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This section of the knowledge base covers historical elements of kinbaku from past to present.

The Battle of Sekigahara, October 21, 1600, signifies the unofficial demise* of the Japanese budo - hojojutsu (predecessor of modern kinbaku) as this decisive battle ended the Sengoku or "Warring States" civil war era of Japan and ushered in the Edo period (Edo or Tokugawa jidai).  Unified under the Tokugawa (Ieyasu) Shogunate, Edo period Japan enjoyed approximately 250 years of peace through its military dictatorship and isolationist policies up until the Meiji Restoration.

 Hojojutsu, though no longer employed as a battlefield technique, continued to be utilized throughout everyday life during the Edo period as the majority of samurai became an integral part of the nation's policing force and used these proven techniques for the takedown, capture, and transport of criminals.

As time passed on, some of these techniques survived and were later fetishized into the S&M practice named kinbaku.

While hojojutsu does not utilize knots in the construction of the ties due to cultural reasons, it would technically be false to state that kinbaku does not ever use knots.  For example, most if not all ties begin with a simple principle which is the safety release knot. This is typically the only knot ever used to assist the bakushi in resolving a situation should an emergency arise.  Knots can be laid in-line the asanawa to be utilized upon pressure points on the body and can also be utilized in creating decorative patterns.

Historically (and Culturally) speaking, rope has been an integral part of everyday Japanese life since its early history.  For example, going back to Japan's Yayoi period, evidence shows usage of shimenawa indicating sacred spaces, such as that of a Shinto shrine or around yorishiroShimenawa is even used in sumo wrestling cermonies to denote the rank of grand champions.  Going farther back in Japan's Jōmon period, archeological evidence has been found such as pottery adorned in rope. 

From Edo period to present day, Japan still utilizes rope whether it is a (small) part of policing methods or everyday occurrences such as gift giving.  Giving a gift to another wrapped in rope is a corollary art in and of itself.

None of these elements alone should ever be confused or conflated as being solely responsible for kinbaku being its own artform, however kinbaku probably would not be without their historical value. Though these elements may have preceded kinbaku, they should be appreciated in their own right but also as parts of the whole cultural tapestry.

This section of the knowledge base covers cultural aspects of kinbaku from past to present.

Absolutely and unequivocally yes! A few notable culture Differences are:

Japanese people tend to be more formal. Overall Japan, especially Tokyo, is known for being "colder" than most areas of the United States. People stand a relatively far distance apart when speaking, and last names with honorifics are used. Physically touching is also more sparse in Japan than it is in America.

Westerners tend to be more direct and blunt, whereas Japanese people are more subtle. Being too direct in Japan can be considered rude. This can be seen in body language, too. People in the U.S. are taught to look directly in someone's eyes when speaking or listening to show they are actively participating in the conversation. In Japan, extended eye contact can be uncomfortable between people who aren't close, and eyes are often adverted as extended eye contact can be interpreted as a challenge. Japanese people also tend to be more reserved than Americans, and share less personal or sensitive information, often even with close friends.

Gender Roles Are Strict. Japan typically Measures approximately 5 times lower than the U.S. in terms of Womens equality on the Global Gender Gap Report. The concept of masculinity can also be very strict, though among youth culture - typically university age or younger - there is some gender androgyny celebrated in fashion, appearances and roles.

In Japan, Social Hierarchy is Important. The junior/senior relationship is very important in Japan, especially for students in school clubs. In theory, the senior is a mentor for the junior, and it is the junior's duty to help out the senior and the other members of the group. These roles aren't non-existent in America, but roles are often based on personal accomplishments, and they aren't always respected as a rule, either.

Japan is a collectivist culture, whereas the United States is more individualistic. Japanese culture is focused on groups and communities. Satisfaction and pride is meant to be found within the group you belong to. In the United States, people tend to find satisfaction in their own accomplishments, and focus on their own aspirations. In Japan, this can also influence a mindset of how people live in society. People tend to follow rules more seriously, from something as simple as trying not to litter - which makes big cities like Tokyo surprisingly clean.

