Summer sash natsu obi Belt


Summer sash (natsu obi)

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: All Summer
***** Category: Humanity


In summer, the ladies wear a lighter sash with their kimono and cotton yukata.
natsu-obi, natsu obi 夏帯

hitoe obi 一重帯(ひとえおび)"one layer sash"
..... hioteobi, hitoe obi 単帯 (ひとえおび)


Click HERE to see more Japanese summer sashes

More kigo with BELT, see below.

Ways to Tie an Obi
by Ayasano
- reference source : facebook -

Worldwide use

Things found on the way

doka to toku natsu-obi ni ku o kaketokoso

Literal translation:

Thud! Taking off her
Summer obi, she asked me
To write haiku on it

This haiku was written in 1920 (Taishou 9) when Kyoshi was 46 years old.

Later, Kyoshi wrote about this haiku: "one day after our Noh performance was over, we went to a Japanese restaurant in Kamakura to enjoy ourselves over cups of sake. The head waitress, who was a little tipsy, untied her obi, dropped it as though it were something heavy, and asked me to write a haiku on it."

What makes this poem so excellent is the fact that the first five syllables are unique and audacious. The onomatopoeic adverb "doka-to" (with a thud) gives us a sense not only of the heavy sash but also of its buxom wearer. It also portrays the vigorous and awkward movement made by the plump, tipsy maid.

We are charmed and impressed by the originality of this haiku and also by the way Kyoshi's expressive imagery draws us into this cheerful, light-hearted scene.

She drops with a thud
The summer obi she wears.
"Say, write haiku on this!"

(Tr. Nagayama Aya)

From "One Hundred Haiku of Kyoshi"
selected by Ms. Inahata Teiko.


- - - - - Proverbs - - - - -


obi ni mijikashi tasuki ni nagashi

too short for an obi
too long for a tasuki

A proverb, good for something that does not fit either purpose.

tasuki 襷 is a sash or cord to tie back or tie up the sleeves of a kimono.
It is used by women and men when doing manual labour and the long sleeves are distracting.

tasuki used for a race, Hakone Ekiden

. taskuk tsugi タスキ継ぎ exchange tasuki .
The tasuki たすき, colorful cloth sashes, are a proud part of each team. They are handed from one to the next runner, who hangs it around his shoulder whilst running.

tasuki with Daruma pattern

akai tasuki 赤い襷 red tasuki
used for special occasions, festivals, traditional sports, street jugglers, acrobats and others.


ichi i tai sui 一衣帯水 separated by a water as narrow as an obi
(for example Japan and Korea)

obi o toku 帯を解く to open the obi, to have sex

obi o yuruku suru 帯を緩くする to loosen the obi, to relax


kimono 着物 
yukata 浴衣

Kimono and yukata ― Daruma as Cloth Design


doka to toku natsu-obi ni ku o kake to koso

Takahama Kyoshi

"Hey, write a haiku on it !"
she asks, dropping her sash
with quite a THUD

"hier, schreib ein Haiku drauf!"
sie wirft ihren Sommer-Obi zu Boden
mit einem PLUMPS

Translation by Gabi Greve

The interesting part of this haiku is the use of KOSO at the end.
When the girl asked Kyoshi to write a haiku on her sash, he was quite surprized at her straightforwardness and expressed this using KOSO in the haiku.

Related words

***** . Summer Robes  
. Nagoya Obi 名古屋帯 Sash from Nagoya  
. Belt Buckle (obidome 帯留)  


observance kigo for mid-winter

obitoki, obi toki 帯解 (おびとき)
obening the belt
taking off the belt
obi naoshi 帯直(おびなおし)changing the belt
himotoki, himo toki 紐解(ひもとき)
himo naoshi 紐直(ひもなおし)
himo otoshi 紐落(ひもおとし)

On the 15th day of the 11th lunar month (now on November 15) children who were nine years (now it is 5 for the boys and 7 for the girls) were placed in the auspicious direction of the year, the belt of their children's robe was taken off and they were dressed in new robes with a belt for grown-ups.
They were then brought to the local shrine for consecration.
After this ceremony a feast was held for all the relatives to celebrate the growth and well-being of the child.

There is a temple called Obitokedera 帯解寺 in the town of Imaichi, Nara.
The temple of the Kegon sect is dedicated to Jizo Bosatsu and women come here to pray for a safe delivery (anzan).
This temple has an old history, dating back to Kukai Kobo Daishi and used to be called 霊松庵.


observance kigo for the New Year

. Hitachi obi 常陸帯 "Hitachi Belt" ritual
January 14 at Kashima Shrine


maruobi, maru-obi 丸帯 "round Obi"
The most formal women's obi, the maru obi, is technically obsolete, worn only by some brides, and a modified version worn by maiko, in the present day.
fukuroobi, fukuro obi 袋帯 "pouch obi")
Fukuro nagoya obi (袋名古屋帯)
Hoso obi (細帯, "thin sash") Hara-awase obi (典雅帯) or chūya obi (昼夜帯, "day-and-night obi")
Heko obi (兵児帯, "soft obi")
Kyōbukuro obi (京袋帯, "capital fukuro obi")
Manaita obi (俎板帯, "chopping board obi")
Nagoya obi (名古屋帯)
Odori obi (踊帯, "dance obi")
Sakiori obi (裂織帯, "rag weave obi")
Tenga obi (典雅帯, "fancy obi")
Tsuke obi (付け帯) or tsukuri obi (作り帯) or kantan obi (簡単帯, "easy obi")
- - - More in the WIKIPEDIA !


koshihimo, koshi himo, koshi-himo 腰紐 "waist cord"
tied around the waist of a woman's kimono to hold it in place preparatory to tying on the obi

koshihimo with Daruma pattern
it also comes in other colors.

- Reference - koshi-himo





Anonymous said...

Gabi san, I enjoyed your talk on obi sach.
As usaly it is very helpful for haiku translation.
Thanks for sharing.


Gabi Greve - Issa said...

Kobayashi Issa - tasuki

shinadama no akai tasuki ya hototogisu

the juggler's red
sleeve cord...
and a cuckoo

I wonder what connection Issa is implying between the thick red cord used to hold up the juggler's sleeve (akai tasuki) and the cuckoo. Shinji Ogawa believes that there is no direct connection:
"With the juggler's red sleeve cord and the cuckoo Issa paints the mood of summertime."

David Lanoue

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

With a map pattern almost as seen from an aeroplane 航空写真のような地図の柄

maps as patterns