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Tenga obi

Kanji, Kana & Pronunciation
Romaji Tenga
Kanji 典雅
Kana てんが
Audio Coming Soon
(adj-na,n) grace; elegance; refined; classic

The term tenga as used to describe an obi is rather new. This obi type is not as common as the others.


  • constructed like a fukuro obi (pocket construction)
  • fancy, elegant design/motifs
  • metallic threads used in a classy (not gaudy, like for dance) way
  • usually celebratory motifs
  • likely to be silk

Obi Measurements
Width 16cm to 20cm
Length 4m
Please note these measurements are average measurements and can vary, especially with antique pieces.

A tenga obi is not a maru obi sewn in half, but if you do have one that is such, you could very likely treat it the same way formality wise. It may be how the idea for a tenga obi came about. The term is usually used to refer to a new obi, not one that has been recycled for greater use.

Due to the rarity of tenga obi, they are often confused with oshare/kobukuro obi (hanhaba width obi that are constructed like a fukuro obi [i.e. pocket construction]) or odori obi (dance obi). Both of those obi types may contain celebratory motifs and metallic threads, but the overall feel of the obis in question is different. Do not be surprised if it takes some time to become familiar with identifying the differences.

To assist, here is a visual comparison of tenga obi with oshare/kobukuro obi and odori obi.

Obi Examples


Tenga obi are able to be worn with just about any kind of kimono because they're formal obi, from semi-formal komon to furisode

Kimono Type Acceptable
Furisode Yes
Tomesode (Kuro & Iro) Yes
Iromuji Yes
Houmongi Yes
Tsukesage Yes
Komon Yes
Yukata No
This is a general recomendation and may vary according to individual situations.

Example Musubi

Anything that you can tie with a hanhaba obi you should be able to tie with a tenga obi.

You can use two tenga obi at once to create a more voluminous bow. (needs example)

Article Notes

Relevant Threads / Discussions

Authors & Contributors

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

Contributors: Naomi Graham Hormozi (Immortal Geisha (IG Username)), Diane Quintal(Moonblossom (IG Username))