Relationships Develop over a considerable amount of time. When American people meet someone new, they can quickly call that person “a friend" and the friendship can end just as abruptly. years may elapse before a Japanese person calls someone a “friend" but once a friendship is made, it lasts a lifetime.

Sexuality and the Perception of Sex are positive. a surface analysis would say that America is far more puritanical with sex, Even when taking into account japan's strict public censorship of sexual practices. Japan is a very conservative and private nation, though Japanese conservatism is different from American conservatism. Japan is far more sex-positive than America but Japanese are far more private and shy concerning sex itself. Sexual activities may be commonplace, and in some cases even expected, during a private kinbaku session in Japan whereas in America, great care must be taken for the comfort (and consent) of the bottom.

Kitan Club magazine was first published in 1947 in Japan and was illustrated with nude women, rope and bondage and plenty of S&M. An online reporduction of most, if not all, issues can be found at www.nawa-art.com

This section of the knowledge base covers general kinbaku-related medical and safety issues.

The Human body is going to experience the activation of hormones and release chemicals which can drastically affect an individual. Most notable being endorphin, adrenalin, and serotonin. As a result, body temperature will rise and sweat will be secreated.

For instance, endorphins will mask pain; serotonin overdose can affect mood, appetite, and memory; oxytocin may cause someone to feel attracted to their partner when they otherwise would not; adrenal fatigue is possible to set in.

Adverse effects can set in altering the individual emotionally or physically during or after a session, Even days later. something could be triggered that is unexpected.

First of all, don't Panic.  Understand what you are up against. Severe hypoglycemia, or diabetic shock, is a serious health risk for anyone with diabetes. Also called insulin reaction, as a consequence of too much insulin, it can occur anytime there is an imbalance between the insulin in the body, the amount of food eaten, or overall level of physical activity.

Diabetic shock can also lead to a coma and death. It's important that not only you, but others around you, learn to recognize the signs of hypoglycemia and know what to do about them. It could save your parnters life.  

If your partner's hypoglycemia is mild or moderate, the best way to raise their blood sugar level quickly as a preventative measure prior to a session is to have them eat or drink some form of sugar. Have them drink a half cup of fruit juice or eat five to six pieces of hard candy.

Other snacks that can be used to raise a diabetics sugar level include:

    One-half cup of regular soda -- not diet
    Cup of milk
    1 tablespoon of sugar
    1 tablespoon of honey
    One-quarter cup raisins
    2 large or 6 small sugar cubes dissolved in water

References:

WebMD.com.  Diabetic Shock and Insulin Reaction. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/diabetes/guide/diabetic-shock-and-insulin-reactions.

 

If your partner ever becomes unconscious during a session, it is recommended that you administer 1 tablespoon of sugar (or 3 to 4 packets) directly under their tongue.  Raise their head slightly, and commence to untie them.  If they have not regained consciousness in a relative amount of time, contact your local emergency services.

Utilizing an activity such as kinbaku can have a positive effect that an individual may find therapeutic. Stimulating certain parts of the body can activate hormones and euphoria. Tying attractive patterns can elevate self-esteem and psychological well-being. Utilizing knots and applying pressure with reflexology techniques can stimulate nerve fuctions. Even toxins are capable of being purged through the sweat ducts.

When used in the context of some form of body work, other benefits can include increased energy, a boost in circulation, inducing a deep state of relaxation, migraine prevention,  relief of sleep disorders, reduced depression, and pain relief.

While there has never been a documented case of such a thing occurring, that is not to say that it is not possible.  The probability of a bloodborne pathogen or herpes simplex virus transmission from one person to another by way of sharing rope is extremely low.

