Symbolic Meaning of Peony Tattoos
As a tattoo design, the peony symbolizes wealth, prosperity, and good fortune. The peony is a potent symbol of beauty, of the fragility and fleeting nature of existence and the knowledge that acquiring great rewards comes only by taking great risks.
In traditional Japanese tattooing, certain design elements are often paired together, dragons, lions and demons with various flowers - in effect a delicate balancing of power with beauty.
Peonies, or "botan" are a flower symbol that is traditionally paired with a Japanese lion, or "Shishi". This pairing is called Karajishi, and the ferocity of the lion is tempered by the beauty of the peony. But rather than merely being a simple symbolic example of Yin and Yang at work, the peony is a powerful tattoo design element in its own right.
The Peony is a flower with a history of cultivation and veneration that goes back thousands of years. In Japan and China, the peony is a floral symbol with meaning on par with the Chrysanthemum, the Lotus and the Cherry Blossom. The Peony is regarded as a symbol of wealth, and remember in both China and Japan, stone lions are used to guard palaces and homes, temples and sacred places, so the pairing of the peony with the lion in tattooing is no accident.
According to Japanese tattooing tradition, peonies also symbolize daring, risk taking and the gambler's or Samurai's devil-may-care approach to life. A gambler's next bet may be his last, a true Samurai according to the Code of Bushido, or The Way of the Warrior, lives each day as if it may be his last.
See "Peony Flower Tattoo Design"