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shibui

English translation: tasteful, refined, well-designed

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22:18 Aug 27, 2000
Japanese to English translations [Non-PRO]
Art/Literary
Japanese term or phrase: shibui
a japanese term for product handmadeness
David W Stevens
English translation:tasteful, refined, well-designed
Explanation:
Actually, I'm guessing at some possible intended meanings. To get a truly useful/reliable answer you need to give more context. Shibui is one of those aesthetic terms that can range all across the map depending on how it's being used. All that your cryptic context tells me is that it has to be one of the word's positive meanings (since it's describing a product), rather than one of the word's negative meanings.
Selected response from:

Wayne Lammers
Local time: 10:18
Grading comment
Thank You Everyone for taking the time to reply. Every answer was acceptable and I found it interesting "cool" is a meaning for shibui. The word was not located in any dictionary I found and even the spelling was in question. This is why I turned to KudoZ for help. Although it was almost twenty years ago, the instructions inside a roll of Asian wallcovering noted the handmade qualities of the product and explained shibui was used to describe what might otherwise be called flaws. The infesting thing is the wallcovering was machine made and not handmade. A tire from firestone might have been shibui by the same definition! I will use Kudoz again if the need arises. Thanks Again, David
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
naCoolmusici
naBeautiful in a restrained way.Hisano Bell
naCoolHaruko Watanabe
natasteful, elegant,...and restrainedFull City
natasteful, refined, well-designedWayne Lammers


  

Answers


13 mins
tasteful, refined, well-designed


Explanation:
Actually, I'm guessing at some possible intended meanings. To get a truly useful/reliable answer you need to give more context. Shibui is one of those aesthetic terms that can range all across the map depending on how it's being used. All that your cryptic context tells me is that it has to be one of the word's positive meanings (since it's describing a product), rather than one of the word's negative meanings.

Wayne Lammers
Local time: 10:18
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 4
Grading comment
Thank You Everyone for taking the time to reply. Every answer was acceptable and I found it interesting "cool" is a meaning for shibui. The word was not located in any dictionary I found and even the spelling was in question. This is why I turned to KudoZ for help. Although it was almost twenty years ago, the instructions inside a roll of Asian wallcovering noted the handmade qualities of the product and explained shibui was used to describe what might otherwise be called flaws. The infesting thing is the wallcovering was machine made and not handmade. A tire from firestone might have been shibui by the same definition! I will use Kudoz again if the need arises. Thanks Again, David

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
ProZ.com Staff
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1 hr
tasteful, elegant,...and restrained


Explanation:
Yes, more context would help. I agree it appears that, in this instance, a positive meaning--tasteful, refined, elegant--is intended; the use of "shibui" could also imply restrained or understated refinement.

Full City
Local time: 03:18

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
Henry Dotterer

ProZ.com Staff
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5 hrs
Cool


Explanation:
I agree to the previous answers, but thought I should add this expression too.

Where 'Shibui' is used informally, it could simply mean 'cool'.

I have an impression that where 'Shibui' is meant to be a formal aesthetic term, it is often used with the word 'Shumi' to follow it - while where this word is used alone, the chance of it being used informally (therefore meaning 'cool') gets higher.

Merely talking about my impression, but hope it will help too.

Haruko Watanabe
Japan
Local time: 03:18
PRO pts in pair: 63
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18 hrs
Beautiful in a restrained way.


Explanation:
If you use it as a noun, it can be translated as "restrained beauty".

Hisano Bell
PRO pts in pair: 4
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23 hrs
Cool


Explanation:
I agree with Haruko that this could also mean "cool." That is certainly the meaning one hears most often 'out on the street.' If this handmade product is aimed at the younger generation, "cool" is likely to be the closest English translation. On the other hand, "shibui" has all the other meanings suggested as well. I hope with the information you have received and the context you (hopefully) have, you will be able to determine the correct interpretation.

musici
United States
Local time: 10:18
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