How to tie ichijudaiko

How to tie ichijudaiko

The next step is tying nagoya obi into ichijudaiko.

Ichuju literally means one layer and daiko means a drum. Daiko is usually pronounced  taiko in one word. Ichijudaiko looks like a drum or drum-shaped bridge in a Japanese garden.

"ichijudaiko" and "taikobashi" bridge

This is the most basic way of tying. If you master this, you can go anywhere.

So let’s get started!


Things necessary

  1. Nagoya obi
  2. Obijime cord
  3. Obiage cloth
  4. 2 himo (karihimo)
  5. Obimakura pad wrapped with the gauze (30 cm × length of your opened arms)
  6. Clip and rubber band (if you need)

Please refer to Preparation for kimono lessons if you want to check the detail.


Tie obi

Wrap obi and tighten it


put "obi" on the shoulder

1. Take the half-width part called te and put it on your shoulder. The folded edge called wa is facing outward.

The position of a front pattern called dou-gara changes depending on the position of tesaki. (Blue : left, yellow : center, red : right.) If you use obi with whole patterns called zentsu-gara, basically put it on the blue line. There are no rules for the position of the front pattern.


wrap "obi" once

2. Wrap obi once. The folded edge called wa is always the bottom.

In narrow places, it is easier to turn yourself rather than to wrap obi itself.


take the diagonal part

3. Take the diagonal part (black star) from the bottom.


draw the diagonal part

4. Draw it (black star) to the bottom line called obishita-sen (red star) and pull the right hand obi forward.

This action is called “yanoha -wo -hiku” that means draw a bow.


place "obiita"

⇒ If you use a no-strap obiita, place it between the first and second turn as shown in the photo above.


wrap "obi" again

5. Wrap obi again along the first turn.


Make a knot by folding

Take "te" off

6. Take te off and hold the folded edge called wa.


slide the hand aside and down

7. Slide it to the right beyond the back center and slide the left hand down to the bottom line.


Slide it a little to the left

9. Slide te a little to the left. While hold the left hand there, tighten  the right hand obi.


fold the crossed part up

10.  Te and tare were crossed. Place your right hand under the cross part while holding your left hand in place. Then fold it up as following the dotted line.

If you have some extra fabric (white arrow), tuck it inside.


View after folding up

11. View after folding up. Folding te and tare together makes a  knot. You may switch to your dominant hand.


Take the center of "karihimo"

12. Take the center of karihimo and pass it to the other hand.


13. Secure the knot with karihimo.


temporarily tie "karihimo"

14. Bring the ends to the front, and temporarily tie them firmly on obi.


Tuck te at the front

Pull the "te" enough

15. Pull the te enough and bring it to the front. Is there te-saki at 3 cm from the front center? That is the ideal length for ichijudaiko.


turn it to the opposite side

16. If it is longer, turn it to the opposite side. If it is short. no problem. Continue as it is.


Pinch the "te"

17. Pinch te at the front with a clip.


Make otaiko : upper line

Open "taremoto"

18. Open taremoto close to the knot and fold into a triangle.

It is important to open neatly to make a beautiful otaiko.


Tie another "karihimo" around the waist

19. Tie another karihimo around the waist to keep obi in place.

When you got used to tying, you don’t need karihimo of step 19.


Fold up the obi from the 2nd "karihimo"

20. Fold up the obi from the 2nd karihimo. The blue clip is the mark of the upper line of otaiko.

If you have otaikogara, a main pattern on your obi, please mark the upper line of otaiko with a clip in advance.


take a pad for obi called "obimakura"

21. Hold the upper line in place and take obimakura, a pad for obi.

Can you see taresaki, the end of obi behind your knees? That’s ideal length to make otaiko.


Rest obimakura on the back

22. Put obimakura inside.

Check the direction of obimakura. The side curved outward is the upper side.


Place "obimakura" on the upper line.

23. Place obimakura on the upper line called obiuwasen. Refer to the following a to c.


place the hand on the back

a. Place the hand as shown in the photo.


Hold the pad

b. Hold the pad with both hands.


Put the pad

c. Put the pad on the upper line of obi (yellow doted line).


move the string up and down

24. Hold the gauze string only. While pulling it forward, move it up and down to fit the pad firmly on your back.


Tie the string aside and pull it forward

25. Tie the string aside and pull it forward at the center front. Put the knot deeply between obi and datejime.

This action creates some space in front of you, making it easier to breathe. Moreover, obimakura gets stuck to your back.


Cover obimakura with obiage

Tare is turned up to see well.

Take the center of the cloth called "obiage"

26. Back view from here. Take the center of the cloth called obiage and bring it to the back.


Hang the "obiage"

27. Cover the upper part of the pad with obiage.


Wrap the pad neatly

28. Wrap the pad neatly pushing the extra cloth in. Tie the ends of obiage temporarily at the front.

If it is difficult for you to do this way, wrap obimakura with obiage beforehand as shown in the photo below.

wrap the pad with "obiage" cloth


Make otaiko : bottom line

Untie the "karihimo" all.

29. Untie the karihimo all.


Place "karihimo" along the bottom line

30. Back view from here. Place karihimo along the bottom line of obi called obishitasen. Move it to tare and hold them together. Then straighten the fabric grains of obi.

Straighten the fabric grains and get a sharp line.


Tuck the rest of "tare" inside

31. Tuck the rest of tare inside.


Go on

32. Go on.


Leave "tare" or a tail

33. Leave tare or a tail about 6~8 cm. It’s your index finger length.


Tie the "karihimo" firmly on the obi

34. Tie karihimo firmly on obi and take te off.


Fold "te" back and insert it

35. Back view from here. Fold te back and insert it right under the otaiko layer.

Make the hand flat when inserting te.


Adjust it to the same length

36. Adjust it to the same length as the width of otaiko. If it is long, tuck the folded part inside. Te should be along the bottom line of otaiko.


Make sure that "otaiko" lines

37. Make sure that otaiko lines are smooth and the pattern is in a good position.

Now you have otaiko!

The next step is tying obijime and obiage.

Hang in there!