This is a piece from a recent series I did on the art of Shibari/Kinbaku.
In Japanese, “Shibari” simply means “to tie”. The contemporary meaning of Shibari describes an ancient Japanese artistic form of rope bondage.
The origin of Shibari comes from Hojo-jutsu, the martial art of restraining captives. In Japan from 1400 to 1700, while the local police and Samurai used Hojo-jutsu as a form of imprisonment and torture, the honor of these ancient Samurai warriors required them to treat their prisoners well. So, they used different techniques to tie their prisoners, showing the honor and status of their captured prisoner.
In the late 1800′s and early 1900′s a new form of erotic Hojo-justu evolved, called Kinbaku, the art of erotic bondage. Today, particularly in the west, the art of erotic bondage is typically called Shibari, which is an art of erotic spirituality, not a martial art.
Shibari style rigging creates geometric patterns and shapes with rope that contrast beautifully with the human body’s natural curves. The ropes and their texture provide contrast to smooth skin and curves. In Shibari, the model is the canvas, the rope is the paint and brush, and the rigger is the rope artist.