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The Info List - Mono No Aware



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_MONO NO AWARE_ (物の哀れ), literally "the pathos of things", and also translated as "an empathy toward things", or "a sensitivity to ephemera", is a Japanese term for the awareness of impermanence (無常, _mujō_), or transience of things, and both a transient gentle sadness (or wistfulness) at their passing as well as a longer, deeper gentle sadness about this state being the reality of life.

CONTENTS

* 1 Origins * 2 Etymology * 3 In contemporary culture * 4 See also * 5 References * 6 External links

ORIGINS

The term comes from Heian period literature, but was picked up and used by 18th century Edo period Japanese cultural scholar Motoori Norinaga in his literary criticism of _ The Tale of Genji ,_ and later to other seminal Japanese works including the _Man\'yōshū _. It became central to his philosophy of literature and eventually to Japanese cultural tradition .

ETYMOLOGY

The phrase is derived from the Japanese word _mono_ (物), which means "thing", and _aware_ (哀れ), which was a Heian period expression of measured surprise (similar to "ah" or "oh"), translating roughly as "pathos", "poignancy", "deep feeling", "sensitivity", or "awareness". Thus, _mono no aware_ has frequently been translated as "the 'ahh-ness' of things", life, and love. Awareness of the transience of all things heightens appreciation of their beauty, and evokes a gentle sadness at their passing. In his criticism of _The Tale of Genji_ Motoori noted that _mono no aware_ is the crucial emotion that moves readers. Its scope was not limited to Japanese literature , and became associated with Japanese cultural tradition (see also _sakura _).

IN CONTEMPORARY CULTURE

Notable manga artists who use _mono no aware_–style storytelling include Hitoshi Ashinano , Kozue Amano , and Kaoru Mori . In anime , both _Only Yesterday _ by Isao Takahata and _ Mai Mai Miracle _ by Sunao Katabuchi emphasize the passing of time in gentle notes and by presenting the main plot against a parallel one from the past. In addition, the Japanese director