❀Gintoki ⇢ Cherry Blossom: purity, simplicity, a beautiful soul
❀Kagura ⇢ Weeping Cherry Blossom (shidarezakura): graceful beauty, deceptiveness
❀Shinpachi ⇢ Plum Blossom: patience, clarity of heart, loyalty and devotion
Cherry blossoms may be a metaphor for the brevity of life, but in their short lives they put on their most splendid display for all to see. Gintoki is perfectly aware that all life has to end at some point, but he’s not going to sit around and wait for that. “Rather than think of dying a beautiful death, isn’t it better to live beautifully until the end?” He takes each day as it comes, and doesn’t worry too much about tomorrow. After all, what matters the most is here right now.
Kagura looks like a cute little girl with an umbrella, but don’t be fooled by that pretty exterior. Graceful and fragile as those flowery branches seem, they’re going to whip back and hit you in the face if you bend them too far.
Shinpachi is the glue that holds the Yorozuya together. Whenever Kagura and Gintoki get out of sorts, it’s his job to remind them exactly who they are. The plum tree blossoms in the cold of winter, signifying perseverance and endurance. Behind that unassuming pair of glasses is someone who will not let go no matter how hard things get. Also, you can’t deny it takes the patience of a rock to deal with two lazy, bratty good-for-nothing kids (one of them seriously overgrown).
❀Kondo ⇢ Cherry Blossom + Hawk: purity, simplicity, strength, hidden ability
❀Hijikata ⇢ Iris: spiritedness, kindness, “I believe in you”
❀Okita ⇢ Wisteria: intoxication, drunk on love, never to be separated
Gorilla jokes and stalker tendencies aside, Kondo is the unshakable core of the Shinsengumi. He watches over Toshi, Sougo and everyone else like a hawk, and will swoop down and bare his talons in their defense if need be.
In Japan, the iris is associated with Boys’ Day (now called Children’s Day), which Hijikata’s birthday happens to fall on. The iris represents heroism and the qualities of a warrior. In the language of flowers, the iris also means “I believe in you” – a fitting description of Kondo and Hijikata’s relationship.
Okita is often morally questionable and downright self-centered, but like the climbing wisteria he’ll cling on to the Shinsengumi as long as Kondo is there.
Zura Katsura ⇢ Bamboo: upright, honest, flexible yet unyielding
❀Takasugi ⇢ Peony: splendour, magnificence, daring, disregard for consequence
❀Sakamoto ⇢ SPAAACE
The bamboo is known as one of the Four Gentlemen of Chinese painting, representing uprightness, honesty and flexibility. Katsura is all of these things – he is plain-speaking to a fault, strongly attached to his ideals yet willing to change when he sees fit.
Takasugi makes no attempt to blend in – his flashy attire announces his presence like a venomous creature shows off its coloration. He certainly doesn’t give a damn about the consequences of his actions.
Sakamoto may have left Earth behind for the vastness of space, but that doesn’t mean he can’t stop by sometimes for a bit of flower-viewing (and girl-viewing) with some old friends and a lot of booze.
❀Kamui ⇢ Pine: strength, endurance, longevity
We haven’t seen much of Kamui’s character so far, but we know one thing – he wants to be the strongest. Pine trees live for hundreds of years, survive the coldest winter with ease and flourish in the most inhospitable of places. Kamui is like a pine tree on the summit of the tallest mountain – above all, but ultimately alone on his lofty throne.
sources: various wikipedia articles/google searches, this site and this site
P.S. Yes, I left out Okita and Sakamoto for obvious reasons. s-sob At this point no one’s going to look at the original post, but I thought I’d have a go at them just for fun.
edit: from curry-ninja:
For Okita the Wisteria may symbolise his growth, as a prodigy he is incredibly strong for his age just like the wisteria, with it’s ability to grow past vast areas. As for Sakamoto, he doesn’t need flowers, he has cast away the blood-stained flowers of Earth for the flowers in the sky.