How to tie a Bunko Obi

Welcome to our tutorial on how to tie a Bunko Obi!

For this tie, you will need a Hanhaba Obi.  A Hanhaba Obi is a half-width obi (specifically, an obi that is half the width of the more formal “Fukuro Obi.”)  The hanhaba obi has traditionally been used as a casual obi (usually made of a material like polyester), and worn with either casual kimono or yukata.  However, some Hanhaba Obi made with beautiful patterns or higher quality material can be used for formal wear as well.

To properly tie a Bunko Obi knot, please follow these steps:

1) Hold one end of the Hanhaba Obi in front of you, and measure approximately two feet in length.

2) Place this section of obi over your right shoulder (to  keep it out of the way for now), and begin wrapping the rest of the obi around your back.  Make sure the obi is placed over the kimono blousing.

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3) Continue to wrap the obi around you, making sure to wrap it at least once around yourself.  Twice would be preferable, but depending on your size, once may be enough.

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4) Now, take the long end of the obi that you have been wrapping around yourself, as well as the shorter end that has been resting over your shoulder.  Tie a single knot.  Then, place the shorter end of the obi over your shoulder once more to keep it out of the way for the next step.

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)5) Take the longer end of the obi and fold it upon itself, making a rectangle shape that is centered above the knot you just tied.  (This rectangle shape / pillow will become the bow.)

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6) Pinch the rectangle shape / pillow in the center.  Then, take the shorter end of the obi off of your shoulder and fold it in half length-wise to make it narrow.  (This will be the center that cinches the bow.

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7) (a)  Take the shorter part of the obi and bring it down over the center of the rectangle / pillow.  (b) Next, tuck the short end of the obi under the rectangle / pillow, and tug it up firmly behind the knot, cinching the bow.  (Do this step twice.)

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8) Now, take the remaining short part of the obi and tuck it down between your body and the layers of the obi that are wrapped around it.  Open the fold to help maintain the stability of the bow.

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9) Lastly, twist the whole obi around your body until the bow is centered on your back.  Tuck the remaining tail of the obi bow up into the obi layers.

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Congrats!  You’re done!