The chrysanthemum, or kiku in Japanese, is a symbol that represents longevity, rejuvenation, optimism, joy, happiness, immortality and more. Mythology is filled with a multitude of stories and symbolism.
Kiku is the official flower of Japan.
Chrysanthemum flowers bloom in late summer or early autumn and the hardy, solid blossoms can keep their shape until the first snow. When they bloom , they reflect fall qualities such as rest after the harvest season, and eventually to periods of quiet contemplation, the chrysanthemum has moved naturally into symbolizing a time of withdrawal and retreat. It is the flower of fall and of fullness, symbolizing not only a long life but a complete and happy one as well.
They are named from the Greek prefix chrys– meaning golden (its original color) and -anthemion, meaning flower.
A symbol of the sun: circular and symmetric with numberless rays that flow from its centre, the chrysanthemum fits into the class of symbols that we recognize as solar. The Japanese consider the orderly unfolding of the chrysanthemum’s petals to represent perfection.
Confucius suggested their use as an object of meditation, as it is a symbol of Taoist simplicity and perfection as well. Since it blooms right into winter, it symbolizes the ability to mediate between life and death, between Heaven and Earth.