A couple of Japanese-related posts caught my eye:
1) Matt at No-sword has a post about a document that “records the Shōwa Emperor’s decision not to visit the [Yasukuni] shrine because of the class-A criminals there”; he says:
…my attention was caught by the memo’s final phrase:
だから 私あれ以来参拝していない。 それが私の心だ
So, since then, I haven’t worshipped [at Yasukuni]. That is my kokoro.
Kokoro is a tough word to Englishify. To put that more accurately, it doesn’t map to English very neatly. Depending on context, it might be translated as “heart”, “spirit”, “soul”, “feeling”, “mind”, “mood”, “opinion”, “sensibility”, “hope”, “situation”, “meaning”, “plan”, “reason”, “center”, “topic”, and I’m sure there are others, and that’s only if you insist that the translation be a single noun like the source. For example, one of the articles I linked above goes with “feeling”, but this article translates the relevant phrase as “That is from my heart.”
Kind of reminds me of the dustman’s dumpling.
2) Meanwhile, Joel at Far Outliers has a post about what the sci.lang.japan page he links to calls “a relatively recent trend in Japanese slang… to shorten long words into two or three characters plus the inflectional ending i and make new i adjectives”; the adjective that started Joel off was “kimochi warui ‘unpleasant feeling’, which [a visiting Japanese college student] shortened to kimoi.” Since she was trying to render ‘gross, yucky,’ either the word has strengthened in negative connotation since Arthur Rose-Innes rendered kyō wa sukoshi kimochi ga warui as “I don’t feel quite well today” or “don’t feel quite well” is an example of that famous British understatement.
Incidentally, I was wondering exactly how old the Rose-Innes Vocabulary of Common Japanese Words is; my copy is a 1945 reprint of the 1942 first edition of the Yale revision of what is clearly a substantially older book, since the preface by George A. Kennedy says “The Vocabulary compiled by Arthur Rose-Innes is not merely the best of its kind, but practically the only Japanese-English vocabulary suitable for the beginning student… The principal defect of the work lies in the selection of words, many important modern terms, such as ‘airplane’, being lacking, while some of the included terms seem relatively non-essential.” I checked BookFinder.com, but the entries for earlier editions say things like “Yokohama Early edition Hard Cover,” leading me to suspect that the earlier ones were undated. Anybody know anything about the history of this useful little book (or, for that matter, of Mr. Rose-Innes himself)?