While many people think of the Victorian era in England when talking about flower symbolism, almost every culture on Earth assigns specific meanings to favorite flowers. Modern technology allows us to enjoy flowers that grow in the most remote corners of the planet, but for centuries, people only enjoyed the blooms native to their area. This means that some blossoms are still so important to certain cultures that the flower is woven into almost every part of life. In Japan, the sakura fills this role and can be found throughout both the modern and ancient expressions of the country’s culture.
What is the Sakura Flower?
While the Japanese called this flower the sakura, you likely know it as the cherry blossom instead. The blossom of the Japanese Cherry, also known as the Prunus serrulata, is technically the sakura flower. However, other varieties of blooming cherries are also grown in Japan and referred to with the same name. The cherry blossom became so popular in the Heian era of Japan’s history that the word for flower became synonymous with sakura. People have been picnicking under the blooming trees since 700 A.D., a tradition that continues today.