One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A style of traditional Japanese flower arranging, typified by large arrangements intended to evoke landscape or the splendour of nature; (occasionally) a flower arrangement in this style.
Late 19th century; earliest use found in Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan. From Japanese rikka, † rikkwa, lit. ‘standing flowers’ from rik-, variant (before k) of ritsu- to stand, to make stand, set up (from Middle Chinese) + -ka (formerly -kwa) flower, blossom (apparently originally from either or both of two Middle Chinese words which became homophonous in Japanese; compare Chinese huā flower and huá splendid, flowery).
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