Facts & Info

Shibari Rope Bondage

Shibari Rope Bondage

Shibari is a specific style of rope bondage that has its origins in Japanese military culture. The word Shibari means “to tie” in the Japanese language. It is derived from a form of military bondage called hojujutsu. Japanese military officials, due to their cultural values, still wanted to treat their prisoners with respect, so each different tie denoted the prisoner’s rank. When this style of bondage is used in an erotic manner, it is often referred to as Kinbaku. The person doing the tying is often called a Nawashi, which simply means a “maker of rope” in Japanese but in Shibari circles it can also refer to a rigger.

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The grandfather of modern erotic rope bondage is often considered to be Japanese painter Seiu Ito who first depicted women bound in sexual scenarios, using traditional Japanese painting techniques around the turn of the 20th century. To get the right look for his work, he would use a live model, tie them up, and paint from a photograph. Shortly after his success, Shibari entered more mainstream publications in Japan and then spread throughout the world. It has even appeared in a few mainstream Japanese movies!

The art of Shibari is traditionally about more than just tying someone up. Like many Japanese arts, it is slightly regimented with aesthetic rules about positions. Two very important foundation ties make up much of modern Shibari. First is the box tie, which is a foundation for many weight bearing or suspension bondage positions. The Ebi or shrimp tie is also widely used in western Shibari practices.

There are many websites like BDSMdate.com and Alt.com where you can meet Nawashi experts or find articles and books available for education on this beautifully delicate rope art.

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