Bloodborne pathogens (BBP) are microorganisms in human blood capable of causing infection or desiease.  The most significant BBPs are human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), and hepatitis C virus (HCV).

HIV cannot live very long outside the body and therefore, is not transmitted through daily activities. HBV and HCV is transmitted or spread through contact with an infected person's blood or other bodily fluid -- which may be present because of genital sores or cuts or menstruation. HBV can survive at least 7 days and HCV can survive outside the body at room temperature, on environmental surfaces, for up to 3 weeks.

Body fluids that should be considered infections for BBPs and capable of transmitting disease:

  • Blood
  • Semen
  • Vaginal secretions
  • Breast milk
  • Body fluids containing visible blood

Body fluids that are not known to carry infectious BBPs:

  • Sweat
  • Tears
  • Saliva
  • Urine
  • Feces

BBPs are most commonly transmitted through:

  • Sexual contact
  • Needle sharing
  • Blood transfusions
  • Areas of broken skin (open sores, cuts, abrasions, acne or damaged skin such as blisters)
  • Mucous membranes (eyes, nose and mouth)
  • Mother to baby at birth

The herpes simplex virus (HSV) is different from bloodborne pathogens as it infects the nerve cells of the spinal cord of the pelvis (in the setting of genital herpes) and of the nerve ganglia serving the face at the base of the brain (in the setting of oral herpes). Herpes is a DNA-type virus, inserting its DNA directly into the dendritic nerve endings of the skin, which then leads along nerve fibers to the nucleus of the nerve cell. Thus, herpes is not a “skin infection”, but rather an infection of nerve cells, by way of the skin. It is not the “skin” that is infected but rather the nerve cell.

HSV does not survive outside the body for more than about 10 seconds, and although it can survive for slightly longer in warm, damp conditions, it dies very quickly once exposed to the air.

 

References

The Centers for Disease Control.  A glance at the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Retrieved from www.cdc.gov/hiv.

The Centers for Disease Control.  Hepatitis B fact sheet.  Retrieved from www.cdc.gov/hepatitis.

The Centers for Disease Control.  Hepatitis C fact sheet.  Retrieved from www.cdc.gov/hepatitis.

Herpes.Org.  Herpes Simplex infections. Retrieved from http://www.herpes.org/herpes-simplex-infections/.

Actually, this scenario is one whereby what you think should work in your favor actually works against you - your partner's fitness level.  One would think that because their partner concentrates heavily on their fitness that they should be nearly impervious to all sorts of common issues caused by tying mistakes when the opposite is true.

There are challenges when tying very athletic people and the most common one is that of trying to eliminate nerve compression issues.  Reason being, an athlete's muscle definition will cause certain nerve pathways to become closer to the surface of the skin making them more sensitive to when pressure is applied by the shibari binding.

 

Kinbaku best practices. This section will continue to evolve as better information and technique are discovered.

Unfortunately, not everyone will have access to good knowledge on the subject of kinbaku due to a number of factors such as location, budget, and most of all access to a knowledgeable teacher.

Attempting to reconstruct ties from books and videos does one who is beginning to learn kinbaku a disservice as it is extremely difficult to learn the necessary points of safety purely from a visual source.  

While large bondage expos and social groups are a wonderful space for companionship and camaraderie, be very cautious in how you assimilate information in these settings. One's precociousness has a way of being easily blinding to one's discerning judgement. Quite often, you can find yourself in a situation where the blind is leading the blind.

If possible, seek out a respectable teacher within your area and find a partner who you can work with on a regular basis. If you are in the Los Angeles, CA area I would recommend contacting Master K directly at about lessons offered through MasterKClasses or through the LA Rope Dojo.

Properly evaluating your situation and surroundings is paramount to the success of any kinbaku session. Before you begin to session with others, ask yourself the following questions:

What am I tying?

Basically, what ties do you truly know and which ones have you selected to be used? How many variations of each tie can you accomplish if need be?

Who am I tying?

