Word of the Day – Tuesday, March 15th

Contact Us



Word of the Day


Clever Clue of the Month

The Cruciverbalist


Daily Email

OBI (OH-bee)

A wide sash worn by women in Japan

Common clues: Japanese sash; Waist material?; Kimono accessory; Ginza strip?; Kyoto cummerbund; It's a cinch in Japan; Geisha girder; Japanese band?; Japanese middle manager?

Crossword puzzle frequency: 10 times a year

News: Japanese Fashion Billionaire Gives Big To Disaster Relief

Video: Japanese traditional dance

Obi is a Japanese word referring to several different types of sashes worn with kimono and martial arts uniforms by both men and women.

Obi are the top-most sash worn with various styles of Japanese clothing; several other sashes may be worn under the obi to secure the clothing in place and/or to enhance the shape of the body or of the uppermost sash.

Except in martial arts, obi are always tied at the back -- traditionally one knotted the obi in its final position, but many people now tie the obi at the front where the knots can easily be seen, and then twist the sash into the correct position. In former times, courtesans and prostitutes wore obi tied at the front for easy removal and retying.

Kimono are full-length robes traditionally worn by both men and women in Japan. Though there are many different types of kimono, obi are worn with all of them, and function both to keep the robe closed and in place on the body, and as decoration. Obi were traditionally made of silk, and silk is still the most traditional and formal material for obi.

Men's kimono obi are rectangular, usually about five or six centimetres wide and two metres or more in length. They are usually seen in dark colours such as black and blue, and typically have little decoration, though decorative stitching in a contrasting colour, often white, is common. Men's obi are wrapped one or more times around the waist and are tied slightly off-centre at the back, most commonly in the style of knot called kai no kuchi, literally "clam's mouth," though there are other knots as well. Men's obi are normally worn quite low on the waist, somewhat below the stomach.

Women's kimono obi are twice as wide as men's or more, and are frequently very decorative and colourful, though this will depend on the age of the wearer, the type and style of kimono, the season, and the occasion for which it is being worn.

Women's obi are also wrapped one or more times around the waist, and are not only much wider but are tied much higher up, generally with the top just under the breasts. Women also use various styles of knots, including the kai no kuchi, but more typically women's obi are tied in a so-called drum knot, a large roll at the back, usually enhanced and shaped with padding called makura, literally "pillows." Unlike men, women tie the knot at the centre of the back.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Obi (Sash)”

OBI (457) 35 Tu >1 08 Kimono sash

27 Tu+ >1 09 Geisha's sash

27 Tu+ >1 07 Sapporo sash

25 Tu- >1 07 ___-Wan Kenobi

24 We- >1 08 Kimono accessory

21 Tu- >1 08 Japanese sash

12 We+ >1 05 Sash

11 Th- >1 08 Eastern sash

11 Tu- >1 04 Kimono tie

10 We- >1 07 Kimono closer

8 We- >1 05 Kyoto cummerbund

8 Mo >1 07 Oriental sash

6 We+ >1 05 It's a cinch in Japan

6 Tu >1 05 Osaka sash

6 Th- >1 09 Samurai's sash

4 Th- >1 08 Broad sash

4 Th WSJ 09 Geisha girder

4 Th WaP 08 Ginza garb item

4 Th- >1 09 Japanese band

4 Th >1 06 Japanese band?

3 We >1 07 Bit of "The Mikado" costumery

3 We+ >1 05 Cummerbund cousin

3 Fr+ >1 04 Eastern tie

3 We- >1 07 Geisha's band

3 We CSy 05 Kimono completer