A random phrase from 周易 is 南狩之志,乃大得也. I tried to translate it using the following thoughts.

  • 乃 is probably a conjunction and renders to "in fact, actually" to stress something not as expected.

  • 大得 rendered to "big gain, big achievement"

  • 志 rendered to "will, determination,intention"

  • 狩 is somehow problematic, I found "to go for a hunt in the winter", but I am not sure, if it only is limited to "winterhunting".

So, my translation is:

The determination to hunt in the winter in the south is actually a big achievement.

I am not sure if I got the sentence verbatim right, but if it is so , is the sentence irony or sarcasm, because winter hunting in the south is considered paradoxically? like saying "gone fishing to the sahara"

3 Answers 3


狩 is to hunt, and has nothing to with the season.

The aspiration to hunt in the south brought success.

Then we may ask why, and the answer is that the south is lighter in the winter than the north. So the season is indirectly the reason.


Regarding 狩, @倪阔乐 's answer is not correct.

According to explaination from http://www.zdic.net/z/1e/js/72E9.htm , it means hunting in winter, and especially means burn woods to force animals run away indeed easy for hunting.


The sentence you quoted is actually explaining/supplementing the sentence "明夷于南狩,得其大首,不可疾貞。" which means (approximately) "to go south to for war, capturing/killing the bad leader, in a righteous manner".

As a result, such "志" is considered "大得".

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