How well do you know the person(s) you are about to engage with? Do you know their physical, emotional and/or psychological limitations and conversely what gets them off? Are you mature enough to handle such manipulation over another?

How am I tying them?

What style of tying will you be utilizing? Will you be transitioning into multiple ties? Do you understand the shift in tensions under varying pressures and angles?

Evaluating the above will answer most questions that need to be answered to have the best chances for a successful encounter. However, there is much more which needs to be evaluated such as your surroundings:

Where am I tying?

How safe is your playspace? Are there any sharp edges that could hurt your partner or yourself if you are active on the ground? Is the suspension points available adequate and capable of bearing a load that may shift and swing at times? Do you have a space that will allow for at least a modicum of comfort for aftercare? Is it a noisy area that can break concentration and ruin mood?

What am I tying with?

Are your tools adequate? What condition is your rope in? How is your mental acuity and overall awareness? Do you have safety kit? Are you prepared if something goes wrong? 

While much of this can be figured out with a good amount of joushiki, the rest requires a bit of detective work especially when dealing with another human being. Aside from clear and concise communication to understand injuries, illnesses and phobias, you should be able to extract information from your partner without having it to feel like a game of 20 questions:

Are there clues that I can pick up on?

Has your partner had a bad day? Have they been on their feet all day? Do they smile when casually discussing the activity? Are they excited or reserved? Are they fit or have a high body mass index? Does their body language depict low or high self-esteem? Can you figure these things out during casual conversation?

Simple. Rehearse the body positioning with your partner prior to even taking out a piece of asanawa. How is their flexibility? How is their spinal alignment? Do the shoulder blades and clavicles protrude evenly?  Do they suffer from carpal tunnel?

You should also speak to your partner about any phobias they may have. Are they aprehensive about their head, neck and mouth area? Are they comfortable to have their genitalia exposed or feel safe enough to be in a compromising positon?

Aftercare is important for both parties involved as it is a time to provide comfort and support to create an environment where each partner can regain their normal mental and emotional equilibrium and feel as though they are valued and appreciated.

The overall degree of aftercare to be engaged in is not always black and white and is dependent upon your partner and the type (and success) of kinbaku session. Understand that everyone is built differently. Some bottoms require a great deal of aftercare and intimacy while others just want to be left alone to process the session on their own.  It is always good form to discuss this topic with your partner before initiating in a session.

Having an aftercare kit packed and ready to go is always a good idea.  There are some items you may wish to consistently keep in your kit/bag and the following are a few suggestions:

  • Light salty snack - It is common for people to get hungry after the release of endorphins and it is a good idea to have something for you or your partner to munch on afterward.
  • Small sugary snack - Someone's blood sugar may drop during play as well so it is always a good idea to have some form of candy or packets of sugar available in the event of an emergency.
  • Water/sports drink bottle - You or your partner may get dehydrated during the play session. Staying hydrated is an important part of being safe during a play scene.
  • Ice/Heat pack - You may also want a ice/heat pack for any potential injuries.
  • First Aid supplies - Always a good idea to have a first aid kit on hand.
  • Blanket - It can be common for people to feel cold after the endorphins of the play session ebb and a blanket is a very comforting item.
  • Journal - You or your partner may wish to record feelings or thoughts of what went well or things that can be improved upon.

 

A good rule of thumb is to reach out to your partner a day or two after just to check in to see if there have been any residual or adverse effects from the session.  This should also prompt good dialogue and an opportunity to better understand your partner's needs.

This section of the knowledge base covers specifically rope-related topics such as handling, selection, care, etc.

Before making any real investment, try to get your hands on as many different varieties of rope as you can and choose what feels 'right' both for your own hands and for the style of tying you will be doing.  Also, you must keep in mind what kind of kinbaku activity you will be undergoing and what restrictions, if any, your partner may have.

