Meanings of certain symbols?

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Meanings of certain symbols?

Post by IG Team » Mon Jun 20, 2016 10:50 pm

sakura_blossom

(I couldn't a find a post related to this, so I apologize if it has already been posted.)

My fiance is planning on getting a tattoo soon, and he has found some designs he likes, but we are not sure what some of the symbols mean. For example, I know kiri is a common mon, but what does it mean? Also, what does kiku stand for? Peacocks?

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Re: Meanings of certain symbols?

Post by IG Team » Mon Jun 20, 2016 10:50 pm

Iyolin

Do you mean the meaning behind the image, such as how turtles mean "long life"? Or what the translation of "kiri" and "kiku" is? (kiri is paulownia, and kiku is chrysanthemum)

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Re: Meanings of certain symbols?

Post by IG Team » Mon Jun 20, 2016 10:51 pm

Fuyou

Kiku might not be a good choice, as it has a lot of death symbolism. Chrysanthemums are never given as gifts, only used in funerals, so I wouldn't reccomend it for a tattoo (...unless that's what he's going for).

I don't know if there is a lot of indepth meaning to the kiri, but I did hear a practice where when a girl was born, a kiri would be planted for her, so that by the time she was old enough to marry, the tree would have grown big enough to be cut down and made into a wedding trousseau for her.

I don't if there's any specific Japanese sentiment towards peacocks, but I'd imagine it's similar to the Western sentiments towards the bird (regality, beauty, etc.).

Sorry, I couldn't be of more help.

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Re: Meanings of certain symbols?

Post by IG Team » Mon Jun 20, 2016 10:52 pm

James

Chrysanthemums are of course associated with the imperial family, and are therefore also a symbol of choice for ultra-nationalist groups. Historically, chrysanthemum was also a euphemism or symbol for the anus, although honestly I'm not sure how many people would know that these days.

I've seen some very nice tattoos incorporating chrysanthemums. Ultimately it comes down to what the wearer likes. It's unlikely anyone will point to a chrysanthemum tattoo as evidence of your boyfriend's ultranationalism or penchant for funerals

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Re: Meanings of certain symbols?

Post by IG Team » Mon Jun 20, 2016 10:52 pm

Peccantis

James wrote:
(...) It's unlikely anyone will point to a chrysanthemum tattoo as evidence of your boyfriend's ultranationalism or penchant for funerals (...)
- or that men start to hit on him...

I don't know what chestnuts/their flowers mean these days but according to Dalby they used to be quite a sign since chestnut flowers were thought to smell like semen. So... "I like to eat up men", and then some depending if you're male or female...

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Re: Meanings of certain symbols?

Post by IG Team » Mon Jun 20, 2016 10:53 pm

James

Speaking of chestnuts (and I mean that in every sense of the word, ha), there's a brilliantly named lesbian bar in Tokyo called the Chestnut and Squirrel. In Japanese, that's Kuri to Risu, and I'll leave the rest up to you.

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Re: Meanings of certain symbols?

Post by IG Team » Mon Jun 20, 2016 10:54 pm

Kikuyo

O_O wow! lol, I love word plays.

As far as being on topic, the sakura is a symbol of the samurai because they die young and beautifully blah blah blah. Turtles are supposed to represent longevity, and frogs are supposed to be luck (particularly with money) because the word for frog, "kaeru", is also the verb "to return" (meaning what you give out will come back to you). I'm not sure about peacocks. They don't seem to be a traditional motif, but I also don't get out much so don't quote me on that lol.

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Re: Meanings of certain symbols?

Post by IG Team » Mon Jun 20, 2016 10:54 pm

Tentomushi

Sakura is the symbol of anything evanescent, including samurai :) and was an over-used symbol even before the samurai.

The symbolic of peacocks came to Japan with buddhism. There is such a thing as Sutra of the Peacock Wisdom King (actually the King is a Queen). The peacocks were believed in ancient India to be immune to snakes' poison and able to kill them (therefore: protect people from them). So perhaps we can consider the peacock the symbol of divine protection?

More: http://fudosama.blogspot.com/2006/04/kujaku-myo-o.html

And there is a lot of symbolic derived from double meaning words, like kaeru. E.g. matsu means "pine" and "to wait", shi means "four" but also "death"... The famous three monkeys ("see no evil, hear no evil, say no evil", not sure about the order) also come from that source.

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Re: Meanings of certain symbols?

Post by IG Team » Mon Jun 20, 2016 10:55 pm

Peccantis

Nijuudaiko is supposed to have a double meaning of "doubling joy", but I don't know for sure how it's supposed to spell out .

Matsu 松 (pine) has a double meaning of "to wait" 待 (matsu, machimasu), making for huge popularity in arts. Usable for both pure maidens and faithful wives to wear for peering out from a window to see plum blossoming through snow...

Ume, if I'm not mistaken, is among other things a symbol for faithfulness.

Take/chiku/bamboo stands for growth and life force. (Because they grow so fast.)

James wrote:
Historically, chrysanthemum was also a euphemism or symbol for the anus, although honestly I'm not sure how many people would know that these days.
I think it was some sort of a purplish euphemism anyway, such as "the budding rose of his manhood" or "cream-filled twinkie of love" 9v9 Only one-word. Like "cherry", or "flower" or whatnot.

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