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Kinbaku in Europe

What is Kinbaku

Derived from techniques used in the past for restraining prisoners, Kinbaku as an activity is now most common in fetish communities. Kinbaku involves the use of rope (exclusively) as a link between the person tying and the person being tied, a manner of physical communication where ties originally used to control prisoners have been subtly altered… changed so that the original intent for torture becomes a consensual element of BDSM.  Kinbaku, like Shibari is a sexualised extension of Hojojutsu, however, the affinity with rope tends to surpass the real of SM and has established itself as an artform. 

'Kinbaku' a Definition

Originating in Japan, the term Kinbaku is often also refered to as senyojo jutsu, sokubaku and bakujojutsu among other terminology. Whilst it has been suggested that parallels can be drawn with the field of martial arts - where similar techniques in different disciplines are often referred to with differnet terms, Kinbaku is becoming established - particularly in the west - as the key noun labeling the activity of consensual restraint with rope.  

 

Is Kinbaku different to rope bondage?

Whilst Kinbaku is bondage with rope,  Kinbaku is not a term that can be applied to most rope bondage. There are distinct forms and even ties that are copied to appear visually the same can be viewed as lacking in terms of correct placement, the right degree of tension, or even the manner in which the rope was applied. The 'art' of Kinbaku is evolving and within modern peers there is an increasing focus on safety. 

 

What about Kinbaku Ropes

The are particular ropes preferred by those practicing Kinbaku:

  • Natural fibre rope, most specifically jute ropes
  • The use of rope with a diameter of 5-7mm
  • The use of coloured ropes is rare
  • Finishing is almost exclusively a single knot
  • Lengths are typically limited to 7-8 metres

 

Further Identifiers

  • Kinbaku practitioners tend to pay more attention to functionality as a method of restraint
  • There is a preference to fix ropes using ‘weaves’ as apposed to knots  
  • Rope is deployed with erotic intent, where the rigger often actively targets erogenous zones

These characteristics, do not define Kinbaku as a discipline, they are merely preferences that can be seen when observing the Kinbaku communities. As with all generalisations, individuals should not be judged against such criteria.

Kinbaku shares a number of similarities with Shibari, both disciplines – when practiced at higher levels – tend to structure ties in a manner where the ropes themselves become pleasurable for the person being bound. Read our position on the differences between Kinbaku and Shibari.

Read our position on the differences between Kinbaku and Shibari.
The reason the discipline of Kinbaku seems to possess a preference to avoid knots could be related back to the origins of Hojojutsu, where it was considered shameful for people of a higher status to be bound. In these instances the rope was applied in a manner where no knots were used.

 

Terminology – Kinbaku Vs Shibari

At Jade Rope we do not argue that one term is more correct than the other. We do not assert that Kinbaku is a different activity to Shibari, nor do we believe that they are the same.  We do, however, avoid using the terms indiscriminately; it is our position that it is the intention behind the activity of binding another with rope which discerns the appropriate term.

We feel that if a tie, or technique is used by a person in a martial arts context, this intention makes the act Hojojutsu. Similarly, we believe if that same tie is used in an artistic pose, where emphasis and – most importantly – the intent of the person tying is aesthetically driven… the act is Shibari, whilst should the same tie used to create a sexually driven scene… then Kinbaku can be applied most appropriately. 

There are numerous translations and even more interpretations of meaning surrounding the terms kinbaku and shibari. All of these interpretations are seeking to accurately define concepts which in reality cannot be removed from Japan.   Once removed from the Japanese culture, the context in which the western world uses these terms are significantly different… and to date the meaning varies almost between each person. 

At Jade Rope we see kinbaku and shibari existing in a state of duality, a state which has emerged naturally within the bdsm communities and we have decided to champion these dual viewpoints by recognising both Kinbaku and Shibari by the underlying intentions of the person who is practicing the rope based art forms.