Using a triple-braided jute (or jute/hemp blend) asanawa is suggested for tying as it will bind upon itself naturally and you will need that to help keep even tensions so as not to accidentally hurt or harm your partner(s) when their weight shifts. This is excellent for most floorwork as its natural properties lend itself to having a softer core and is least likely of any rope to slip when under tension.

A hemp only asanawa has its pros and cons. Though suitable for most floorwork, I wouldn't recommend it for tight binding techniques nor suspensions because it has a 'hard core' which will cause problems with comfort and has a higher potential to cause nerve compression when used incorrectly.

A regatta braid cotton nawa is a wonderful accoutrement for any bakushi to have available as not every person being tied enjoys the feeling of natural fibers on their skin and the cotton will be much softer.  Also, an individual could have an undisclosed or otherwise undiscovered allergy either to natural fiber or to the oils used for processing traditional asanawa.

Even though asanawa can be made of many different types of plant materials, I NEVER recommend the use MFP purchased from a hardware store as it tends to 'slip' and that is never a good thing when engaging in risky activities such as rope bondage. Keep in mind the type of activity you will be doing and that should govern the type, size and length of your hanks.

6mm x 8m tends to be the right size and length for tying on most body types (western or otherwise) and asa plant material sourced from China, India, or Japan typically will be a better finished product when compared to their less desirable cousins sourced from regions such as Romania or around the European Union.

A little joushiki will explain that there is no one-size-fits all answer,  however I find that a good rule of thumb when deciding rope length is to start at 8m and reduce down to 7m for most females and increase up to 9m for most men.

Caring for your asanawa is important as accumulating quality asanawa is not a cheap investment. Asanawa will naturally soften with extended use by the sweat and oils it absorbs from the body. With that said, this alone is not a reason for washing your asanawa on a regular basis.

Should your asanawa become soiled and requires washing, an acceptable method to do so would be to wash in a washing machine using the gentle cycle but to coil each hank up and place inside a lingerie bag first. Wash on warm water with a extremely mild detergent or soap nuts.

After washing, one should dry their asanawa by stretching each length out taught between two posts and let set in a cool dry place for a few days out of the sunlight as excess heat will ruin the asanawa by making it become brittle.  Tumble dry in a dryer with no heat is not advisable as it could cause the asanawa to lose its form.

Once dry, the asanawa should be re-treated with an appropriate oil or wax ester or run through sweaty hands extensively.

Standard storage of your asanawa should be coiled up in a rope bag or on hangers within a cool dark area like a closet or a drawer.

Truly this is a personal preference but commonly, as a minimum, beginners usually do not need more than between 3 and 5 hanks total of one common diameter and length. This amount can build up to between 7 and 10 hanks as they become intermediate in their skill. Advanced bakushi tend to have a minimum of 10 hanks of varying type, diameter and length.

This being said, understanding the kind of kinbaku you will be doing (and with who) will determine the types of asanwa you should have. Will you be doing suspensions? Does your partner have allergies to natural fibers or conditioning oils? Does your partner enjoy discomfort? Are more wraps required to disperse pressure? Is your partner athletic and fit? Do you need a softer core for your rope?

This section of the knowledge base covers specifically newaza principles, technique, etc.

Aibu Nawa is a caressing style of kinbaku conducted on the floor (typically between loving partners).  This style is taught by Grand Master Yukimura Haruki sensei with the main principles being that of empathy, connection, and communication through rope. 

Context; they both mean "floorwork." 

Techniques known as Newaza have been borrowed from other budo disciplines (judo, etc.) and is readily accepted usage within the context of kinbaku, however, when used within the context of hojojutsu, the terminology yukawaza has also been used in discribing floor techniques utilising rope and thus would also be appropriate when speaking in hojojutsu terms.

This section of the knowledge base covers pole, staff, bamboo, etc incorporated shibari topics.

