I strongly realized the charm of Kimono when I tied the Kimono’s Obi for the first time.
Naturally, I could not tie the Kimono’s Obi (belt) by myself. I think tying the Kimono’s Obi is similar to learning to tie a necktie for the first time. The Obi is about 4meter ( about 13 feet ) long so it was very difficult.
I was finally able to tie it correctly with the assistance of a store staff. Then I was surprised. The Obi fastened around my pelvis far tighter than I imagined.
But right after, I realized that my lower body was firmly supported by the Obi, and I have never felt so relaxed in my legs and upper body before.
I had imagined Kimono to be very constricting, so it was a shocking sensation. At that time, I was interested in and studying “Kobujutsu ( Japanese classic martial arts )”, the origin of Japan’s modern Budo such as Judo, Karate, and Iaido that had been handed down to the present day.
Put simply, the basic of those arts is “to keep a quiet heart by relaxing the body, to be able to respond instantly to any circumstance.”
In order to achieve that, one must be in Shizentai (neutral, or natural posture) that is said to be the most important physical and mental state for a Samurai.
The point is in having a relaxed mind and body.
I knew with a certainty that the Obi is exactly what creates that state.
The Obi, thicker than a belt, has a wonderful supporting function that steadies the whole body by securing the pelvis, and I realized that this is what makes the Kimono good.