Japanese Bondage

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Shibari ( しばり )

Shibari is a Japanese verb that literally means "to tie" or "to bind" it is used in Japan to describe the artful use of twine to tie objects or packages. Kinbaku (緊縛, Kinbaku?) is the word for "bondage" or Kinbaku-bi which means "beautiful bondage". Kinbaku (also Sokubaku) is a Japanese style of sexual bondage or BDSM which involves tying up the bottom (or uke) simple yet visually intricate patterns, usually with several pieces of thin rope (generally 6mm or 8mm). The word Shibari came in to common use in the west at some point in the 1990s to describe the bondage art Kinbaku.

Japanese Bondage is said to differ from Western bondage in that, instead of just immobilizing or restraining the bottom, the bottom gains pleasure from being under the pressure and strain of the ropes, squeezing the breasts or genitals—though there are examples of Western bondages enthusiasts such as John Willie.

Japanese bondage glossary

Agura shibari 
General term for any tie where the sub sits in a crossed legged (Indian style) position. Although somewhat similar in appearance, this tie should not be confused with the far more restrictive ebi shibari.
Aomuke tsuri 
Suspended face up
rice rope
Hemp rope
Traditional Japanese style bondage rope made of hemp (asa) or jute. Shibari rope is usually 7 meters in length and between 6 to 8 mm in width. Usually a knot is tied at each end so that these "buttons" can be used for certain wrapping style or hojojutsu ties where no real knot is ever used to secure the tie because the button holds the rope(s) in place. Various shibari artists (nawashi) use different methods for treating their ropes to increase their suppleness and longevity
Abbreviated form of Kinbakushi (see below)
Bari :Sometimes shibari is reduced to the shortened word "bari" as in "ebi-bari".
Chikubi :nipple
Slave, Servant; It has been put forth that rope captives are called "dorei", (denoting slave) this is too strong of a term for most in Japan. "Dorei" comes from a Greek word to denote ancient eastern European slavery. Slave play in Japan is actually really rare, and is to harsh a term for most "rope submissives" to be comfortable with.
Dorei no jotai 
the condition of being a slave
Ebi shibari
Main article: Shrimp tie
The "shrimp" or "prawn" tie. One of the oldest traditional kinbaku ties. It was used as a torture technique (ebizeme) for 100's of years and is referenced in many manuals and art works.
Being bound by rope. To be punished by being tied in the ebi ("shrimp" or "prawn") tie was a form of torture that was mandated by the Tokugawa shogunate in 1742 as one of 7 official punishments for criminals and enemies of the state. Therefore, be advised, in the short term the ebi shibari is a fun position for SM play but can be quite an ordeal over time. Please play carefully.
art of craft, artistic skill or technique
gay bar
A reverse ebi, with subject in a takate-kote chest tie who is then placed on her stomach and then her ankles are bound and pulled to her buttocks and secured at the back of the chest harness. Some call this the "Japanese Hog Tie".
Gyaku-ebi tsuri 
See gyaku-ebi, but now suspended from rope. In this position both legs are suspended individually.
Hashira ushirodaki shibari 
Tying someone using a wooden (usually a bamboo) pole.
refers to any diamond shaped body weave such as the karada.
Hishi shibari 
Taken from early hojojutsu techniques, this tie creates a diamond shape.
Hishigata : diamond shaped
The ancient martial art of capturing/arresting with rope.
Hon kikkou 
Tortoise shell, this tie creates a hexagonal shape.
The 2nd of the Edo torture techniques, where the captive kneels on a corrogated surface and pressing stones are placed on his thighs.
Isu-jyo kohai 
chair bondage
a small noose at the end of a torinawa.
Japanese Mistresses dressed classic european fetish dress, such as latex, leather and PVC outfits . They are regarded as beautiful sexy goddess' who are paid well to dominate men and women in Japanese Mistress Bars.
Also written as "Joshuu", means "female prisoner"
literally means, obedient, gentle, meek, submissive, docile.: "obedient or obedient one" and refers to one who is submissive
master (over a household)
Body; A generalized term for any of a variety of body harnesses / rope dress. (See "Specific Styles" below)
Kata-ashi tsuri shibari 
one leg suspended, any of a number of styles of one leg up suspensions or assymetrical bondage.
Kikkou shibari 
The tortoise shell tie - so called because the pattern created resembles that found on the Japanese tortoise. This can be full body or torso only. There are several styles of kikkou shibari. The traditional style creates one or more hexagonal shapes on the bound subject. A second style, popularized in manga illustrations, creates at least three linked diamond ("mitsubishi") shapes running from the neck to the pubic area.
To bind tightly; The art of traditional Japanese bondage.
Usually translated as "the beauty of traditional shibari art." ie; shibari done in a traditional manner for an aesthetic and/or erotic effect.
(noun) a tight binding (Bondage) Master
a command to stand up from seiza position
anyone with less experience than you
to tie up / to tie together /to bundle / to fasten / to hang (oneself)
Kômon - anus 
