The Beauty of Japanese Rope Art

Shibari is a wonderful way to connect with a partner, it's beauty and feel have captured the imagination of the Japanese for hundreds of years

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What is Shibari?

Shibari and Kinbaku are words used by the Japanese to describe a rope based sensual art form derived from the ancient martial art of Hojojutsu.

In the late 18th century and artist by the name of Ito Seiu began producing artworks based on old Japanese stories. In the stories prisoners were often tied using the samurai art of rope capture, Hojojutsu. To reproduce these images Ito Seiu began to tie in a way that was less dangerous than the Hojojutsu he was emulating, and that began the process of Japanese erotic rope bondage we see today.

Over the last 100 years or so the art has been practiced and refined by a line of Japanese masters to become what we now refer to as Shibari or Kinbaku. Though in Japan, they just think of it as bondage.

Shibari is a complete erotic art in itself with elements of sensuality, punishment, restriction and for those interested, performance.

Styles of Tying

Kinbaku or Shibari as it is more often known in the west is an erotic art form practiced in Japan as both a performance art and as a way of connecting and communication in private.

There are many forms and styles of Kinbaku that relate strongly to the “school” they derive from and the purpose they are being used for.

Below is a short and by no means comprehensive list of some of the types and styles of Kinbaku practiced at the dojo.

Kazarinawa 飾り縄 – Decorative Rope Bondage

 Kazarinawa 飾り縄 literally means decorative rope. Outside of the functional side of rope bondage to restrain, to connect and to give sensation there is also a beautiful decorative component that exemplifies the Japanese focus on form as an integral part of function.

Newaza 寝技 – The Caressing Style (Yukimura Style)

 Newaza as a style focuses on tying on the floor or more specifically not suspended though it can include partial suspensions, specifically it is the style Yukimura Haruki has developed also known as the caresssing style.

As a concept Newaza is all about connection, where suspension bondage is a little distant floor work is up close and intimate. On the floor is where we really see the connection between the rigger and their partner, where rope and full body contact are used to take both people on a sensual journey.

Semenawa – Punishment Rope Bondage

 Semenawa 責具縄 is the use of rope in an SM context to punish or inflict strong sensations or pain. For those interested in rope bondage as part of an overall SM scene, rope can be used in the same context as a paddle or cane. Rope bondage is often thought of as something that happens before the core of the scene. In Japanese rope the rope is the scene, and as part of that the rope can be used for both pleasure an pain.

Tsurinawa – Suspension Rope Bondage

 Tsuri 吊 is the art of suspension bondage and includes several types of suspension from sideways suspension yokotsuri to inversion. Suspension bondage is spectacular to watch and as such it is often seen as the pinnacle of rope bondage. Suspension is often the core of Japanese bondage shows and is certainly an advanced and interesting skill to master.
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