A kimono is never complete without an obijime (narrow braided sash cord). Although the color and pattern of the kimono and obi (belt) are what catch the eye on first glance, an obijime is essential to pull the whole look together.
Obijime are one kind of kumihimo, braided cords or bands that are produced throughout Japan in places such as Mie, Shiga and Kyoto. Kumihimo made in Tokyo are said to be the most popular, and many obijime are made in this style, but the words "Tokyo kumihimo" are largely unfamiliar these days even to Japanese people.
According to Yasuhisa Fukushima, owner of the Fukushima Store (a Tokyo kumihimo shop) and the director of the Association for Tokyo Kumihimo, 90 percent of the products created by Tokyo kumihimo artisans are obijime.