komon means "advisor". (Notice the macron over the vowel "o" in kômon. That means that the vowel sound is made longer about 1.7 times the normal length)
Kômon sarashi shibari 
kômon = "anus", sarssu = vb "to expose", sarshimono - "exposed criminal". A Japanese Bondage form taught by Randa Mai. Which binds the subject kneeling in such a way as to spread the ass cheeks, exposing the anus.
Kotobu ryo-tekubi 
a Japanese basic form or the binding of the wrists and positioning behind the neck
to fly as "little bird". A generic term referring to any body harness basic to a rope suspension. The origin of the use of this term in Japanse Bondage is unknown.
torture, the act of inflicting severe pain
suffix used usually with female name to mean beautiful
M tsuri 
Suspended from the takate-kote with the thighs in front
This is the most widely accepted term in Japan today for the one captured in rope. Some just refer to themselves as a "model" - Most rope captives think of themselves simply as "models". Emu is Japanese pronumciation of Roman letter "M" as in short for "Masochist" and Jo is like young woman.
Male m-jo
Maete shibari 
A tie in front of the body. (see also: ryo-tekubi shibari)
General term for any pubic area tie or "crotch rope."
master in sense of a skilled person
thigh, peach. Momo shibari is a form of tying the thighs so the sub is forced to kneel with the head low to the floor and the buttocks raised so they resemble a peach.
Mune nawa 
Breast/Chest bondage
the first of the Edo torture techniques where the prisoner is whipped.
'floating rope world'
Nawa Sensei 
One who is respected by others (students) as a teacher of the Japanese Rope.
Nawa shibari 
rope tying
rope art
A maker of rope; "Rope artist"; A person that has reached a certain degree of proficiency in handling nawa, if you are called Nawashi in Japan you are considered doing good, solid rope work. Standards in Japan are quite high, not just rope play.
A store that sells rope
"tie me up tonight"
floor work
Ryo-tekubi shibari 
Both wrists tied together. It does not matter where the wrists are tied togather, whether the tie is cinched or not.
Ryo-ashi tsuri 
Suspending your model with both legs together.
Sakasa tsuri 
Inverted suspension, ie; hanging head down with the body vertical, not supported by a tsuri nawa on the takate-kote. (when pronouncing 'Sasaka', the first syallable is stressed.
Cherry; Used by some into Oriental bondage to refer to "tying up the cherry" (a euphemism for tying up the female bottom in such a way that emphasizes the vaginal area). (See "Specific Styles" below)
Santen tsuri 
Suspended from the takate-kote with the ankles in front. Sort of sitting position.
correct sitting position. Kneeling, eyes closed, reflective of the lesson about to begin, or of the lesson just received.
elder student, one just under the sensei
Teacher, Master, Doctor. a respectful term used of instructors. A teacher never uses the term of him/herself. To require others to use it, is seen as audacious and possessing inordinate self pride. The student only uses this term when they feel it is right to do so, as a term of respect and for having been taught something
A sub indicating his/her desire for bondage action.
Fabric weaving; Tying ("things"); The action of tying someone up; Since the evolution of shibari from tying techniques used solely for restraint and torture to sophisticated erotica has taken 100's of years to mature, it's natural that, for Westerners especially, the terminology can get a bit confusing. The word "shibari" to most non SM oriented Japanese simply means weaving!
to bind together
To bind or tie / untie someone
A top indicating his/her desire for bondage action.
Shibari Sensei 
A term invented in the western world to describe a Oriental rope master/artist.
to tie
verb for "tie me"
Pearl; Shinju is used to refer euphemistically to the nipple. (See "Specific Styles" below)
Female virgin
bondage: literally - restraint, shackles, restriction, confinement
bamboo. Bamboo is used in numerous ways in Japanese culture, including in bondage.
Tanuki (tsuri) 
Suspended inverted (face down) from all four limbs. You can't do the tanuki without suspension, so you don't need to mention tsuri "Tanuki" literally refers a "raccoon like animal indigenous to Japan.
Tomei nawa 
The safety rope between arms and chest; the cinch.
The martial art of restraining with ropes.
Any rope suspension. The second classic torture technique (tsurizeme) from Tokugawa Japan, now evolved into a mainstay of shibari play and performance. ("zuri" when preceded by another word)
Tsuri nawa 
Suspension rope
Being bound and suspended by rope.
Ushirode shibari 
A tie on the back of the body. see also: ryo-tekubi shibari
Ushirode-gassho shibari 
A tie usual referred to in English as the "reverse prayer tie." This tie is only for the limber! There are Buddhist and Western variations.
Ushiro takate-kote shibari 
The basic box arm tie, the building block of most shibari ties. There are many variations of this from the simple to the complex.
Ushiro tasuki shibari 
The ushiro tasuki shibari is a hojojitsu inspired bondage. In this pattern the hands are tied in a "W" position on the back and an "X" shape is created between the breast.
behind, to the rear.
Yoko tsuri 
Sideway suspension
bow from seated / kneeling position.
torture work

