Jump to: navigation, search

Odori obi

Kanji, Kana & Pronunciation
Romaji Odori Obi
Kanji 踊り帯
Kana おどりおび
Audio Coming Soon
(n) dance obi

Odori means dance, and thus these obi are used for dances such as Kabuki or Nihonbuyou.


  • base color tends to be bright and solid, such as red, green, black, yellow
  • back of obi may be a single solid color, usually vibrant
  • usually reversible
  • lots of metallic threads in gold or silver (not as high quality as other obi)
  • geometric patterns, such as stripes or checks, are common
  • commonly hanhaba width, but do come in full width
  • usually synthetic
  • may have rainbow metallic threads

An odori obi is not to be confused with a tenga obi.

The basic size of an odori hanhaba is 15cm (6") wide and 350cm (138") long.

A men's dance kaku obi is about 10cm (4") wide and 350cm (138") long.

An obi for tying shut a happi coat is 8cm (3.15") wide and 375cm (147.6") long.

Men's dance obi tend to be in darker base colors, such as black, dark blue, indigo, or purple, in addition to white. The metallic threads tend to be gold, and the motifs are strong and more masculine (chains, geometrics, crashing waves).

Synthetic hakata obi may be used for dance. Common designs are kanji, mon, checks, squares, stripes, seigaiha, chains, and other geometrics. The main indicator is the heavy metallic embroidery, which some have taken to calling "bling" for fun, and the high contrast.

If the obi is full-width, it is commonly a tsuke-obi (pre-tied obi). This is because they’re easier to put on for a quick-change (many dancers change outfits during the course of the show while other dancers are taking their turn on stage).

Included in odori obi are the obi used to tie happi shut, as happi are a common feature in some dances. These obi are not metallic, often cotton, and usually black, brown, or indigo based with white or yellow motifs, usually chains or linked squares, on one side and stripes on the other. The base colour of each side is the same.

Odori Obi Examples

You can find many examples on the Japan-CC website or at Bokunando's website. (These are not endorsements of the businesses, only for pointing out examples.)

Formality & TPO

According to The Book of Kimono[1], odori obi may also be worn with ceremonial or semiformal kimono. However, this is not commonly seen with modern kimono and the very metallic obi. The odori obi that are not as metallic may be a better choice.

TPO - Within Japan

Occasion Acceptable
Hotel Wedding Reception Maybe
Restaurant Wedding Reception Yes
Formal Party Maybe
Casual Party Yes
Dinner Yes
Lunch Yes
Tea Gathering Maybe
Graduation Ceremony Yes
Practice Yes
Theatre, Concert Yes
Exhibition Yes
Travel Yes
Yes - Acceptable to wear.
OK - OK to wear if no suitable alternatives.
No - Unacceptable to wear.

Article Notes

Relevant Threads / Discussions


  1. The Book of Kimono, by Yamanaka Norio. pg 69. ISBN:0-87011-785-8