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Japanese bondage

Shibari (縛り, literally meaning bondage) is a Japanese style of sexual bondage or BDSM. Shibari involves tying up the bottom (or uke) in intricate patterns, usually with several pieces of thin rope. Shibari differs from Western bondage in that, instead of just immobilizing or restraining the bottom, the bottom gains pleasure from being under pressure and strain of the ropes, squeezing the breasts or genitals. The aesthetics of the bound person's position are also important: in particular, Japanese bondage is notorious for its use of asymmetric positions to heighten the psychological impact of bondage.

Although some of the techniques of Japanese sexual bondage originated with the military restraint technique of Hojojutsu, sexual bondage techniques are far gentler, and great care is taken to avoid injury.

According to several sources, bondage as a sexual activity first came to notice in Japan in the late Edo period, perhaps as a result of Western influences. In the 1960s, a tradition of bondage as a form of performance art developed in Japan.


  • kinbaku(緊縛): strict bondage
  • nawa shibari(縄縛り): rope tying
  • nawashi(縄師): rope artist

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See also:


  • Midori, "The Seductive Art of Japanese Bondage", Greenery Press, ISBN 1890159387

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