AthenShibari

What is shibari

The origins of shibari are in the Edo period of Japanese history, in a martial art called Hojo-jutsu. Back then, samurai used rope to capture and immobilize opponents in battle as well as criminals. From 1400 to 1700, while the local police and samurai used this martial art as a form of imprisonment and torture, they also used different tying techniques, depending on the social status of the prisoner, to honor and distinguish their social position. That way everyone could know what crime this man in bondage had committed or what his military rank was. To some extent the structure and aesthetics were an importan part of shibari. The part of restraint and pain has always played a role. Very often, especially in Japan, we find an element of humiliation in the person who is tied up and exposed. These may now relate to specific play styles and may not necessarily be encountered every time and everywhere. With the introduction of shibari in the western world, this art has evolved in many ways.

The beginning of the erotic part of the ropes was made through the sex clubs in the most "dirty areas" of the big urban centers. And while initially, under the feudal Tokugawa government, there was no particular stigma, since society at that time had no elements of Christian morality, later that changed. In modern 1950s Japan, any professional activity involving sexual services ceased to be legal. As a result, all these actions were led to the margins, where they were taken over by the local mafia (known as the Yakuza).

To a large extent, the people who started working on this subject, whether in bdsm clubs, in magazines, in the making of films, or directly offering such services, were people who did not do so precisely by "conscious or free choice." Many times they were people who did not have any other income alternative (mainly women). All actions were around the male gaze, in order to sell more to the public who spent the most: mainly cis men, employees or business executives. With the introduction of more and more women in the role of rigger, issues of security and consensus began to be raised more strongly, but the greatest differentiation came when Japanese riggers came into contact with the western world. Even today, however, they are far behind on these issues. Nowadays, although rigger females outnumber the corresponding masculinities, they are much less likely to be featured and in less demand. This is because the structure of Japanese society has deep sexist elements.

Shibari / kinbaku nowadays has taken on many dimensions, and there is the rise of "shibari which is not SM (sadism and masochism) or DS (domination and submission), and which has become a de-sexualized art". In general, we should not be interested in what kind of rope practices are "correct" or "superior", since the personal expression of each person is not a competition, nor is there superiority or inferiority in this context. It's just what every person enjoys, no matter how they approach the Japanese erotic bond. Sources:
Link 1, Link 2, Link 3

Go to top of page