What is Shibari?
In Japanese, “shibari” simply means “to tie”.
The origins of Japanese Rope Bondage are messy and complex. From Edo period samurai warriors, to pleasure quarters during the Tokugawa feudal government where kabuki theatres and art under censorship and rule thrived… From World Wars and western influence, through economic booms and crashes during the 20th century, and the rise of fetish and porn magazines in the 1950’s… The history of shibari is a colourful tapestry of imagined, re-imagined, fantasised and fetishised scenarios of power exchange, incarceration and ravishment.
Shibari as we practice it today is very much a modern discipline. Ito Seiu in particular is often referred to as the ‘father of modern kinbaku/shibari’ – his photography and art having inspired the modern aesthetics of rope we currently practice (although the techniques and approaches have evolved by leaps and bounds). In recent years, shibari has moved beyond its taboo origins and developed into a modern art form in its own right.
For a more in depth understanding of shibari history, please read this excellent article by Midori.
How we started
The studio was born in June 2015 as a hub for learning and practicing Japanese insopired Rope Bondage. Fred Hatt and Anna Bones’s aim was to create a relaxed place where people could connect, meet like-minded folk and and practice rope. Born essentially out of their home, the current space maintains a living room sort of cosy feel despite the impressive custom metallic frame that hangs above it.
When the studio first opened, rope jams would attract 15-25 people per evening in a small 500 sqft space in Peckham. Since 2015 the community has grown considerably and currently our jams see anywhere from 30 to 60 people per night. In June 2018 we were able to move to a larger space in a railway arch next to Queens Road Peckham, which we hope will be our home for many years to come.
In 2020, Covid-19 threw us an unexpected challenge, and like many businesses, we have had to adapt during the past year of lockdowns. Online classes and rope sales became our sole source of income, and fortunately with the support of our amazing team and community we have been able to survive.
Today Anatomie is a household name, internationally recognised for its quality education. The studio is regularly featured in Time Out and other publications and podcasts.
The studio relies on the help of wonderful group of team members and volunteers who make up the heart and soul of the space. We are tremendously grateful for their dedication.
Fred and Anna met in London in 2013 and have been tying partners and lovers ever since, they travel internationally to teach and as ex-academics are passionate about teaching and fostering safe and sane rope bondage practices.
The studio relies on the help of wonderful group of team members and volunteers who make up the heart and soul of the space. Our staff are informally referred to as ‘House Cats’ are are currently a group of 11 (owners Anna & Fred, and 9 others) split over two teams: a Shibari Store Team (involved in running and maintaining the rope store) and a Core Team (involved in helping with decision making, policy and other studio logistics).
Find out more about the House Cats here, and meet our teaching team here.
Anatomie Studio is committed to practicing the following values:
- Consent: see here for a clear explanation of what this means
- Sex/Kink-positivity: as a broad ideology and world view, sex positivity is simply the idea that all sexual expression (as long as it is healthy and explicitly consensual) is a positive thing
- Body-positivity: being body positive means accepting yourself and others as you are, regardless of size, shape, colour etc and to be unafraid of being visible – i.e. the opposite of ‘body shaming’
- Diversity & Inclusion: we welcome LGBT+ participants and anyone from any sexual orientation, background, religion or creed. ALL are welcome.