Document Type : Scientific Research Manuscript


Assistant Professor of Japanese Language and Literature, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran


This paper discusses the concept of "Mujō," one of the fundamental concepts of Japanese culture and thinking. The concept of Mujō, compared with other concepts and keywords necessary to understand Japanese culture, is completely unknown in Iran. In fact, this concept is a prerequisite for understanding many aspects of Japanese culture. Some of these aspects include the importance of sakura or cherry blossoms in Japanese culture, the reason for the preference of wood over stone in Japanese architecture, the justification for the tradition of samurai suicide by sword, the kamikaze concept, and the specificity of the meaning of the word for goodbye (sayonara). Mujō is also instrumental in understanding the theme of many Japanese poems, particularly Haiku. Mujō represents a kind of worldview that has emerged throughout the history of Japan and through the integration of genuine Japanese thoughts with the thoughts of Buddhism. After explaining the literal and conceptual meaning of Mujō, the present article deals with its manifestations in the literature, culture, society, and language of Japan. This article also attempts, from the perspective of a non-Japanese, to examine one aspect of the Japanese worldview. Based on the various interpretations of Mujō, the author has attempted to reconceptualize Mujō by interpreting it as "escape from eternity." The present article seeks to respond to the implications of this conceptualization.


Main Subjects

Rezaei, A. (2017). Reconceptualizing Mujō: A Japanese worldview not in the pursuit of eternity. Journal of Iran Cultural Research, 10(3), 27-50.  doi: 10.22631/jicr.2017.1467.2177