The word 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", or "sensitivity", or "aware". 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. "A sensitivity to ephemera"
Just read a cool article, How Hand-Drawn Typography Was Reborn, about a neat-o designer who was previously a commercial artist turned modern graphic designer. His name is Ed Fella and he took hand drawn typography to new heights. The article was brought on by the release of a book he put together called "Ed Fella Documents" about an exhibition of the same name that was up in France in 2011 as a part of the 22nd International Poster and Graphic Design Festival. The article talks a bit about his life and how he got to where he is today. Though his abstract work in typography defied the commercialism he originally came from, his fonts still ended up on the market and he is still a huge influence on contemporary typography today.
As quoted from the article:
Fella’s work rejected impersonal universality, and his matter-of-fact disregard for the strictures adhered to throughout his professional life appealed to many young designers who saw graphic design as an expressive medium.
If you’d like to read more you can see the article here. It’s quite interesting.