儚さ (hakanasa) vs もののあはれ (mononoaware), savoring the moment…

Notes on, 儚さ (hakanasa) vs もののあはれ (mononoaware) or “savoring the moment”…

Below is part of a conversation I had with someone who “studies” Japanese culture.

Excerpts from Conversation:
– what you referred to as “mononoaware” maybe “hakanasa(儚さ)”. (see some usage below)
http://ejje.weblio.jp/sentence/content/%E5%84%9A%E3%81%95
– “mononoaware” has a bit of a “condescending tone”, where the human saying the phrase is “feeling sorry” about the impermanence.
-It’s used by the characters of the genji story, where the characters are from that of the loyal family (of an upper hierarchical class)
– “mononoaware” is most likely a subjective view made by character, where as “hakanasa” is an observation, more factual…. beauty of all living and dying things.
– “hakanasa(儚さ)” can laso be underrstood as the focus of beauty of the end of an event/or the life of “something” … I think this really connects to your theme of “savoring” the moment.
– One point I might challenge you (for a better understanding) is looking Zen and Shinto, the other way around, or putting a focus on animism and old shinto (ritualistic shinto is fairly newer, structured form of religion mainly serving the emperor as the superior being. old shinto is indigenous religion and has deep relations with the concept of animism). This maybe a theme you might want to look out for during you trip to Japan.

Example Sentence:
Another way to look at it, is that shinto usually has to do more with what we call today “spirituality”, where buddhism is more closer to “science” or “philosophy”.

(Original Sentence) もともと日本には仏教の無常観の影響を受けた「もののあはれ」など儚さ(hakanasa)を美しく感じる風土があった。例文帳に追加

(Translation) Originally, Japan has a tradition of finding  beauty in transience=(“hakanasa”) as seen in ‘mono no aware (the sadness or pathos of things)’ affected by Mujokan (Buddhist concept of the impermanence of worldly things) in Buddhism. – Wikipedia日英京都関連文書対訳コーパス

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