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Crowing About Regrets: Part 1

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I found a word whose yomi sounds like something a rooster might say:

心残り (kokoronokori: regret; reluctance)     heart + remainder

Sample Sentence with 心残り

It’s not quite “cock-a-doodle-doo,” but in some parts of the world roosters are quoted as saying “kookoorookoo,” which we almost have with kokoronokori. I love the string of o sounds in this fun kun-kun combination!

The breakdown is also a winner: regret remains in the heart long after an event has passed. (Of course, anger and sadness also have a great deal of staying power, but somehow regret has prevailed here.)

As heart + remainder = regret, it seems natural that the inverse, 残心, would also describe some emotional state. Not so! The inversion significantly changes both the meaning and the yomi:

残心 (zanshin: follow-through (e.g., in archery))
     to remain + heart

We’re talking about athletics here, so it’s easy to imagine that refers to the beating muscle that pumps blood through veins. But this kanji doesn’t represent the physical heart. Rather, here suggests that when you do a sport such as archery, you’ve got to “have heart” (i.e., determination and commitment).

But what’s this about a follow-through? I did a bit of archery as a kid, and I don’t remember that it involved a conscious decision to follow through after shooting an arrow. Hey—you can see an animation of this very thing on one website about 弓道 (kyūdō: (Japanese) archery, bow + the way of)! And it confirms what I thought about the lack of a significant follow-through. But one native speaker suspects that 残心 refers to a mental follow-through, not a physical one: “Your mind should still be focused on the arrow after you’ve released it.” Yes, that would make sense; for a variety of reasons, you need to track the arrow’s course.

By the way, he has never heard of 残心, and he wonders if it’s exclusive to archery. For baseball and tennis, the Japanese use フォロースルー (forōsurū: follow-through).

I mention not only because of the fun I found with 心残り and its inversion but also because is the only Jōyō kanji in the October installment of Alberto’s beautiful haiku calendar.


Explanation of the Haiku …

The kanji has three main yomi: ZAN, noko(ru), and noko(su). To see the on-yomi ZAN in action, check the link.

Regrets Only …

Now for one of the kun-yomi:

残る (nokoru: to remain, be left)

Mō san pēji nokotte iru.
I have three more pages to go.

This kun-yomi seems straightforward, right? You may no longer think so after seeing some words at the next link.

Idiomatic Spinoffs of 残る

Finally, here’s the “remaining” kun-yomi:

残す (nokosu: to leave (behind, over), bequeath, save, reserve)

Chichi ga watashi ni nokoshite kureta mono ga hitotsu aru.
My father left me one thing.

(chichi: (my) father)
一つ (hitotsu: one)

This last yomi is part of an expression that I like very much:

名を残す (na o nokosu: to be remembered; go down in history)
     name + to leave behind

Tanaka-san wa sakka toshite na o nokosō to iu yashin o motte iru.
Tanaka has an ambition to make a name for himself as a writer.

田中 (Tanaka: family name)     field + middle
作家 (sakka: writer)
     to create + member of profession
-そうという (-sō to iu: trying to do X)

A Note on the Grammar …

野心 (yashin: ambition)     audacious + heart

We usually know as “field,” whether a field of study or a field with wildflowers. Halpern says it means “audacious” here. So ambition springs from an audacious heart!

(mo(tsu): to have)

That is, Tanaka-san hopes to leave his name behind, and not as graffiti on the bathroom wall!

Time for your Verbal Logic Quiz!

Verbal Logic Quiz …

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