Incorporating a cylindrical piece of bamboo into your shibari practices can be fun, challenging, aesthetically pleasing, and an exercise in creativity all in one. Great care should be taken when doing so now that there is a merging of a hard and inanimate object with soft tissue. Most ties (depending on style) that have bamboo typically tie to the soft tissue first and take those completed ties and then attach to the bamboo apparatus.

There are many different methods for lashing bamboo together depending on their purpose.  There are many different types of lashings and the choice of which type of lashing to use is dependent upon the job the spars need to perform:

Three basic types of Lashings:

  1. Square Lashing: used where the spars under load have a tendency to slide over each other at the corners. Typically used when spars tend to slide over each other.
  2. Diagonal Lashing: used where the spars may spring away from each other when under a load. Typically used when spars tend to spring away from each other.
  3. Sheer Lashing: used where spars have to share a load or for joining two spars end-to-end. Typically use when spars have to share a load.

References

WildernessArena.Com.  Construction Lashings and Structures. Retrieved from http://wildernessarena.com/skills/knots-and-rope/construction-lashings.

 Additional bamboo lashing techniques utilizing other materials in conjuction with rope can be found here - http://www.guaduabamboo.com/working-with-bamboo/bamboo-lashing-techniques.

I know of no sure way to avoid bamboo splitting. Bamboo will split, especially the larger diameter pieces as they dry out.

Certain precautions can be taken to reduce the amount of splitting. You can wrap wire around the end to help prevent this, or pre-split the bamboo to relieve stress and prevent further splitting. Oil or wax can be applied to bring out a nice sheen and this will add protection from the elements.

All-in-all, try to prevent storage of your bamboo in an environment that is too dry and udergoes noticeable temperature swings.

This section of the knowledge base covers the torment and shame-based discipline of kinbaku.

Seme, or semenawa, is a tying style whereby the bakushi torments their partner in one of many ways. Historically, semenawa were those tortureous practices which were officialized in the kujikata osadamegaki. Today, these practices have been fetishized and are used to intently torment with precise bondage techniques.

Modern-day semenawa also includes a technique known as shuuchi or shuuchinawa which is used to torment one's partner emotionally and psychologically to emphasize their reactions as they struggle with their own erotic arousal - shaming them to admit their sexual desires.

責 (or 苛 ?), seme-e or semenawa 責縄 means torment. With a prefix such as ebi (shrimp, 海老) or tsuri (suspension, 吊り) the seme is pronounced as zeme; like ebizeme (海老責め) or tsurizeme (釣責め) respectively. In both cases the actual kanji for seme and zeme is one and the same; only the reading/pronunciation differs.

There is no such thing as ebi seme or any-other-prefix seme. The pronunciation will always be zeme.

This section of the knowledge base covers topics of rope suspensions.

Historically, suspensions were used solely as a means of torturing prisoners to elicit confessions or as a means of punishment after sentencing.

Today, tsuri of modern-day kinbaku can have many purposes depending upon the context of their use. Mostly they are used for show-business and are part of an aerial act or used for visual media production.

Partial suspensions can be used to highlight a particular part of a model or to emphasize the feeling of restraint at a particular focal point.  Full suspensions can be used to torment the model or to increase the feeling of helplessness.  Both can be used to enhance sexual positions. It really depends on the context.

This is a very broad question so to answer sufficiently we must break this inquiry down into greater detail. There are two categories of Tsuri shibari, partial suspensions and full suspensions. These should be fairly self-explanatory as partial implies only a portion of the body being lifted off of the ground while a full suspension denotes the entire body being lifted into the air.

Now within these two categories it can be divided into three different styles of lifts:
    
    1) Single point lift - All body uplines are secured to a single suspension point.
    2) Multi-point lift - All body uplines are secured to multiple suspension points.
    3) "Elevator" lift - An intermediary lift-line is secured between a single suspension point and multiple body uplines attached to a single anchor point.
    
