This is an update to my old blog "Subject and Object." In the blog, I said the word love didn't exist in ancient Japanese language. This is true. But a friend of mine pointed out the kanji 愛existed in the Buddha sutra although the meaning was different. Despite the difference, the kanji 愛 was eventually applied to express the western concept of "love."
According to my digital dictionary, 愛 from the sutra is referred to the eighth of twelve bad karmas. It means sexual desire or attachment. I'm shocked!
But don't worry. We always had love on everything. I assure you. It was just so ubiquitous and attached so closely to everything in our world, so we couldn't differentiate it from others. That's my interpretation of this phenomenon, not according to the dictionary.
I don't know how a bad karma became love, but I've researched on when the western word "love" appeared for the first time in our modern literature. According to "The origin of Love" by Junko Saeki, the first evidence of "love" is found in "The Modern Days Literary Propensity" by Tsubouchi Shōyō (1859-1935). He wrote in katakana, ラァブ. He translated Shakespeare.
I'm very grateful that the word "love" was imported to Japan.
Readers, if you have any questions, doubts, or even if it's so trivial, please let me know. I'm not an expert on Japanese culture, but I can research. I also want to learn more.