Div IV - Obidome
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The purpose of this section is to provide examples of Obidome as defined in Div IV, Section 8 in the NBS Classification Guide1 (Blue Book).

An obidome (normally spelled as one word and pronounced "oh-bee-doe-may") is an ornamental trim worn by Japanese women with their kimono attire. Prior to the beginning of the 17th century, both women and men wore a plain, rope-like cord to secure the kimono at the waist. After that time, a ribbon-type obi sash, approximately three inches wide, became fashionable for both men and women. As time passed, the width of women's obi grew and by the turn of the 19th century, they were as wide as twelve inches. As the obi became wider, it was necessary to apply a separate cord or ribbon called an obijime to secure the obi.

Starting in the 1800s, Japanese craftsmen introduced the obidome as an accent piece attached to the obijime. It slides over the obijime cord or ribbon which holds the obi sash in place. It has the appearance of a belt buckle but serves only a decorative function. This is one of few jewelry items worn by Japanese women when they were formally dressed in kimonos. Rings, earrings or necklaces were uncommon. So small that it can be easily concealed in the palm of the hand, the obidome enhances the charm of the kimono garment and gives it a personal touch.

The obidome may have one or more holes or rectangular shanks through which the obijime is passed. Many materials have been used for the obidome including various metals, glass, ceramics, coral, shell, and wood. They may be further embellished with decorative finishes or other material embellishments including precious stones, shell, enamels, paints and lacquers.

So, what does the new collector look for when attempting to create a good representation for Obidome? The possibilities closely parallel those for our buttons and are covered by class 8-1, Specific design features. Class 8-1 allows and supports writing awards that focus on specific characteristics such as material types, construction techniques,  decorative finish (DF), other material embellishment (OME) and pictorials. See the footnote at the end of Div IV listing in the Blue Book.  Note that the labeling on the following examples identifies some but not all the possibilities for the specific design features.
Hover your mouse over the images below to see the back of the Obidome

8-1 Ceramic (Gold Paint)  (2")

8-1 Tortoise Shell - Silver Inlay
Pearl Tesserae/Lacquer  (2 x 1-1/2")

8-1 Enamel on Silvered Brass  (2 x 3/4")
Click Here to See Additional Details

8-1  Onyx  (Realistic)
(1-1/4 x 1-1/8")

8-1  Ivory  (Realistic)   (1-1/4 x 1-1/8")

8-1  Wood  (Lacquer) (1-1/2 x 3/4")

8-1  Ceramic  (Kutani) (2-3/4 x 1-1/2")

8-1  Ceramic  (Shape)  (1-1/4")

8-1  Silver (Carnelian OME) (1-7/8 x 1-1/4")

8-1  Tortoise Shell  (Realistic) (1-3/4 x 1-1/8")

8-1  Ceramic  (Kutani)   (2-3/4 x 1-1/2")

8-1 Ceramic  (Paint DF)  (1-1/8")

8-1 8-1 Ceramic (Paint DF) ) - BM (1-1/4 x 1")

8-1 Ceramic  (Paint DF)  (1-3/4")

8-1 Ceramic (Paint DF)  (1-1/2 Wide")

8-1 Ceramic  (Paint DF)   (1-7/8")

8-1 Ceramic  (Paint DF) - Symbol (1-1/4")

8-1 Ceramic  (Paint DF)   (2 x 1-1/2")

8-1 Ceramic  (Paint DF)   (2 x 1-1/2")

8-1 Ceramic  (Paint DF) - Realistic (2")

8-1 Shape Linear - Kutani   (2-3/4 x 1-1/2")

8-1 Shape Realistic  (Ceramic)  (1-1/2")

8-1 Shape Realistic  (Ceramic)  (1-7/8")

8-1 Shape Realistic - Paint DF  (1-1/2")

8-1 Fabric  (1-7/8" x 7/8")

8-1 Ceramic  (Paint DF) (2-1/4" x 1-3/4")

8-1 Wood - (1-1/4" x 1")

Special thanks to Lou Yeargain, Gloria Farin, Pat Fields, Bruce Cole, Janet Gerhardt, Judith Schwenk, and Betsy Ciffone for providing the images of obidome shown above. Collaborators who allowed the use of images from their website included Deb Hanson and Jane Quimby - http://www.bysonbuttons.com/, and Diane Quintal -  http://moonblossom.net/blog/tag/obidome/. Others who contributed reviews, comments and support include Pat Koehler, Lou Yeargain, Ronnie Wexler, and Susan Porter.  Potential labeling issues or suggested improvements should be directed to the Button Country team at Contact Us.

(1) National Button Society Blue Book - Official NBS Classification and Competition Guidelines
(2) Obidome by Jocelyn Howells, The National Button Bulletin, Vol. 66, No2, May 2007
(3) Obi-Domes - Gene O'Brien - Just Buttons, August, 1973