THE HEART OF KANJI: Beautiful heart

Utsukushii Kokoro  calligraphy by Rev. Masato Kawahatsu

Utsukushii Kokoro
calligraphy by Rev. Masato Kawahatsu

Happy new year! I would like to talk about a “beautiful heart.”

美しい (utsukushii) means “beautiful or attractive,” which consists of two parts. The top part represents the form of a beautiful ram and the bottom part is a person who is standing. Together, utsukushii is a beautiful or attractive person.

(kokoro) means “heart,” which represents human heart or spirit.

The year 2015 is the Year of the Ram. The ram is elegant, creative and passionate but timid. The ram kanji character represents beauty or attractiveness over any other animal. I believe the ram not only has beauty on the outside, but also has the characteristics of inner beauty.

We all want to become a physically attractive person on the outside, with a beautiful face or body. However, it is more important to become a beautiful person on the inside, where our inner heart or spirit lies.

There is a famous women’s school in Japan called Takarazuka. Many physically attractive women take tough tests and enroll here to learn dance, music and acting for movies or stage shows. They have gone through tough training while learning numerous skills every day. At the same time, they have to develop internal richness. There’s a reminder of the importance of having an attractive heart on the school’s wall. The reminder has 25 messages. 

I’d like to share 12 of these with you. I translated the messages from Japanese to English and changed some areas.

The title reads, “People are attractive when they:

• Smile

• Give thanks (Arigato gozaimasu 1,000 times a day)

• Have confidence

• Don’t complain about others

• Are not envious or jealous of others

• Take responsibility

• Think positively about all things

• Help or serve others

• Are humble not arrogant

• Listen to other people’s advice or warning

• Make their surroundings joyful

• Tolerate inconveniences or hardships 

Many people spend so much money or time to be physically attractive or beautiful. However, it is more important to become a beautiful person on the inside with inner heart or spirit.

Let us put more effort to being an attractive person from within — throughout the Year of the Ram.

Rev. Masato Kawahatsu is a minister at the Konko Church of San Francisco and Konko Center of South San Francisco, who teaches shodo (Japanese calligraphy) and martial arts. He also gives spiritual counseling and is the author of “An Eternal Journey.” He can be reached at or (415) 517-5563. The views expressed in the preceding column are not necessarily those of the Nichi Bei Weekly. 


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