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Kanji, Kana & Pronunciation
Obi tools biyosugata 01.pngModern Biyosugata
Romaji Biyosugata
Kanji 美容姿
Kana びようすがた
Audio Coming Soon
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A biyosugata is a specific type of obi aid created and used mainly by students of the Sodo Kimono Academy founded by Yamanaka Norio. In the book The Book of Kimono, it is referred to as a "magic obi aid". The word "biyosugata" is made of the terms biyou [美容] which means "beauty of figure or form" and sugata [姿], which means figure, shape, or appearance. It retails for about 5000 yen (~$50), though it can occasionally be purchased from eBay or Yahoo Japan Auctions for less. It is a product of the Yosooi company which makes the "Biyo" line (which includes other kitsuke items, like juban, easy collars, padding, and more).

A biyosugata (sometimes referred to casually as a "biyo" by those online) allows one to create various musubi, from otaiko variations to fancy bows for furisode, for her own personal wearing. This is important because often without it, one is limited in the bows she can tie on her own person (especially when it comes to furisode musubi).

An earlier version of biyosugata, possibly from the 70's


  • usually pink in color
  • is technically two pieces; 1 to construct the obi musubi on, and the other to make the waist section
  • 3 elastic straps (2 in the front, one on the back)
  • bottom snaps open to make threading the obi through the hole easier
  • himo that is attached to the main body of the biyosugata is transferable to the other side (this means the part that wraps around the body can go in either direction, so that the best part of the obi can show)

Musubi Examples

The only limit is your imagination. The biyosugata comes with directions for tying fukurasuzume musubi (Plump Sparrow Bow), and the annual Sodo Kimono musubi publication (no ISBN, internal publishing only) usually has a knot or two using it. In 2006, nearly the entire booklet was bows for the biyosugata, and you can find scans of that book here.

When trying a bow for the first time, do not be surprised if takes several attempts to get it correct. There is a learning curve for the Biyosugata. Once you master basic musubi with it, such as fukurasuzume or otaiko, it'll be easier to make variations.

Obi tools biyosugata 02.jpg Book Title Publisher ISBN Amazon
JP :: USA :: UK
Obi de Yomi 2006
Kimono Collection of Katsumi Yumioka
Soudou Kimono Etiquette Academny
None [N/A] [N/A] [N/A]
Notes: IG Forum Book Scans Thread [[1]]

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Authors & Contributors

Author/s: Erica Pai (Iyolin (IG Username))

Contributors: N/A