What is shibari?

What is shibari?

In Japanese, “shibari” simply means “to tie”. The origins of shibari lie in the Edo period of Japan during which the Samurai would use rope for capture and restraint of criminals (a martial art called Hojo-jutsu).

In the early 1900s, rope bondage became a source of erotic imagery in drawings and paintings. Ito Seiu in particular is recognised as the ‘father of modern kinbaku/shibari’.

In recent years, shibari is moving beyond its taboo origins and developing into a modern art form in its own right.

In shibari the model is the canvas, the rope is the paint and brush, and the rigger is the rope artist.