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The meaning behind the chrysanthemum tattoo


Looking for a tattoo that's more than just beautiful? Choosing the right design can be tough, especially if you want it to have a deep, personal meaning. Chrysanthemum tattoos are a perfect choice for those seeking both beauty and symbolism. These tattoos are rich with meanings—from royalty and longevity to rebirth and emotional depth.

Let's discuss what makes the chrysanthemum tattoo a meaningful choice that goes beyond its stunning appearance.

What is chrysanthemum?

The chrysanthemum, also known as the "golden flower," is originally from China and was introduced to Japan in ancient times, where it became a symbolic flower. Its name comes from the Greek words for gold ("chrysòs") and flower ("anthemon").

In Japanese culture, it is deeply associated with the Imperial Family and represents royalty, making it a popular choice for weddings and birthdays. These stunning flowers symbolise rebirth, joy, positivity, peace, and love for family. It is so cherished in Japanese art that it is also a common female name.


yellow chrysanthemum


Meaning of chrysanthemum tattoo

Symbolic meanings in tattoos

  • Imperial and noble associations: In tattoo art, the chrysanthemum is often depicted with large, vibrant petals that radiate outward, embodying perfection and the regal. This makes it a popular choice for those who wish to convey their own standards of excellence and dignity.
  • Health and longevity: Drawing from its historical use in traditional Chinese culture medicine, chrysanthemum tattoos can symbolise health and long life, appealing to those who value wellness and vitality.
  • Emotional and psychological depth: When stylised, the chrysanthemum flower represents sensuality and emotional depth, making it a profound choice for expressing one's inner feelings and experiences.
  • Perfection and deity: The chrysanthemum's orderly unfolding of petals is seen as a symbol of perfection. In some interpretations, it is associated with the sun and perfection in nature, which aligns with divinity in certain cultural contexts.
  • Rebirth and renewal: Given its blooming in the fall, the chrysanthemum also symbolises the idea of rebirth and new beginnings, making it a positive symbol for those starting a new chapter in their life.
  • Joy and beauty: With its wide range of colors and beautiful blooms, chrysanthemums symbolise joy, beauty, and optimism in the face of adversity.
  • Overcoming challenges: In the context of tattoos, the chrysanthemum can represent endurance and the ability to overcome challenges, as the flower stands strong and blooms brightly even as the colder days approach.

Combinations and contextual meanings


flower tattoo


Chrysanthemum tattoos often incorporate other elements, enhancing their meanings:

  • With skulls: This combination can transform the chrysanthemum into a symbol of rebirth or overcoming adversity, portraying the flower as a protective amulet.
  • With dragons or lions: Adding creatures like dragons or lions can emphasise strength and courage, aligning with the flower's imperial associations.
  • Small chrysanthemum tattoo with butterflies or ladybugs: These lighter, more delicate creatures can soften the chrysanthemum's symbolism, linking it to themes of parental love, innocence, or good luck.

Colour meanings of chrysanthemum tattoos

The colour of the chrysanthemum also affects its symbolism:

  • Turquoise with green leaves: This vibrant colour combination signifies youth, vitality, and ambition. It's a choice that reflects a dynamic and energetic spirit, often selected by those who see themselves as continuously growing and reaching for new heights.
  • Red and yellow: These bright, solar colours are associated with the sun and radiate positivity and warmth. They symbolise the goodness and generosity of the wearer, conveying a personality that is both open-hearted and inviting. The addition of strong black details can amplify these traits, suggesting invulnerability and boundless energy.
  • Blue and pink: This blend combines the calming nature of blue with the gentle warmth of pink, resulting in a tattoo that expresses courage and confidence. It's a powerful choice for someone asserting their strength in overcoming challenges.
  • Red with black stems and leaves: This dramatic colour combination reminds us of the ephemeral nature of beauty and life. It's a profound reflection on the transient aspects of existence, urging the viewer to appreciate the fleeting moments of beauty.

Combined floral tattoos

Chrysanthemums can also be paired with other flowers to enhance their meanings:

  • With peonies: Combining chrysanthemums with peonies, a symbol of wealth and prosperity in Japan, creates a tattoo representing financial success and the blossoming of new ventures and personal growth. This pairing is often chosen to celebrate success and aspirations.
  • Two chrysanthemums of different sizes: This body art design, featuring one flower in full bloom and another still budding, is particularly poignant in representing family relationships. It symbolises the love and appreciation for family members at different stages of life, from the elders to the younger generation.

Best chrysanthemum tattoo ideas and designs


woman with a chrysanthemum  back tattoo


Japanese traditional style:

These tattoo styles often include bold, intricate details with elements like koi fish and dragons, usually covering large areas like arms. A single large chrysanthemum symbolises elegance and is often placed on the back or chest.

Realistic style:

Realistic tattoos aim to capture the true look of chrysanthemums, using natural colours and detailed shading. They can be vibrant or in shades of black and grey, focusing on the flower's natural beauty.

Watercolour style:

Watercolor tattoos mimic the effect of watercolour paints with soft, flowing colours. They give the chrysanthemum a vibrant, artistic look, ideal for those who prefer a less structured design.

Minimalist style:

Minimalist tattoos use simple lines or dotwork to create a subtle design, focusing on the flower's symmetry. These are great for smaller areas like wrists or ankles.

Cultural themes:

Adding Asian calligraphy can link the tattoo to cultural themes of beauty and longevity, often reflecting personal heritage or admiration for Asian cultures.

Abstract style:

Abstract tattoos incorporate geometric patterns with the chrysanthemum, creating a unique, modern design that stands out for its artistic style.

Final thoughts

Chrysanthemum tattoos offer a rich blend of beauty and symbolism. From representing royalty and longevity to embodying themes of rebirth and emotional depth, these tattoos provide a meaningful way to express personal values and life stories.

Whether you choose a chrysanthemum for its cultural significance or its stunning aesthetics, this flower makes a timeless and deeply personal tattoo choice.


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  • Mark Joshua Luz