A bakushi can conduct many different tsuri shibari, just a few types are listed below as examples:
    
    1) Aomuke zuri - Face up suspension
    2) Agura zuri - Crossed-leg suspension
    3) M Ji kaikyaku zuri shibari - "Hanging M" type suspension
    4) Futo momo zuri - The main suspension upline is attached to a futo momo leg tie
    5) Hashira zuri - The body is suspended to a vertical post
    6) Utsubuse zuri - Face down suspension
    7) kataashi age zuri - Ankle up suspension
    8) Sakasa zuri - Inversion or upside-down suspension
    9) Yoko zuri - Sideways suspension

Tsuri (吊り) means suspension. With a prefix such as yoko (sideways, 横) or sakasa (inverted, 逆さ) the tsuri is pronounced as zuri; like yokozuri or sakasazuri respectively. In both cases the actual kanji for tsuri and zuri is one and the same; only the reading/pronunciation differs.

There is no such thing as yoko tsuri or any-other-prefix tsuri. The pronunciation will always be zuri.

This is an issue of very high importance when concerning the construction of ties on another human being.  Understand that the average size of a Japanese woman is around 158cm (5'2") and 50 kilos (110lbs) which is why you see the bare minimum of rope being used when suspending them. Factoring in age, physiology, and health issues also plays a part.

It is a good idea to use additional wraps when tying someone over 25 years old, 162cm (5'4") and/or up to every 5 kilos (10+- lbs) beyond 50 kilos (110lbs). Doing so should effectively spread the weight load and make the suspension technique more comfortable and safe.

This section of the knowledge base covers decorative aspects of kinbaku and macrame bondage.

Yes. historically speaking, the patternwork dates back to the Sengoku Period when prisoners were paraded publicly to court using hojojutsu ties. It was a general rule that captured prisoners had to be displayed in beautiful patterns as a sign of respect (Samurai were of the upper class).  The different patterns also signified the crime of the prisoner and the punishment which was to be administered.

In modern kinbaku, the traditional patterns that are seen incorporated into ties honor a piece of japan's history and culture by being a visual reference to the past.  Beyond that, the patternwork is beautiful when done correctly.

This section of the knowledge base covers topics related to hojojutsu, the samurai budo predecessor to kinbaku.

Hojojutsu is the martial art of the bugei juhappan which utilizes rope and its practicality dates back to the Sengoku Period of Japan. It is the predecessor of modern day kinbaku and was used by samurai for the capture, transport and punishment of prisoners.  When Japan entered the Edo Period, many hojojutsu dojos ceased to operate and the martial art was relegated to being used only by the local police forces which happened to also be ex-samurai (since there was no more wars between states).

The significance is that kinbaku borrows many tying techniques and patterns from hojojutsu which are used as an S&M practice for mutual gratification. Given the similarites, one must continue to discern the differences between the two as they are both different artforms due to their scope and use.

As the hojojutsu budo is a dying practice of the traditional Japanese martial arts, it is difficult to find information or even someone to learn from who is not located in Japan. Traditionally, all of the hundreds of hojojutsu ryu's held a strict creed to keep their information isolated within their schools as to not allow their trade secrets to be learned by competitors. This fact, combined with the modernization of the country has left the cupboard bare.

That is not to say that information cannot be found. There is are several resources to leverage if practical hands-on knowledge is sought.  The following is a listing of where to start:

Don Angier Sensei's Dojo of the Four Winds - NAMI RYU AIKI HEIHO - located in Encinitas, CA. - Website
Dara Masi Shihan's Suigetsu Dojo located in Greenlawn, NY. (Hakko Densho Ryu Hombu Dojo located in Northern, CA) - Website
Red Dragon Ju-Jitsu located in Havre DE Grace, MD. (may be closed) - Website
Kokusai Hojojutsu Kenkyukai - Website
Jukidokai Dojo located in Wapakoneta, OH - Website

Budoya Martial Arts is an online catalog of hojojutsu resources such as books, weapons, etc. which are for purchase. - Website

This section of the knowledge base covers kinbaku-related topics, not elsewhere classified.

