Subject: A headscratcher moment in Akutagawa Ryūnosuke's Hell Screen
Posted on: 2021-04-20 09:57:23 UTC

There's a description that reads "the infernal flames of Padma and Mahāpadma were rolling as though swallowing even mountains of spears and forests of swords" (紅蓮大紅蓮の猛火が剣山刀樹も爛れるかと思ふ程渦を巻いて居りました). Thing is, Padma and Mahāpadma – two levels of Buddhist Hell – are cold; anyone condemned to them will be chilled so bad they bleed profusely like red lotus flowers, hence the levels' names. Is the description above a blunder on the author's part or is this some fancy metaphor?

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