K: How did you first get interested in Kinbaku?
N: I got interested in Kinbaku very late, when I was 30. Before I did I thought it was something immoral, something one shouldn't do.
K: What changed your mind?
N: Nureki. I was never interested in other types of BDSM like wax, etc. but I fell in love with rope because Nureki’s ties were so beautiful.
K: Did Nureki teach you?
N: No. I had to steal everything. (laughter) This is typical of how one learns these types of skills in Japan. I had to watch him carefully. Nureki never tied in a way that you could see how he was tying. He would never let anyone see the backs of his ties. After 3 years he finally let me start to untie his ties and this is how I learned. This was during his famous Kinbiken (“Society for Researching Beauty in Bondage Art”) workshops which I attended each month for years in Tokyo.
K: Are there any other Japanese rope masters you admire or only Nureki?
(A long pause)
N: No. Only Nureki. (laughter)
K: Iroha, how long have been modeling for Kinbaku?
I: Four years.
K: When you do your performances in other countries are you surprised by how much Kinbaku is being appreciated in other places all over the world.
N: Yes, very much. The first time I was in Russia I was shocked by the positive reaction.
K: Why do you suppose that it was thought by the Japanese that Kinbaku wouldn't be understood outside of Japan?
N: Kinbaku should only be done by people who love doing it and love doing it together. When I do Kinbaku I'm making love but through the medium of my rope. I try to do the same in performances. By this I mean, I don't do “cyber” rope or flashy rope but I forget about the audience completely and try to create an intimate setting. I like to think the audience feels as if they're looking at us through a keyhole. This is another tradition of Japanese art, of painting. I think the Japanese felt foreigners might find this all too strange because these ideas are so “Japanese.”
K: Well, that certainly seems to have changed. (laughter) It was wonderful having you here. Thank you so much for your beautiful performance. And for the LA Rope Dojo our sincere thanks to everyone in the audience for joining us on this special, world premier occasion.
Good night! (Loud applause)