Shibari

Last updated: 10/19/2020 | 598 views | Report error

Meaning


What does Shibari mean?

Shibari is a Japanese word, meaning “binding” or “tying”, but as well as with many words in Japanese, the exact meaning depends on the context.

It is mainly used in the BDSM culture, in which it refers to the style of decorative bondage. There is also a popular misconception of the terms “shibari” and “kinbaku”.

“Kinbaku” is a Japanese bondage style or BDSM, involving tying up an individual by means of simple yet visually complex patterns.

However, the distinction between the two is that “shibari” is only the art of bondage tying, and “kinbaku” is “shibari” involving emotional connection.

Shibari Art

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Origin of the term

In Japan, bondage as a sexual practice dates back to the Edo era (when Japan was controlled by the Tokugawa shogunate) between the 1600s and the late 1860s.

“Shibari” originated from the so-called “father of Kinbaku,” Seiu Ito, who began learning and researching “Hojōjutsu” (the art of binding a prisoner of war), which is actually the root of “shibari.”

The act of tying became widely popular in Japan in the 1950s through magazines such as Kitan Club and Yomikiri Romance, which released the first nude bondage images.

Around the 1990s, the term “shibari” came into common use in the Western countries as well.

Spread of the term

In the 1960s, people like Eikichi Osada, who was a Japanese performer, began performing live sadomasochism shows, which often involved “shibari” and other forms of rope bondage.

The art of “shibari” gained a global presence in the work of some contemporary artists, such as the Japanese Nobuyoshi Araki, the American Jim Duvall and the European Hikari Kesho.

In 2014, a Romanian singer-songwriter NAVI released a “Shibari-themed” music video, which including many erotic scenes, therefore it became very controversial and was even banned in Romanian television for its explicit content.

It also appeared in the Western pop culture. In the 2019 music video for the song “Sucker” by The Jonas Brothers, Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner were engaging in the Japanese-inspired bondage for a brief moment in the video.

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