Wolves among the flowers


Literally: fall – flower – wolf – spread

Alternately: Things are scattered or disorganized. Chaos and disorder. Violence, especially violence directed towards women and children.

Notes: As with last week’s yojijukugo, this is a compound of compounds, with 落花 referring to scattered flower petals and 狼藉 being the flattened grass where a wolf has bedded down. The image of flower petals may be taken as an example of disorder, or (as in the final usage mentioned), as a metaphor for the supposed fragile beauty of noncombatant women and children.

This phrase comes to us from the Wakan rōeishū (『和漢朗詠集』, a thousand-year old poetry collection including both Chinese and native Japanese works.

Writing 落花 as homophone 落下, “fall,” “descent,” or 藉 as close relative 籍 is naturally an error.


It’s a book title. I have no idea what about. You can buy it if you’d like.

About Confanity

I love the written word more than anything else I've had the chance to work with. I'm back in the States from Japan for grad school, but still studying Japanese with the hope of becoming a translator -- or writer, or even teacher -- as long as it's something language-related.
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