2

心を鬼にする >> Can anyone explain to me what is the meaning of this expression ?

I guess it's like "I've made up my mind to become ruthless (though I don't want to) "?

I'm not so sure so can anyone give me a correct understanding thanks

3

Your guess isn't too far off the mark. A more idiomatic way of saying that in English is "to harden one's heart", generally in reference to when you need to do something that someone doesn't want you to do, but that might actually be good for that person.

As explained in my personal copy of Daijirin:

[心]{こころ}を[鬼]{おに}にする
気の毒に思いながら,その人のためを思ってやむなく厳しくする。「―_して破門する」

Relevant entries in Kotobank (all in Japanese), and in bilingual Weblio.

3
  • can I understand it as "I steel myself /my heart " ? – 4chan user May 20 at 19:05
  • @4chanuser, there's a difference in nuance. Steel oneself sounds more like someone is doing something that they really don't want to do, that they find frightening or unnerving or anxiety-producing. I may steel myself before going bungie jumping, for instance. Meanwhile, harden one's heart sounds more like someone is doing something that affects someone else in a way that the doer of the action feels sympathy or empathy for the other person. I may harden my heart before I have to tell someone bad news that they need to hear, for instance. – Eiríkr Útlendi May 24 at 15:26
  • 1
    thanks for your detail answer o/ – 4chan user May 25 at 7:39

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.