The art of excellence without trying. Or something like that. I am interested in the concept, but the Internet seems to have little to offer. It keeps giving me an extract from a book, which doesn't say all that much.
Any of you kind people know more and care to enlighten me a bit?
Well, I've been in the same search for some time now; and I'm almost thinking Trevanian just built this whole thing almost from scrap... if it was the real thing, why is it that there's no data to be found about it?
The only concept that rings true that I've found is from gardening: "Shibumi ("elegance") summons the image of something astringent in sensation, while it hints at that which is unforced or dignified. A shibumi flower arrangement brings into being coolness during a scorching summertime and sunshine on a frigid day. That which is shibumi is quiet in refinement, noble and fulfilling in a manner that is not shaped exclusively by analytical thought. It is the pathos of "not too much," the use of creative restraint in the supreme sense."
Also, most people cite a guy called Robert Hudson's view of Shibumi, which you can read about in http://www.ajjf.org/shibumi.html . I personally think he's touching just a facet of what I imagine Shibumi would be. It seems to be a term people generally like to relate to martial arts.
And that's all I've found so far... I hope it was helpful to you somehow. If anyone has more info about shibumi, I'd love to learn more about it too, so any info you get please let me know!