Kinbaku: The Art Of Japanese Rope Bondage

While the use of ropes in the BDSM world is nothing new, a practice of rope tying focusing on both restraint and beauty has been increasing in popularity. With classes and evenings put on at local clubs and parties exploring this specific type of rope play. Kinbaku, originating from Japan has well and truly made its way to the west and it has everyone very interested. In the following I will explain Kinbaku and its origins, discuss the rope types preferred by Kinbaku enthusiast and show you some introductory techniques to get you started.

What Is Kinbaku?

Kinbaku or Kinbaku-bi means “The Beauty of Tight Binding” and it is a Japanese style of BDSM or bondage that uses thin rope to tie people up while also creating visually intricate patterns. This means that many different lengths of rope are required to achieve the desired look. Couple this with the need for knot knowledge and Kinbaku becomes something that requires a bit of investigation and a lot of practice.

Kinbaku is also sometimes called Shibari however there is a difference between the two. Shibari refers to a purely artistic use of the rope play that is much more focused on the overall look of the ropes on the body. Shibari isn’t considered sexual. Kinbaku while also being about the visual does focus more on the restraint aspect of the rope in both the physical and mental realm. However if you walk into an Oh Zone Adult Lifestyle Centre and ask about either Kinbaku or Shibari we will know what you are referring to as the terms are becoming increasingly interchangeable.

Kinbaku in one form or another has been around for a very long time and first came to notice during the late Edo period of Japan (1600’s – 1860’s). It is thought the practice originated with Seiv Lto who is known as the father of Kinbaku. He drew inspiration for the practice from Hojojutsu (a form of martial arts that employs rope as restraints) as well as Kabuki Theatre and Wood carvings. Kinbaku’s popularity increased in Japan during the 1950’s when adult magazines began publishing the practice and soon after live shows followed allowing people to experience Kinbaku in person. Now when Kinbaku made its way to the west it began to influence BDSM practices here. It is highly likely that BDSM fans have come across Kinbaku at one stage. Kinbaku is now regularly used in tandem with other bondage practices creating a plethora of different types and fusions.

Rope Types

Now while it may seem like you can just grab some rope from the nearest garden shed or hardware store and get started but this really isn’t the case. Rope isn’t just rope in Kinbaku it is your tool, it is your artwork so picking the correct type is always important. Traditionally a loose laid, three strand jute ropes used. The Japanese called this Asanawa which is translated as “hemp rope.” Hemp was the first fibre used, however generally it is considered to refer to a range of natural fibre ropes rather than a specific type. And while traditionalists will still use this type we now have a range of ropes made from both synthetic and natural products that will work well.

Natural Fibre Ropes

The reason why this rope was and is till used has to do with the flexibility of the fibres. They bend with the body but can still hold tension. The natural fibres create friction which not only helps to hold the knots together but also creates an interesting sensation against the skin.

Silk Ropes

Typically manufactured in the traditional style (loose laid 3 strand) silk ropes offer a softer alternative against the skin.

Synthetic Ropes

Again designed similarly, they offer another alternative. Generally smoother than natural fibre, synthetic ropes are a good alternative for those wanting something a little more rough than silk but not as course as natural.

The general rule with choosing rope is to consider what you are planning to do with it especially with regards to length. Kinbaku can use up a long length of rope up quickly because of the tying styles. It is also important to think of who and where it is going. The wrists and ankles are likely to be less sensitive than thigh skin. Flexibility is also important in the rope, it gives greater control of tightness and resistance while still allowing movement.

Basic Techniques

The basic two knots that you need to know are:

The Bowline Knot

The Bowline will not slip and is suitable for single limb bondage and suspension.

The Square (or Reef) Knot

The square knot is one worth knowing, it can be used for just about anything. The square knot is important to know because it doesn’t slip meaning that it can tolerate movement and the struggling of the captive.

Once you have mastered these two knots jump into some research to learn different variations and styles of those knots as well as other tying techniques that build on either the square or bowline knots.

Below are some images of a glimpse into the popular BDSM restraint system Japanese Rope Bondage:

Shibari And Kinbaku Rope Bondage Model
Photo: BDSM Love Swings, Restraints And Leads Store
Man Attached To An O-Ring With Rope Restraints
Photo: Male Model In Kinbaku
Woman Tied Up In Kinbaku Restraints
Photo: Female Model In Kinbaku

About The Author: Jamie is a consultant from Oh Zone Adult Lifestyle Centres

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8 Replies to “Kinbaku: The Art Of Japanese Rope Bondage”

  1. Pingback: My Erotic Slave!
  2. ANDREW PULLEN i want to give you thanks for this great article . I never learn before about kinbaku but after reading this article i have gain knowledge about nice art of rope bondage . i really love your well written article.

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