JAPANESE BONDAGE – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW!

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JAPANESE BONDAGE – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW!

“Playing with rope bondage is usually an emotionally intimate space to share. It can be rough and sexual, soft and non-sexual, or anywhere in between”. (1)

WHAT IS JAPANESE BONDAGE?

Japanese bondage has become popular in recent years with the rise in popularity, awareness and increased information about Western style BDSM practices such as bondage. So, what is Japanese bondage? Known as kinbaku which mean ‘tight binding’ it is traditionally performed by tying natural fibres such as jute, hemp or linen in aesthetically pleasing forms or ‘katas’. Aesthetics is extremely important in Japanese bondage and there are aesthetic rules which govern the practice. (2) Kinbaku can be anything from an intense highly sexual experience, to a meditative sensual one(and everything in between!). The Western terms used for the person tying the rope is usually called a rigger and the person being trussed up is called the model or ‘bunny’. (3)

WHAT ARE THERE TWO TERMS USED FOR JAPANESE BONDAGE?

You may have heard the term shibari used in reference to Japanese Bondage. Shibari literally means ‘to tie decoratively’ and has become used interchangeably with the work kinbaku. “One modern distinction which is gaining popularity among westerners wanting to distinguish the terms is that shibari refers to purely artistic, aesthetic rope, whilst kinbaku refers to the artistic, connective, sensual, sexual practice as a whole”. (4)

HISTORY OF THE ART OF KINBAKU

The actual practice of bondage as a sexual activity first came to prominence in Japan in the late Edo period (1600 – 1860’s) The father of kinbaku is considered to be Seju Ito who studied various art forms such as Kabuki theatre which partly inspired the Japanese art form of kinbaku bondage. (5) It is said that Ito also drew inspiration by researching Hojojutsu (the art of binding prisoners of war). Which may sound a bit macabre! What must be remembered is that Japanese bondage is about aesthetics, what tie is used and how it is tied. It is this emphasis that distinguishes kinbaku from ‘just tying someone up for pleasure and/or pain!’“Whichever word you use it’s about beautiful, functional, and erotic rope bondage that’s inspired by Japanese aesthetics”. (6)

(1)Cee, Shibari 101: Let’s Talk about Japanese Rope Bondage, Autostraddle, https://www.autostraddle.com/shibari-101-japanese-rope-bondage-350309/ (accessed 7th June, 2019).

(3)Fenn, Violet, What is shibari, the art of Japanese rope bondage, and how can you practice it? Metro, https://metro.co.uk/2018/02/21/what-is-shibari-the-art-of-japanese-rope-bondage-and-how-can-you-practice-it-7293510/ (accessed 7th June, 2019).

(6)Graveris, Dainis, Shibari 101: The Definitive Guide to Japanese Rope Bondage, Medium, https://medium.com/@dainis/shibari-ef52201fbbe3 (accessed 7th June, 2019)

Sebag-Montefiroe, Clarissa, Shibari:pushing the boundaries in the ancient Japanese practice of knot tying, The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2016/jan/21/shibari-pushing-boundaries-in-the-ancient-japanese-practice-of-knot-tying (accessed 7th June, 2019).

(2)(4)(5)Wikipedia contributors, “Japanese bondage,”  Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Japanese_bondage&oldid=901521761 (accessed July 8, 2019).

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