How To Wear Kimono & Obi

How to Tie an "Hanhaba-Obi" (Half-width sash belt band) on a Kimono or "Yukata"(

(Summer Season kimono)

Hanhaba-obi is a simple and casual type of obi for Japanese traditional dress, kimono. Yukata is a type of kimono made of cotton or linen, etc with no layer and which is to be used for summer season, in July and August in Japan.

Kimono varies from casual to formal and there is many rules and guidelines to wear. If you are not familiar, you might think of it a bit annoying and complicating. However, it is very simple and easy to wear Yukata with Hanhaba-obi; as there is not many tips to pay attention and you can enjoy wear it without being bound by rules. If you like, it can be wear without the special underwear!

I will explain how to wear yukata in details later and here I would like to introduce you how to tie a "Hanhaba-obi" on your yukata.

Obi knot type: Butterfly bow***

Enjoy your kimono dressing(^^)

Step 1

"Wrap & Wind Obi Around Your Body"


Hold the obi by the end and bent in half, so that the end is facing up, then fold it from over shoulder to waist (adjust the length fit to your size), letting the rest of the sash hang down.

Grasping by the folded end, wrap the unfolded obi around the body.

Wind it around the body twice / Arrange it neatly with the proper side outward

Fold the middle of the wrapped sash held in the right place

There should be a long remaining length of unwrapped obi not wound around the body. Fold this a half gradually

Step 2

"Bind tightly"


Tie a single slipknot, with the doubled-over end and the halved portion held in place by the sash. Put the end into the loop and make a half hitch.

Tighten up to fit your body (not too hard to breathe)

Step 3

"Make A Butterfly Shape"


Doubling the obi over onto itself as about the size of your garment

Tuck the center part and hold it such as a W letter shape

wrap it with the doubled-over end and pass through the loop again / Pull it tightened

Put the extra end inside of wounded obi belt

Step 4



Arrange the knot so that it is as neat and push it around to the back

Taking care to move in a proper direction (right hand side) to avoid opening the robe

Put accessories or bent the surface as trimmings


***More elaborate obi knots can involve many complicated steps, so it may be best to practice with a basic knot using a simple obi

Additional Tips

For your reference there are different approaches to tying an obI and each knot has a different set of steps and specific name of its own.

Obi can be regards as an decorative belts not merely be used to keep kimono closed. While serving a practical purpose, they also add an extra dash of flare to kimono robes. They are functional but at same time can be beautiful to display. Formal occasions it requires the determined types of obi and obi knot according to the tradition.