Unique Obi Styles


Today I’d like to introduce a few unique Obi styles for kimonos.

Suehiro Musubi

The Suehiro Musubi Obi style is used for the Furisode, a style of kimono distinguishable by its long sleeves that go right to the ground, to celebrate the significant point in a young woman’s life. It is one of the most gorgeous kimonos that is mainly worn for major social functions such as wedding ceremonies, tea ceremonies, graduation ceremonies, and coming-of-age ceremonies until women get married. On the second Monday in January which is a public holiday in Japan, you see many young women wearing Furisode kimono to celebrate the coming-of-age day. The Furisode kimono is worn with luxurious Obi that has plenty of gold and silver thread.

The Suehiro Musubi Obi style is perfectly suitable for celebrations. ‘Suehiro’ derives from the saying ‘may your happiness spread forth like a fan (suehirogari)’.

In the picture below, you can see one line that goes from upper left to the lower right which represents the arrow with the fan on the upper right. The center part, Otaiko, is in the tortoise shell shape which has the meaning of happiness and fortune.

Bunko Musubi

Bunko Musubi is commonly used for the Furisode (not the longest sleeves’ Furisode but middle to short sleeves’ Furisode). The Bunko Musubi Obi style was worn by women who were born into the samurai class family (“Buke” in Japanese) in the Edo era. This Obi style is very traditional and is used for the bride’s kimono at a wedding ceremony these days. Because of its neat and trim appearance, Bunko Musubi is also used for the Furisode kimono. If you want your Furisode kimono style look more modest than gorgeous, then Bunko Musubi is a perfect Obi style to match with your Furisode kimono.

The Bunko Musubi is generally worn by women who are in their late teens or early twenties at special occasions such as New Year’s ceremony and other kinds of private parties.

As you can see in the picture below, you need to make nice square shapes on the both sides of the Obi for Bunko Musubi.

Noshi Daiko

Noshi Daiko is the Obi style for semi-formal kimono for women or colored tomosode for married women. It can be worn when attending a wedding ceremony, or other school events such as an entrance and graduation ceremony. Or you can match Noshi Daiko with finely patterned kimono which is more casual than semi-formal kimono or colored tomesode and make your kimono style more chic. The Noshi Daiko Obi style adds more gorgeousness to your kimono than the normal Otaiko Obi style.

Just a little downside of wearing Noshi Daiko is that you can’t really lean on the back of the chair as this Obi style has a nice round shape in the middle when you tie a knot with your Obi belt.

Noshi Daiko below is not a perfect shape as we were still practicing how to make a nice Noshi Daiko during the kimono lesson but normally, the wings on the both sides will show nicely from the the otaiko knot in the middle.

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