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Motif Information
Motif Cho 01.jpg
Chestnut Tiger (Parantica sita)on Mount Haku, Gifu Prefecture
Rōmaji Chō
English Butterfly
Kana ちょう
Season Summer
Seasonal Exceptions All-Season
Auspicious Yes
Motif Type Insect

Chō means butterfly. There are 327 species of butterfly currently found in Japan.

Seasonal Use, Exceptions & Pairings

Common Motif Pairings

Often paired with ume as a symbol for longevity and beauty.

Auspicious Nature

The life cycle of a butterfly can suggest the immortality of the soul and the Buddhist doctrine of rebirth.[1] As a caterpillar, the butterfly is bound to the earth and mortal concerns. Through entering the chrysalis (death), chō are reborn, free from material needs.

To the Chinese, the butterfly is a symbol for joy, beauty, and marital happiness.

Motif Examples

Motif in Literature & Other Usage

In Poetry

Article Notes

Relevant Threads / Discussions


  1. World Kigo Database Article on Butterfly, accessed June 12, 2013.

Image Credits

  • SuperGrouper

Authors & Contributors

Author/s: (# (IG Username))