What is Fukuro Obi? History, how to wear it, and how it differs from a Maruobi!

What is Fukuro Obi? History, how to wear it, and how it differs from a Maruobi!

The world of traditional Japanese clothing, especially the fascinating world of the kimono, is a symbol of a rich history and timeless culture.
At the heart of this culture can be said to be the Fukuro Obi, a type of obi that plays an important role in kimono dressing.
In this article, we will explain the characteristics and history of Fukuro Obi, from how to wear it to how it differs from Maruobi Obi, in an easy-to-understand manner.

What are the characteristics of Fukuro Obi?


Fukuro Obi, an obi made of two different fabrics for the front and back and sewn together in the shape of a sack, is known as a very prestigious obi along with Maruobi.
It is available in a wide variety of patterns, from gold and silver in luxurious splendor to stylish patterns, and depending on the pattern, it can be enjoyed not only for formal wear but also for casual styles.
Also, since it is lighter in weight than Maruobi, it has replaced Maruobi as the mainstream formal wear obi.

The obi width is about 31 cm and the length is about 4 meters 30 cm. Another feature of this belt is that it is lightweight, flexible, and easy to dress.

How to Tailor Fukuro Obi

bundle of fabric

Fukuro Obi comes in two forms: Honbukuro and Nuibukuro.
Here, we will explain the two tailoring methods in detail.


Honbukuro is woven into a bag shape from the beginning, and the outer and inner fabrics are integrated.
The edges of the fabric are open, so an obi core is inserted to close the edges.
The feature of this type of sack is that it is less constrictive when tied and does not easily lose its shape.
Also, unlike Nuibukuro, which will be discussed later, it is possible to add a pattern line to the lining.
Weaving Honbukuro Obi requires a high level of skill, and it can be said that a beautiful Honbukuro Obi is completed only by the hands of a skilled craftsman.


Nuibukuro is made of separate outer and inner fabrics, which are sewn together.
When sewing them together, an obi core is often inserted to adjust the stiffness.
Most Fukuro Obi in circulation today are Nuibukuro Obi.
The most distinctive feature of Fukuro Obi is that the lining is plain, which is often cited as a characteristic of Fukuro Obi itself due to the volume of distribution.

Difference between Fukuro Obi and Maruobi

FukuroObi vs Maruobi Image

At first glance, you may not be able to tell the difference between Fukuro Obi and Maruobi, but as soon as you hold one in your hand, you will be able to tell the difference.
As mentioned earlier, most Fukuro Obi are Nuibukuro, which are made by sewing the outer and inner fabrics together, so the reverse side is often plain.
Maruobi, on the other hand, are made by folding the obi in two, so the same pattern is drawn on the front and back.

Because of the way they are tailored, Maruobi obis can be said to be twice as heavy as Fukuro Obi.

Fukuro Obi is slightly longer than Maruobi, and has a wider variety of patterns, including casual ones.

What is a Maruobi? How to use it in remakes and how it differs from Fukuro Obi!

How to wear Fukuro Obi

Attaching Image

Fukuro Obi can add a touch of glamour to a kimono with simple lines due to its gorgeous design.
Fukuro Obi are also light and flexible, making them easy to wear and adaptable to any knot.

So, what are the different ways to tie Fukuro Obi?
Here are some typical ways to tie Fukuro Obi.


OtaikoMusubi Image

This is the most common way to tie an obi.
There are two types of OtaikoMusubi: "HitoeDaiko," in which there is no overlap of the obi at the Taiko, and "HutaeDaiko," in which there are two layers of obi.
The HutaeDaiko knot is said to be more ceremonious and bring better luck than the HitoeDaiko knot, and Fukuro Obi are usually tied with the HutaeDaiko knot.
The double-decked obi is often tied on festive occasions, as it means "to bring joy and happiness to others.

Fukurajaku /Bunko

Fukurajaku Image

Fukurajaku is a classic knot, often tied by women of the imperial family when tying a knot.
It is similar to the OtaikoMusubi knot, and the size of the OtaikoMusubi can be changed to create a knot that suits the individual.

The Bunko is a knot favored by samurai women and is often tied on bridal gowns.
The butterfly-like knot is cute and is still one of the most popular knots today.

History of Fukuro Obi

History Image

Until the Fukuro Obi was born, Maruobi was the main type of obi, but because Maruobi was heavy and difficult to wear, the lighter Fukuro Obi came into being in the late Meiji and Taisho periods.
Around the beginning of the Showa period (1926-), Fukuro Obi replaced Maruobi as the predominant type of obi.
From this time on, people began to wear western-style clothing as their daily wear, but Fukuro Obi remained a symbol of Japanese tradition and represents a link to the past in a rapidly changing world.

Importance of preserving culture

Japanese Image

In modern Japan, kimonos are no longer worn on a daily basis.
Still, they are worn on important occasions such as weddings and cultural events, and occupy a special place in the hearts of the Japanese people.
In order to keep such kimono culture alive forever, it is important to pass on the culture and the artistry and traditions of the kimono to the next generation.

Craftsmen and lovers of Fukuro Obi and kimonos engage in a variety of activities to produce and pass on the necessary knowledge and skills.
They are responsible not only for preserving Japanese culture, but also for passing on these elements to people around the world who are fascinated by the culture of kimono and obi.

Using Fukuro Obi in Kimono Remakes

Fukuroobi Remake Jacket

In today's world, where cultural traditions and modern trends are constantly intermingling, there is a growing interest in the fusion of the old and the new.
One of the symbols of such an era is the popularity of kimono remakes.
Taking advantage of the diverse patterns of Fukuro Obi, they are remade into fashion and accessories with gorgeous designs.
From glamorous to casual, some of the most expensive Fukuro Obi made by artists have been lavishly remade, resulting in a rich variety of pieces.
Thus, the rebirth of the culture into something new is one of the activities to pass on the charm of kimono culture to future generations and to keep it alive.


Fukuro Obi is the culmination of Japanese craftsmanship, elegance, and tradition.
Their gorgeous patterns, intricate tailoring, and historical significance embody the charm of Japanese culture.
As we look to the future, it is important to preserve these cultural treasures and ensure that the beauty and traditions of Fukuro Obi will be passed on forever.
Whether worn in traditional or contemporary attire, Fukuro Obi will live on as a testament to the enduring beauty of Japan's cultural heritage.

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