Ginkgo Tattoo Meaning and The Story Behind It

The tattoo industry is known for its sudden upheavals surrounding some designs and quick discarding them for new ones. But, some designs have stood the test of time with their unique look and ideas associated with them. Among them, Ginkgo leaf or plant tattoo is chief.

The tattoo is celebrated for its distinct design. But, every tattoo has its own meaning. So, What is the meaning behind a ginkgo leaf or plant tattoo?

The Ginkgo tattoo is celebrated for a plethora of symbolic meanings. The plant or leaf is regarded as a symbol of peace and hope. It is also regarded as a symbol of survival and longevity, having outlived numerous natural disasters that wiped out lives like flies.

Also, it’s regarded as a sign of good health due to its medicinal properties. The meaning or interpretation of the tattoo also changes depending on the cultural setting.

In this article, we have discussed the different meanings associated with the ginkgo tattoo. We will also discuss the color and the location of the tattoo to better guide you in your tattoo quest.

The Meaning of Ginkgo Tattoo- Explained

The Ginkgo leaf has a plethora of meaning associated with it. Among them is the idea of peace, hope, wisdom, Longevity, survival, and good health are the chief ones.

The Ginkgo leaf tattoo has a unique design and many beautiful meanings, making it an ideal choice for people who want their tattoos to express a number of ideas.

The Gingko leaf uses its symbolism without drawing any cliche designs that are infesting the contemporary tattoo scene.

Peace and Hope

The ginkgo leaf has been on the front page of the tattoo industry for its unique symbolism of peace and hope. Gingko leaves have a unique form and structure which make them more resilient than others leaves.

This resilience is interpreted as a sign of hope that one has to endure long trials to fully succeed in life. By expressing hope, the ginkgo leaf also expresses a pacifist message. It symbolizes peace due to its serene surroundings.

Although a lot of tattoo designs symbolize peace and hope, the ginkgo leaf is unique and rare among them. You certainly give a statement, if you chose this design rather than the common ones like the dove or the peace symbol.


Gingko leaves are also regarded as a sign of wisdom. The Gingko tree is one of the oldest plants in existence. The common belief about ‘with age, comes wisdom’ is equated with ginkgo trees since the tree has been seen as a symbol of wisdom for decades.

The tattoo with a ginkgo tree or leaf represents the owner’s wisdom or the pursuit of wisdom. The meaning depends on how you draw the leaf or the plant in your tattoo.

Longevity and Fulfillment

The Gingko tree is ancient. It’s even older than humans and predates the extinction of dinosaurs!

It means, that the tree we see now, was also present when T-Rexes and Pterodactyls roamed the earth. For this reason, the tree is seen as a sign of longevity.

Your ginkgo leaf tattoo can be seen as a sign that you have lived a long and fulfilled life. It can also be interpreted as your personal wish to live a longer and happier life.


The ginkgo leaf has lived through some of the most catastrophic events in history. It survived a meteor crash that almost wiped out all of life from the earth.

It survived five ice ages, five major extinction events, and a catastrophic global tsunami. This plant has seen it all and lived it all. For this reason, this plant is known and is a symbol of survival.

You can get this tattoo to showcase your own struggle with survival. This survival can be psychological, financial, physiological, or spiritual. Also, you can get this tattoo as a symbol of the fighting spirit.

Good Health

The Ginkgo tree has a lot of medicinal qualities associated with it. In traditional Chinese medicine, it is used to cure a number of ailments such as blood pressure, low metabolism, and depression. So, the ginkgo leaf serves as a symbol of good health.

You can get the tattoo if your profession is in the health industry such as a nurse, pathologist, or doctor. You can also get this tattoo to represent good health and a sound mind.

Different Cultural Interpretations of Ginkgo Leaf

Symbols have different meanings in different cultures. The snake is seen as a demon in the Abrahamic faiths while it is seen as an enlightened being in Asian philosophy.

So, the interpretation of ginkgo leaves also varies depending on the cultural setting.

East Asia and Taoist Faith

East Asian nations, influenced by Taoism and Buddhism, are obsessed with the idea of duality and balance. Hence, the ginkgo tree has been used as a symbol of duality and balance due to its unique leaf design.

The two sections of the leaf represent the yin and yang. The Yin-Yang can be equated with Light-Dark or Male-Female duality. The leaf is used to celebrate the importance of balance between the Yin and Yang and also showcase the importance of duality.


In Japanese culture, the ginkgo tree is seen as a symbol of strength and longevity. When the USA dropped the atomic bomb on Japan, a number of casualties were reported.

The bombs demolished a lot of the infrastructure as well as a number of trees. Ginkgo trees were also badly damaged but they stood the test. While scientists declared the site as barren, ginkgo trees took their time and fully recovered the area.

This made the tree a symbol of hope and strength in the Japanese eyes.

Also, The Japanese valued the ginkgo trees for their long lifespans. Their medicinal properties and long life made them a symbol of longevity and vitality.


The ginkgo tree is native to china. So, it is no wonder that Chinese literature and art have used ginkgo trees as symbols for centuries. The Chinese see ginkgo as a symbol of peace, hope, and immortality due to its long life.

The ginkgo tree has been always celebrated for its long life. The Chinese, fascinated with its longevity, associated the tree with immortality and as a fighter who fights against oblivion.

For them, the tree is a being who stands the test of time to its best mortal capability. The plant was also seen as a symbol of peace. Chinese artists used this tree’s image to mark the end of numerous political strifes, showcasing hope and optimism for the future.

The Color and The Placement Ideas of The Ginkgo Tattoo

Traditionally, the ginkgo tattoo is often made in black and grey ink. The ginkgo leaves look quite similar to other leaves to an untrained eye.

So, people get it in black, grey, or black-grey ink to highlight the difference. Also, Black tattoos are classy and slower to fade compared to colored ones.

But, you can also get the tattoo in other colored forms if you wish. We suggest you get a green-colored ginkgo tattoo if you want to get ginkgo tattoo. You can also choose other colors if they better suit your skin.

Now, let’s talk about the location of the tattoo. The ginkgo leaf tattoo can be placed anywhere on the body as it works and merges excellently with your body.

It works exceptionally well as a forearm or wrist tattoo. Also, it looks great along the collarbone. If you get one on each side, then your tattoo will reach a new height.

Talk to your artist about the size of the tattoo and then deceive where to put it. Or choose the location first and adjust the size accordingly.

Last Few Words

Now you know the meaning behind a ginkgo tattoo.

It is also seen as a symbol of survival and longevity for it outlived a lot of catastrophic events that wiped away lives like flies. Due to its medicinal properties, the leaf is also seen as a sign of good health. The leaf is also interpreted as a rare symbol of love. Also, the symbolism of the tattoo changes based on the cultural setting.

We hope this article helped you by providing the answers to your queries.

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