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The Sound Four wear a purple-colored type of belt or wrap around their waists:

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Orochimaru, their master, also wore one:

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Being some of the few ninja I have seen wearing one, does it have a formal name? What does it signify and does it relate or exist in real world fighting..? It feels almost sumo-ish, I think.

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The belt they are wearing is generally referred to as an "obi."

The belt braided in the style of Shimenawa ropes, sacred Shinto ropes made by twisting together straws. It is hung horizontally to indicate a sacred Shintoism place such as praying hall or torii.

The Wikipedia article (linked above) notes that:

A variation of the shimenawa is used in sumo wrestling by yokozuna (grand champions) during their entrance ceremonies to denote their rank. This is because the yokozuna is seen as a living yorishiro (formally shintai), and as such is inhabited by a spirit.

  • Do you know if it signifies anything as it relates to Orochimaru.. why he wears one? I will accept for rank, that makes sense and thanks for the name, but the sumo bit throws it off somewhat.. still curious :) – iKlsR Mar 22 '13 at 15:42
  • I don't think it's mentions specifically, but I believe it's more for prestige showing readers that they are stronger than average and they shouldn't be crossed easily. – кяαzєя Mar 22 '13 at 15:56

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