(December 12, 2008)
I received my copy of Master K’s new 2008 offering on the subject of Japanese Rope, “The Beauty of Kinbaku”, published by King Cat Ink. He was kind enough to send me an advanced copy and requested that I write a review. Over the years I have developed a great friendship with Master "K". We are both history aficionados; so we spoke often as his project developed. As I often spread the word around the rope art world in the various rope related groups, I am indeed happy to do so.
His first book “The Art of Shibari” by Secret Press, a bi-lingual work (German / English), was filled with beautiful images of classic ties; with brief explanations and history sold out quickly back in 2004. We were all left with a hunger for more. Many who waited to purchase missed out on a great opportunity.
I have been teaching a Power Point presentation at conventions for a number of years around the country on the rope history and culture of Japan, so I was most anxious to read the first section of his book on this topic. No question Master "K" does a masterful job in some 80 pages of discussing the various aspects of Japanese culture and society, which have played a role in the development of what has come to be known as Kinbaku or Shibari.
Then Master "K", does a section on twenty-five key figures in the shaping of the erotic uses of rope in Japan; a few names will be familiar to some, but a number will be new to most and greatly helpful in the discovery of this beautiful art. Names like Itoh Seiyu, Nureki Chimuo, Yukimura Haruki, Ozuma Kaname, Osada Akechi, Denki Akechi, Arisue Go, and Randa Mai. Those who are into Japanese cult movies will know names like Oniroku Dan, author of Hanna no Hebi (Flower and Snake) and its star Naomi Tani, an actress who would become known as the queen of Japanese SM. She would also star in the classic “A Wife to be Sacrificed”; both Roman Porno films of the 70’s from 'Nikkatsu Studio". Not only does Master "K" skillfully discuss these famous personalities, but he shares rare information on a number of other individuals not as familiar to most in the west. One figure also skillfully profiled is my favorite author and expert on the art of Hojojutsu, Nawa Yumio.