is a common Japanese word that carries meanings conveyed by the English words “mind” and “heart.” It is used as an equivalent of the Chinese word "XIN" and covers almost the same range of meanings. The Japanese use Chinese characters to write Japanese, and have also studied Chinese literature as an essential part of both secular and Buddhist education for more than 1,500 years, which has led to a convergence of meaning between Chinese and Japanese for many classical words.

The Chinese ideogram for
"XIN" depicts the shape of the heart—the actual organ in the human body. Since ancient Chinese people thought the heart was where psychological function took place, the character conveyed a range of meanings including the heart organ, heart generally, mind, feeling, intention, center, and core.

Kokoro Defined by Shohaku Okumura

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