ようこそへトランシエンスです。 Welcome to Transience, the TFL-approved fanlisting for the uniquely Japanese aesthetic of mono no aware. If you're a fan of this elusive and yet everpresent concept, won't you join the fanlisting?

what is mono no aware?

Mono no aware (物の哀れ) could be considered the quintessential Japanese literary aesethetic, maybe even more so than its fellow wabisabi. Literally translated as "the ahh-ness of things" (あわれ, aware, being a word of muted surprise used in the Heian era much like the English "ah" or "oh"; its modern Japanese equivalent being the various forms of あら, ara), mono no aware started as an idiom that flourished in Heian era literature, and later saw a revival during the Edo period after kokugaku scholar Norinaga Motoori used the phrase in his critique of Murasaki Shikibu's classic "The Tale of Genji". More figurative translations include "the pathos of things", "empathy towards things", or "sensitivity to the ephemeral". It refers to a deep awareness of the passage of time in general, and thus an appreciative wistfulness at the short life and the passing of ephemeral things -- such as cherry blossoms in the spring; they bloom, they are impossibly beautiful, and all too quickly, they're gone once again. The bittersweetness of experiencing sakura is mono no aware -- just one example thereof.

You're viewing version 1 of Transience, 桜、溜め息のように (cherry blossoms like a sigh). It should be able to be viewed on all devices at all resolutions, but if this isn't the case for you, please do take a screenshot and send it to me, and I'll see if I can fix it ASAP.