Nihongo no Kokoro Part 126

Kimagure

気まぐれ

“Kimagure” is acting upon whimsy. Simply doing something whenever one feels like it is in total contrast to the Japanese characteristic of doing things according to plan. Actions that are impossible to predict and whether or not something gets done being based on how one feels is basically what a cat does.

For as long as the term “kimagure” has been around, restaurants have used it in their menus. That’s why it’s pretty common to see dishes with names like “The Chef’s Kimagure Salad”. It’s basically saying that the dish would be made according to whatever the chef feels like so it’s uncertain exactly what gets served. That being said, I don’t think it truly means that exactly and it’s really just a quirky way of naming a dish that is composed of whatever ingredients are available at the time of order.

Personally, I find the unpredictability that comes with “kimagure” rather charming.

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