The Types of OBI

Tyeing an antique hanhaba obi on sarasa komon kimono.
OBIFukuo-obi / Nagoya-obi / Hanhaba-obi
Designs of OBIZentsu-gara / Rokutsu-gara / Otaiko-gara

Fukuo-obi

“Fukuro” means a bag or a sack. Fukuro-obi is obi which configuration is like a sack as its name shows.
Generally, Fukuro-obi is regarded as prestigious, it is coordinated with formal kimono.
Fukuro-obi is gorgeous and luxury using plenty of golden or silver yarn with delicate embroidery.
The design is arranged on one side of the whole body.

Nagoya-obi

Fukuro-obi can be said “formal” obi, whereas Nagoya-obi is often casual. Nagoya-obi is simpler configuration than Fukuro-obi and easy to gird. So it is convenient when you want to enjoy kimono casually.


There are both piece-dye type and yarn-dye type.

The name is said to be derived from the place-name “Nagoya”, because Nagoya-obi was designed in Nagoya in the last days of Taisho Era (1912-1926).

There are many types and applications.

Hanhaba-obi

“Han” means “half” and “Haba” means “width”. As its name suggests, its width is around 15 cm (5.85″), whereas the width of the standard obi is about 30cm (12″).
Hanhaba-obi is coodinated with casual kimono such as Komon or yukata.

Designs of OBI

Zentsu-gara

“Zen” means “all”, “tsu” means “through” and “gara” means “design”.
Patterns of Zentsu-gara are on the whole body of obi.

“Te” is the opposite side of the edge. “Tare” is the part that comes to the back when obi is tied.

Fukuro-obi Zentsu-gara
Nagoya-obi Zents-gara

Rokutsu-gara

“Rokutsu” means “60% of obi”, and the main designs are arranged on one part which is wrapped around the waist (“Tesaki”) and another part that is tied on the back (“Tare”).

Fukuro-obi Rokutsu-gara

Nagoya-obi Rokutsu-gara

Otaiko-gara

The main designs are arranged on the part that shows up at the front of the body and the part coming out at the back when girded.

A pattern that comes out in front when the obi is tied is called “Mae-gara”. “Mae” means “front” and “gara” means “design.

Design on the back side is called “Otaiko-gara”.

The part to be wound around the body is folded in half. Some Nagoya-obi are folded in half when we put on, and others are already folded in half and tailored.

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