it, while the aesthetics are nice, there’s definitely a whole lot more to the seemingly-simple plum blossom.


What Do Plum Blossom Tattoos Mean?

Plum blossom tattoos might just be chosen for their simple aesthetic or as a skin art option for one who has studied Chinese or Japanese philosophies (though they are also popular in Korea, Vietnam, and Taiwan).

Plum blossom tattoos are also worn for their symbolism, and one or more of these delicate blossoms might indicate that the owner might look beautiful and delicate, but they are much stronger than you think!

With the traditional view of plum blossoms being a protection from evil, a plum blossom tattoo might also mean that someone is carrying their ‘good luck charm’ on their skin, enjoying the beauty of the plum blossoms and the traditional protections which they promise.

Depending on what you put them with, however, they could really mean a lot of things, but with plum blossom tattoos we caution you to think about it – they’re genuinely just about perfect all by their lonesome and you’ll probably enjoy simply looking at them, just as they are, for a lifetime.  


Where Do Plum Blossom Tattoos Usually Go?

Plum blossom tattoos are most commonly placed on the arm or on the back, but due to their shape, you can put them anywhere that you like. A plum blossom curling on your leg, for instance, is elegant and works in a way that other designs simply won’t.

With a backpiece you can say quite a lot with very little and if your artist is good at their job, a minimalist backpiece consisting of a single length of blooming plum blossom will compliment the space on your back and evoke more comments and admiration than if you’d filled your entire back with something else!


Characteristics and Styles of Plum Blossom Tattoos

Plum blossoms have a bit of pink and purple to them and are typically rendered with thin, delicate branches that are dotted with lovely blooms that really catch the eye. You could use a photorealistic style to great effect or go with Japanese tattoo style and either would definitely be a winner.

Watercolor style might well take the color to the next level and while you could go with an exaggeration style such as New School, we really recommend going with as much realism as you can muster – it really does look THAT amazing and even if it takes you more than one session, it’s well-worth your time.

Be sure to check around and find an artist who has done plum blossoms before. You might need to view a few portfolios, but you’ll be enjoying this skin art for the rest of your life so a little extra time right now can help ensure that your plum blossom tattoo is absolutely perfect.


In closing

Graceful, beautiful, delicate yet oh-so-strong, plum blossom tattoos are one of those designs that everyone can agree is well worth keeping forever. Whether it’s for a love of Chinese or Japanese culture, a little protection against bad luck, or simply for the aesthetics, plum blossom tattoos can say a lot about you and look amazing while they do it.

Once you’ve seen how they look, any fear of taking the plunge and getting some skin art of your own is soon to become a thing of the past. Check some designs and see for yourself – you’ll be happy that you did!

Leave a Reply