| The Flowers
Flower tiles (花牌 pinyin huāpái, Japanese hanahai or fapai)
The eight flower tiles include four tiles representing four seasons
Spring (春天, chūntiān)- symbolizes the fisherman; common sense and patience
Summer (夏天, xiàtiān)- symbolizes the woodcutter; success through activity
Autumn (秋天, qiūtiān) – symbolizes the farmer; physical and arduous labor and rich rewards
Winter (冬天, dōngtiān)- symbolizes the scholar (or Confucius); a cultured mind and prudence
The remaining four Flower tiles (Four Gentlemen [or the Four Noble Ones]) (四 子, sìjūnzi) represent the four Confucian plants:
Bamboo (竹, zhú)-As bamboo has some features such as uprightness, tenacity and hollow heart, people endow bamboo with integrity, elegance and plainness, though it is not physically strong. An ancient poet thought that to be a gentleman, a man does not need to be physically strong, but he must be mentally strong, upright, and perseverant.
Chrysanthemum (菊花, júhuā)- In the Chinese culture, the chrysanthemum signifies a life of ease. Buddhists are fond of using this flower as offerings on altars. Symbolic of powerful Yang energy, this flower is an attractant of good luck in the home
Orchid (蘭花, lánhuā)- Orchids in general stand for beauty, charm, elegance, strength and peace. The Chinese also associate orchids with fertility, and with refinement, thoughtfulness and the innocence of children.
Plum (梅, méi)- The plum blossom is seen as a symbol of winter and a harbinger of spring. The blossoms are so beloved because they are viewed as blooming most vibrantly amidst the winter snow. In Confucianism, the plum blossom stands for the principles and values of virtue.