You may have seen samue Worn during kinbaku sessions although it is not uncommon to also see jinbei adorned by the bakushi as well.

There is undoubtedly an abundance of information available on the subject of rope bondage in general and it can be difficult to discern a reputable source when seeking kinbaku knowledge. The following is a short list that includes, but is not limited to, places to find credible resources:

To learn about Art, Cultural & Historical Knowledge:

  • The Beauty of Kinbaku - A wonderful treatise by Master K which delves deep into all subjects of kinbaku. This is one of the books that Master K has authored to share his passion with non-native speaking enthusiasts.
  • Kinbaku Books - A blogsite which produces many articles with great pictorial examples of showcased publications.  In many instances the ISBN number a book is also included.
  • Kinbaku Today - Online magazine featuring news about kinbaku, photo galleries, and articles from the US, Europe and Japan.

 

To purchase media such as books, dvd's and download/stream videos:

 

To purchase quality asanawa and related materials:

  • Jugoya -The official webstore of Go Arisue to acquire wonderful asanawa and related materials. Asanawa tends to run a bit thicker with a softer core.
  • Osada Ryu Kinbaku Shop - The official webstore to acquire Osada Steve brand of asanawa and other kinbaku related materials.  The asanawa is a solid and reliable product.
  • AMATSUNAWA - a German wholesaler of extra-high grade jute rope produced in and shipped directly from the factory in Japan.
  • Nawaya - An english-translated japanese webstore which sells high-quality asanawa and related products.  Will ship worldwide.
  • Ainawa - This webstore not only imports educational materials but they also sell imported kinbaku rope (imported from Tokyo).

 

To learn personalized and hands-on instruction:

  • Master K Classes - A website to communicate directly with Master K sensei.
  • Spring Tiger Ryu - Master K's official school of kinbaku which caters to his private students. Open workshops and events are available to the public for learning opportunities.
  • Osada Ryu - An international organization with multiple dojos worldwide whose instructors have been authorized by Osada Steve to teach his own developed system.
  • LA Rope Dojo - Los Angeles-based learning center which covers a broad range of topics and methodolgies. Very informative classes and workshops are offered and open to the public. Private instruction is also available.

It depends! That's a good question but I believe it can only be answered by answering the following questions for yourself:

How well do you know your partners musical tastes and do they align with your own?
More importantly, would they align with the style of tying that you will be doing?
Are the transitions between tracks smooth enough to not break any sort of connection with your partner during the session?
Are you capable of matching the depth of feeling in the music and translating that into, or let it move, the session?

All of these are important things to consider but more important is knowing when NOT to incorporate music into your session. Does your model require silence and would prefer the enhancement of the mood to come naturally from listening to the ropes creak with their every move or prefer that anticipation builds by hearing the thudding of the asanawa as it falls upon the tatami?

The information presented here in this FAQ Section is derived from multiple sources, namely from my personal education with sensei and other notable Japanese bakushi, information generally accepted by other enthusiasts which is located in the discussion boards of this site, and my own personal research on various topics throughout the years. This FAQ is not intended to serve as a definitive knowledge base but instead as a general guide for others who are searching for at least one answer to some of these questions which they may also have.

This FAQ is subject to evolve as better information is learned.

In short, no. While I am Honored To carry on the traditional senpai / kohai relationship With a single deshi within Master K sensei's ryu, I currently do not retain any formal menkyo by any sensei from any ryu of hojojutsu or kinbaku. Due to this, I do not teach private lessons nor the general public any formal curriculum I've learned. Besides, I am not so ego-centric to think that I can compotently discern the individual learning needs of others while there are better resources of information than I.

There are accredited kinbaku instructors of varying degrees worldwide and a cursory search online can bring about their contact information.