Specific Styles

Edo torture techniques

In 1742, the Tokugawa government formalized public punishment. Seven types of punishment and four types of torture were officially delineated

  1. Mutchiuchi - The prisoner is whipped.
  2. Ishidaki - Pressed with stones. for example, the captive kneels on a corrogated surface and pressing stones are placed on his thighs.
  3. Ebizeme - bending by rope
  4. Tsurizeme suspended with rope with the arms and sometimes legs bound behind the back in a reverse spread eagle position. Pressing stones were sometimes added.

These torture patterns have remained within the Japanese BDSM scene ever since. The evolution of kinbaku from the more general ebizeme and tsurizeme practices began with discernments in the type of rope used and the different knots signifying the specificities of the victim's crime, a legacy that has given countless modern-day bondage enthusiasts a lifetime's worth of fun. Today, traditional straw or hemp rope is almost exclusively used in erotic kinbaku practice. Utilizing the forms and themes of its history as a juridical and public practice while shifting them to the supposedly private realm of personal sexuality, the institution of kinbaku in Japan is at once perverse and traditional.

Karada or Bondage Web

A bondage rope harness, sometime also referred to as a bondage web, rope web, rope dress or karada, is a bondage technique involving the tying of an intricate structure of rope around the body in a complex web-like fashion.

Similar in effect to a leather bondage harness, a bondage rope harness is not in itself normally used to bind a person, but it does apply pressure over the area bound and can be used as a securing point for other bondage techniques, including suspension bondage. It is not normally used to bind the limbs but you can bind the arms into the harness by simply going around the arms not under, as shown in the picture. A rope dress is often used with, or integrated with, a crotch rope and/or a shinju ("pearl") breast harness.

Shinju (from the Japanese 真珠 meaning pearl)

Shinju is a torture technique applied to women in the Japanese bondage technique. It is also popular in BDSM sexual play, especially bondage. Humiliation with mild or severe pain is caused by tying different kinds of ropes and knots round women's breasts. Breasts can be tied to look like grapefruits or they can be pressed flat. This technique may cause serious damage if the bloodflow to breasts is interrupted for too long.

However, classic shinju is not related to torture. It is done by encircling the torso with rope, both above and below the breasts, sometimes with cinches between the arms and the body. Then take the primary rope from the centre of the back over one shoulder, entwining both torso loops, and then back over the other shoulder, tying or weaving the rope to secure at the back.

This becomes a secure platform for subsequent ties. For example, if the shinju is not too tight, one can tie the arms wrist-to-elbows behind the back to form a box tie.

Sukaranbo or Crotch rope

In Japanese bondage a crotch rope (Sukaranbo or Mata Nawa) is a rope harness tied around the hips and passing between the labia to apply pressure to the female genitals. Sometimes a knot is tied at the position of the clitoris to intensify the pressure. The aim is to generate thoughts of sexual submission and excitement in the person thus tied. A crotch rope may be tied over the clothing or on to a naked person. Crotch ropes are also common in Western-style bondage. They appear regularly in the work of Robert Bishop.

Also see the page [ JapaSex ] and/or [ Suspension ring ] and/or [ G-string tie ]

Square-knot.jpg  This article is about either
* Knots and how to tie them,
* Rope and its use and care


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