May 15, 2014

Poseidon of the East (19)


The kanji compound (百花), meaning "a profusion of flowers," is also part of the compound noun (百花斉放) that means "Let a hundred flowers blossom." It makes me wonder if the author had any political irony in mind.

The "Hundred Flowers Campaign" encouraged the people of China to express opinions contrary to those of the Communist Party. When it ended in less than a year, Mao let it be known that those flowers that blossomed only served to inform the authorities which ones should be turned into mulch.

A "gauntlet" is a mailed glove. A knight would challenge an opponent to a duel by throwing one of his gauntlets down on the ground. The challenge was accepted by picking it up.

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