Search International Institute website.

Todd Shimoda on his novel "Oh! A Mystery of 'Mono no Aware'"

An Afternoon with the Author

Friday, October 09, 2009
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
243 Royce Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095

What does a ‘68 Chevy pickup have in common with cherry blossoms? The centuries-old Japanese aesthetic concept mono no aware can provide a connection. Literally meaning “things of emotional reaction,” it refers to an intense affective awareness of an object or event which precedes a poetic or expressive act. The concept is explored in the art-filled novel Oh! A Mystery of “Mono no Aware” which follows the journey of Zack Hara, a young technical writer, as he searches for an emotionally meaningful life in Japan. Todd Shimoda’s research on mono no aware uncovered many interesting ties to Japanese brush art, literature, psychology, philosophy, anthropology, and neuroscience. With illuminating examples, he will unravel the complexities of the relationship between a pickup truck and cherry blossoms.  


Author Bio:  Todd Shimoda, of Hawai‘i, has published three novels exploring Japan and Japanese themes: Oh! A Mystery of “Mono no Aware”(Chin Music Press), The Fourth Treasure (Nan Talese/Doubleday), and 365 Views of Mt. Fuji (Stone Bridge Press). Born and raised in Colorado, he has lived in California, Nevada, Texas, and Japan. His doctorate was from the University of California, Berkeley. He was a professor at Colorado State University and a visiting researcher at Cal. He writes a blog at, contributes to the Asian Review of Books, and is a partner in the California firm SF Design Associates.

Open to UCLA students, faculty and staff and invited guests.

Cost : Free


Download file: ShimodaFlyer.pdf

Sponsor(s): Terasaki Center for Japanese Studies, Asian Languages & Cultures

Search International Institute website.