This 3/4 Phoenix Japanese Tattoo sleeve done few years ago in Germany. The tattoo shows Japanese phoenix and Sakura(cherry blossoms).
HOU-OU or PHOENIX in Japanese Tattoo.
Phoenix Japanese tattoo. Probably the most important of the mythological birds, its unmatched splendour and the immortality it derived by rising from its own ashes.
Its name comes from the Greek word for “red”, the colour of fire and it came originally from Ethiopia and thought to appear only once every 500 years. In ancient China, the feng-huang bird was able to unite both yin and yang and was used as a symbol of marriage. In ancient Rome, it was stamped onto coins to symbolize the endurance of the empire.
In some versions of its story, it flew to distant lands gathering fragrant herbs which it returned to its altar, setting them afire and burning itself to ashes -rising three days later. In other versions, when the time of its death would draw near, it built a nest of aromatic twigs in which it would burn, simply from the heat of its own body. Tattooing the phoenix is done from different times of it existence, thus not always on fire! However, no matter the details of its origin, life, or death, it has become a symbol not only of the undying soul, resurrection, and immortal life but also one of triumph and a rebirth in this life. (Source)
In Japan and China, the Mythical Phoenix is used as a symbol for the imperial household . The bird represents fire, justice, the sun, obedience, fidelity, and the southern star constellations. In some traditions the Hou-ou will apear only in peaceful and prosperous times. It is a symbol of peace when the bird appears and a symbol of disharmony when it leaves. (More)
Widely celebrated in Japanese literature, poetry, and art, sakura carry layered meanings. For example, because they bloom briefly, the blossoms are often seen as a metaphor for the ephemeral beauty of living. At the same time, the joyful tradition of hanami (flower viewing) is an old and ongoing tradition. (Source)
Phoenix Japanese tattoo full sleeve by George Bardadim, Brooklyn Tattoo Shop- Tattoo Culture. Japanese Tattoo Art in NYC.
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