Mono no aware (物の哀れ),[a] literally "the pathos of things", and also translated as "an empathy toward things", or "a sensitivity to ephemera", is a Japanese idiom 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.
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. Norinaga saw the state of being aware as the fundamental condition of the concept.