i understand that there is little standardization for the use of knots in Japanese, many incurring folk names. Even in English most knots have several different names, though there are monumental efforts to standardize them (such as Ashley's Book of knots).

For a translation project I'm trying to find the appropriate term in Japanese for this knot commonly used in tying ones shoes, or in this particular case the knot used in tying the fastening strings on the inside of kimono and martial arts training uniforms.

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1 Answer 1


It looks to me like [蝶結]{ちょうむす}び.
We also call it [蝶々結]{ちょうちょうむす}び, or more casually ちょうちょ[結]{むす}び.

[蝶]{ちょう}, or [蝶々]{ちょうちょう}, ちょうちょ means "butterfly".

  • I had indeed seen that name come up in searches, though usually far more elaborate, so I wasn't sure if perhaps there was a sort of 真行草 categorization of different levels of knot going on here as we see in many artistic practices in Japan...
    – Atemi
    Jun 27, 2019 at 15:33
  • I have seen the phrase before with no reference and translated it in my head as "butterfly knot", so I assumed it was the shoelace knot all along but never knew for sure
    – psosuna
    Jun 27, 2019 at 16:28

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