Obi – Traditional Japanese Clothing

Article taken from Japan Store

While in Nara this summer, my friend and I stopped by an art museum that featured wood block paintings, but also traditional Japanese clothing from over 100 years ago. Of course each an every one of these were absolutely exquisite, but what caught my attention was when my friend pointed out one of the kimonos and said “This must’ve been an oiran’s (courtesan) outfit”. I asked her why, and she explained it was because of the obi (sash used to tie a kimono) which had been tied at the front. Now there was something I had never noticed before on a kimono. To be fair, it’s not that surprising, as nowadays no one wears their obi with a knot in the front. But next time you look at ukiyo-e, or wood block prints, pay attention to the clothing, and it will give you an idea of who is represented in the picture…(continue)


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