"Ume" is a flower that represents the spring in Japan. In modern times of Japan, the flower of representing spring is "Sakura", but in the "Heian" period(from 9th century to 12th century) from the "Nara" period(from 7th century to 8th century), people preferred plum to cherry. At anthology of "Waka"(a traditional Japanese poetry) written in the "Nara" period called "Manyo-shu", the number of songs which is theme of plum has three times as large as one which is theme of cherry blossoms.
"Ume" is a one of representative pattern which symbolize patience, vitality and auspicious sign, because its flowers bloom in cold winter before other flowers start to bloom.
The motif of which has drawn pine, bamboo and "Ume" on same canvas, in particular called "Sho-Chiku-Bai" . Pine is recognized the symbol of longevity, because it has keeping the green needles throughout the year. Bamboo is recognized the symbol of success and rising to upper position, because it grow straight and vigorously.
In Japan, "Sho-Chiku-Bai" has been recognized as a pattern which especially auspicious. Further, it is so liked for gifts to celebrate people around.