It kinda popped into my head one day and I want to know the correct meaning and translation into English. Translating it through Google Translate gets you 'Heart of the writing'. I know the meanings of the kanji by themselves but searching the word 筆記 in a dictionary gets me '(taking) notes; copying'.

I would like to know how a native person would read and understand 筆記の心.

Edit: Wikipedia also has it as 'writing' 筆記 but I understand only as far as my knowledge and Google Translate can help me.

2 Answers 2


I am a native speaker of Japanese. In short, 筆記の心 is confusing and unnatural.

筆記 often means written as opposed to oral (筆記試験 = written exam, 口頭試験 = oral exam). It's the act of writing characters on paper usually using a pen or a pencil.

筆記の心 never refers to being a good novelist; thinking of heart-touching, well-structured, grammatical sentences is not what 筆記 refers to.

I don't think 筆記の心 can refer to being a good calligrapher, either. Although the kanji 筆 itself means a brush, in modern usage, 筆記 rarely includes writing something artistic using a brush. The common name for the art of Japanese calligraphy is 書道【しょどう】, and 書道の心 may mean "the heart/essence of calligraphy".

  • I was thinking of using it as a name for a website about anime and manga aimed towards the western audience. Using 'Hikki' as the username because I just like how it sounds. It could also mean 'The heart of Hikki', that being me, pointing to the fact that it includes my opinion. The main goal of making a website for me is to have more ways to practice and better my writing skills so maybe the name fits since I'm not that great right now. Would it still work for what I intend to do or should I think of another name?
    – TillyVally
    Nov 7, 2015 at 13:40
  • The "writing skill" here also includes typing Japanese sentences on your PC, right? To my ears 筆記 sounds like your site were focused on an exercise of handwritten kanji. Anyway, if your name is hikki, that should explain everything :-)
    – naruto
    Nov 7, 2015 at 14:09
  • Then maybe I could make it mean just 'writing' for me. I just really want to use 'Hikki' as my username and it would work perfectly if the meaning was like the one of 作文 but 'Sakubun' or 'Sakumon' doesn't sound as good for a username. It could, for now, be an oxymoron of sorts like 'unskillful art', reffering to my writing skill. I just hope people don't mistake it for 'copying' as in 'copying others ideas'.
    – TillyVally
    Nov 7, 2015 at 14:19
  • Don't worry, 筆記 has nothing to do with plagiarism.
    – naruto
    Nov 7, 2015 at 14:32

As naruto has explained, I agree that 筆記の心 is somewhat oxymoronic. Unlike 書道 (calligraphy) or 作文 (composition), 筆記 is just the ordinary physical act of writing by hand, and is not thought of as an art.

One possible interpretation could be in the context of exams. Sometimes we just say “筆記” as shorthand for 筆記試験. So I could imagine someone talking about the art of succeeding in exams, saying for example:

The essence of the written exam is speed.

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