Definitions

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Etymologies

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Examples

  • You are extremely dignified -- the Japanese call it "shibui."

    Hawking Our Wares

  • Of course I will be planting a sweet, rather than an astringent, or 'shibui'* persimmon.

    Permaculture Research Institute of Australia

  • The long-shaped Hachiya variety, the ones Aussies first planted before we knew better (sorry Hachiya), are awfully 'shibui'.

    Permaculture Research Institute of Australia

  • Originally codified at the beginning of the Edo period in the early 17th century, the concepts of shibui (simplicity and reserved beauty) and wabi-sabi (acceptance of imperfection and asymmetry) were evident in objects like tea bowls and pouring vessels that were subtly beautiful, perhaps slightly off-center, and had a way of demanding attention, paradoxically, through their powerful understatement.

    Sarah Archer: Handmade for Japan: Aid Through Art

  • Kaki is a prominent part of everyday life in Japan — there's even an adjective almost exclusively used to describe the taste of a bitter persimmon, shibui.

    Taste Test: Persimmon - Boing Boing

  • In fact, English does have an precise translation of shibui, at least the literal meaning: Astringent.

    Taste Test: Persimmon - Boing Boing

  • Muji's lead designer, Naoto Fukasawa, labels (pardon the pun) the aesthetic "Supernormal," with a deliberate nod given to the ancient Japanese concept of shibui, or "an unobtrusive beauty."

    Archive 2008-07-01

  • The ring had shibui, arousing an aesthetic emotion in her.

    Seishin

  • Labels: aestlight shawl, bramblewood vest, family makes the world go round, shibui socks

    Life

  • I find slush and string almost as unattractive as shibui, and so too it seems, do the Japanese.

    Permaculture Research Institute of Australia

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Comments

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  • This is a Japanese word that was described by James A. Michener in his book "Iberia" as "acerbic good taste." I have high hopes that this word will one day become main-stream English. It's a beautiful borrowing from another language. It is a family word-favorite.

    June 21, 2009