KIMONOS ON MONDAY (Week #9) – Celebrate the Obi !
Obi is a sash for traditional Japanese kimonos. (Although an obi is also a term for the sash on a karate uniform, I will consider the obi here as a part of a kimono/yukata outfit.) There are an almost infinite number of varieties. Obis are categorized by their design, formality, material, and use. The fanciest and most colorful obis are for young unmarried women. They sure get my attention! A wide and decorative obi may not actually keep the kimono closed. There may also be an under-sash and ribbon worn underneath the obi. Large decorative obis may require the use of stiffeners and ribbons in order to maintain the definition of shape and decoration. The women’s obi is a very conspicuous accessory of a kimono outfit, sometimes even more so than the kimono robe, and some obis might cost more than the rest of the entire outfit. There are many types of obi. Let’s look at a few in this gallery!