Cherry blossom tattoos are mostly seen as a very feminine design. However, in Japanese culture, the cherry blossom is an emblem for life; vivid and beautiful, though quickly fading. In fact, this idea is carried by the Bushido and has been a long held belief by warriors. On the other hand, in China, this blossom is said to be a symbol of feminine power and dominance; the beauty of this plant represents a certain sensuality that only a woman can truly posses. Given the two very different meanings, it is safe to say that cherry blossom tattoos can easily be seen as both a feminine and masculine design.
Quite commonly seen in cherry blossom tattoos is the realistic plant. These frangible pink or white flowers with small, dotted stems are generally sparsely depicted on a single branch. The whiter hued flowers — or Somei Yoshino — are great for expressing the transitory nature of life, as these flowers tend to fall from the branch within a week of blooming. The Shidarezakura has the appearance of a weeping willow tree and may be created with a male or female figure posing seductively behind the see through, curtain-like branches. The Yaezakura bears large, soft pink flowers and would look stunning if placed against a backdrop of snowy mountains, or within a vivid green field. Many people also like cherry blossom tattoos that feature old Japanese woodblock art. Many of these feature the cherry blossom set against hazy mountains, near temples or homes, or near a large body of water.
Cherry blossom tattoos are also frequently seen with the images of people. Although not particularly life like in appearance, the exaggerated features of these characters make them bold figures nonetheless. Some examples would be a samurai with a sheath of cherry blossom around his sword; a geisha sitting on her knees below a flower covered tree, while peacefully playing her shamisen; or even a nude pin up model, with only a blossom covered branch wrapped around her curvaceous figure, and perhaps even a flower in her long, luxurious hair.
Although beautiful and frail in appearance, cherry blossoms are an enduring and elegant way to express strength, sensuality, and a true understanding and acceptance of all that life has to offer — both the good, and seemingly bad.