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Meaning Of “Atari” – NOT The Video Game Console!

Along your raw denim research, readings, and general surfing, you’re bound to come across a significant amount of chit chat about Atari.  I’ll admit, I’m guilty – the gaming console circa 1970 something was the first thing that came to mind too.  But like any denim head, I had to find out the meaning behind this.  After a tiny bit of digging, it’s really quite simple and common sense.

Atari 2600 Game Console - NO Relevance Here

Atari 2600 Game Console – NO Relevance Here (source: howstuffworks.com)

There is no official definition of Atari, but it can be roughly defined as:

The Japanese buzzword for the most common and prevalent fading/creasing experienced

Of course you will see more fading along seams, behind and in front of knees (i.e. honeycombs), and along thighs (i.e. whiskering), but Atari is nothing more (and nothing less than) the more general term to encapsulate all of that fading goodness.  For further reading about fading, see our previous article “Fade Types – Whiskers/Hige & Honeycombs“.

In terms of the origin of the term though, there is much discussion across numerous forums (e.g. SuFu).  However, probably the best explanation is to just directly translate the word, Atari, itself.  So, by simply plopping Atari into one of the many free Japanese-English dictionaries online, here is what we get:

Ignoring the first and third result, we see Atari means “hit, success, reaching the mark…” and it all starts to come together.  If substantial fading is the main goal of raw denim then Atari signifies the time in which that is reached.

Stay Raw!

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