What (possibly non-English) word describes deliberate, patient excellence?
April 11, 2012 10:39 AM   Subscribe

What word would I used to describe an attitude of deliberate, patient excellence as in a craft or vocation?

Some examples where this overarching attitude is revealed include the creation of Damascus steel, samurai swords, and Ferraris. Also, I see this sort of dedication in Thai fruit carving and sushi preparation. These are all things that come about as the result of deliberate practice, attention to form, and dedicated craftsmanship.

I thought there was an Italian word that describes this concept, but I'm flummoxed. Ideally, I'm looking for a single word (as opposed to, say, a phrase) to describe the mindset or overarching attitude and approach of those practitioners who dedicate their lives to making beautiful things with patience, dedication, and love.

Any ideas?
posted by Kamhead to Writing & Language (14 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Are you thinking of shuhari?
posted by theodolite at 10:44 AM on April 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

posted by mosk at 10:44 AM on April 11, 2012 [4 favorites]

Not exactly, but close: virtù, perhaps?
posted by .kobayashi. at 10:48 AM on April 11, 2012

posted by bfranklin at 11:04 AM on April 11, 2012

posted by John Cohen at 11:18 AM on April 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

I just call this craftsmanship too. To my mind it's kind of the opposite of virtuosity, in that being impressive is specifically not a goal.
posted by dfan at 11:24 AM on April 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

posted by PussKillian at 1:01 PM on April 11, 2012

posted by drdanger at 1:42 PM on April 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

"mastery" came to mind for me as well.
posted by snuffleupagus at 2:45 PM on April 11, 2012

posted by MexicanYenta at 4:12 PM on April 11, 2012

Neither of these quite capture the devotion aspect
posted by kettleoffish at 7:30 PM on April 11, 2012

posted by Lynsey at 12:13 AM on April 12, 2012

posted by paduasoy at 2:52 PM on April 13, 2012

posted by Sutekh at 3:03 PM on April 13, 2012

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