I've been looking for just the right maru obi for a couple of years: not a garish obi with wedding motifs, and not an older one in deep olive green and brown. And nothing super fancy and precious. I wanted wearable and versatile. Nothing wrong with those types of obi, they were just not something I wanted to wear with my current kimono collection. Plus also didn't want to spend too much! Maru obi can be frightfully expensive, especially the Taisho era and some of the newer designs. So I think I found one I can use for many years with many different kimono, including my kurotomosode and the iromuji in my collection.
The chrysanthemum (kiku) pattern is woven and despite quite a bit of gold and some silvery-white threads, it has a subtlety to it it that doesn't shout. I especially love the bits of blue and green; the cool colors add some freshness to the feeling of this obi. The background color is a medium beige, which seems to make it more elegant rather than bland. If the background was black it would still be lovely but it would also have more contrast and be more bold. It's not shiny like some of the modern fukuro obi you sometimes see; it has the soft sheen of a well-loved obi that someone really cherished since it's in such great condition. I'm very glad to have found it!
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