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