CultureEssayEtymologyIdiomJapanese traditionKanjiUncorrected

Takane no Hana (高嶺の花 – Out of One’s League)

  • Takane no Hana


    An attractive person (especially a woman) whom one cannot reach and can only admire from afar is called takane no hana (高嶺の花) in Japanese.

    Since taka/takai (高/高い) means “high,” ne (嶺) means “peak,” and hana (花) means “flower,” the literal meaning of takane no hana is “a flower on a high peak.”
    「高」は “high”、「嶺」は “peak”、「花」は “flower” を意味するので、「高嶺の花」の文字どおりの意味は “a flower on a high peak” となります。

    Even if a beautiful flower blooming on a high peak can be admired from afar, it is not easy to go and pick it.

    In other words, this idiom is a metaphor for a woman whose character and appearance are too outstanding to be approachable, just like a flower on a high peak that is difficult to reach.

    Original sentence