Special Edition - in Pictures!
Dream of a Dream – The trip to Japan for the launch of the Japanese edition of "The Beauty of Kinbaku"
by Master "K"
Sometimes a trip becomes a dream of a dream. By this I mean that sometimes something exceeds your wildest expectations and becomes a transcendent experience; and so it was with what had been planned to be a modest trip to Tokyo in October 2013.
The reason for the trip was a request by the publisher Suirensha to assist "as much as possible" with the launch of the Japanese edition of my book, "The Beauty of Kinbaku."
I was extremely honored that the book was to be published by this distinguished academic publisher who valued it for its scholarship. However, I wasn't expecting too much in terms of publicity as I planned my trip around the dates of the book launch. I couldn't have been more mistaken.
After arriving in Japan and checking into my favorite hotel (The Okura), my friend and student Zetsu and I set about preparing for the photographic exhibit.
The first step was to help set up the gallery for the book launch and cocktail party festivities. To our great delight the gallery had offered us a two-week exhibition of the 35 photographs which were originally intended only as decoration for the night of the party. The exhibit was held at a lovely, Greenwich Village style gallery in Shinjuku called Shinjuku-za. A lot of hard work went into getting the pictures up in time for the opening.
On the evening of the book launch we were stunned by the large crowd that attended. Many of these people were luminaries in the Japanese world of BDSM and Kinbaku. These included: the world famous artist Sorayama, the photographer Sugiura and the rope masters: Akira Naka, Arisue Go, Kanna, Kazami Ranki, and the dean of movie Riggers, the brilliant Urado Hiroshi.
What was even more astonishing was that as a result of the successful book launch other promotional opportunities arose including talks at the main Kinokunya bookstore branch in Tokyo, a meeting with famed rope master Akira Naka to discuss plans to bring him to the United States in 2014 and, most extraordinary of all, a meeting with the widow of the great SM novelist Dan Oniroku arranged as part of an interview for Mania Club magazine.
For those who may not be familiar with the life and career of Dan Oniroku here is an excerpt from his biography in "The Beauty of Kinbaku".
Shortly after the launch party word came that the book was going into a second printing. As a result of this startling news the publisher arranged for a visit to and a book talk in Japan's beautiful and ancient second city of Kyoto where we stayed at an authentic and lovely ryokan (a traditional Japanese inn), toured several of that old city's (so different from Tokyo) distinctive and historic temples and even had a visit from some geisha!
The geisha were part of a lovely celebratory banquet called a uchiage…
but they didn't know what to make of Kinbaku!
Our trip was fast concluding but there was still time for two more surprises: the first was an interview for TV Tokyo…
And the second surprise was the presentation to Zetsu and myself of instructor's certificates for the Yukimura ryu (school) of Newaza style Kinbaku. A true honor after many wonderful hours of study.
As I said, a dream of a dream come true!
Join us next time as we return to our scheduled series of posts on Kinbaku and Art and take up the question, "Did the legendary, pioneering Western bondage artist and photographer John Willie actually learn a lot of what he knew about tying from the Japanese?"
See you then!