Japanese Symbology

"Symbols are a large part of Japanese culture. Designs on kimono, including family crests, are often crucial to understanding the occasion where the garment would have been worn, by whom and at what time of the year.

Butterflies: The Japanese view butterflies as souls of the living and the dead. They are considered symbols of joy and longevity. 

Carp: Primarily a symbol of perseverance, the carp (koi) is also evocative of faithfulness in marriage and general good fortune.

Cherry Blossoms: From the Heian Period (794 - 1185) on, the cherry blossom has been revered by Japanese. The flower’s brief blooming time and the fragility of its blossoms, has led to an association with the transience of life. "

Source: http://www.cherryblossom.co.nz/Articles+of+Interest/Symbology.html 

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