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For most visitors to the dojo these amenities will remain invisible. But for those rope tops and bottoms, photographers, graphic artists and observers who are over 50 or who suffer from health issues that are even more dangerous when exposed to Covid, we hope they will provide some much-needed peace of mind. For us Kinbaku is all about pleasure, beauty and safety, and we always do everything in our power to preserve these pillars of our beautiful art form.
Fortunately, we were able to obtain the services of two wonderful, world-class models. And we were able to locate a lovely and secluded home in Hollywood which welcomed the shoot. Our inventive attempts at subject matter included traditional Japanese settings and costumes and 1950’s styles in wardrobe and decor for the detective magazine portion of our shoot. East/West.
This was certainly one of the most successful satsueikai we have ever held, and we look forward to doing more in the future. If you are a photographer in or are going to visit LA and are looking for an interesting, exotic and erotic challenge for your skills, please consult the webpage for announcements of upcoming events. We will certainly be doing more like these!
Join us soon for further updates on the exciting projects of Spring Tiger Ryu and Master K Classes! 
The tickets for these events are usually quite expensive so the photographers attending are often elite professionals who are very protective of their work. However, this time, several of the photographers were generous enough to give us permission to use some of their photographs so we could do this report and give the reader a behind-the-scenes look at a modern satsueikai.

The history of the Kinbaku satsueikai is a noble one in Japan. The artistic presentation of Japanese rope has been alive and well for centuries, but it was only at the end of the 19th century that the photographic representation of Kinbaku began when the “father of modern Kinbaku,” Itoh Seiu (1882-1961), and others began to stage events where devotees of the newly popular art of photography could come together and shoot pictures of attractive models in erotic bondage.

Recently, we held our most successful and inventive satsueikai yet, which we called “East/West” because we wanted to alternate traditional Japanese style Kinbaku featuring the beautiful and famous Japanese model Marica Hase (the first Japanese woman to appear in Penthouse magazine) with “Detective Style Bondage” featuring the lovely actress and model Dani Power (who recently starred in a short film about the life of world famous fetish artist John Willie for a French film production company).

We have tried to carry on the satsueikai tradition here in the United States and have enjoyed a gratifying amount of success. Every one or two years we hold such an event and many photographers in Southern California look forward to them.

In my own time I can vividly remember attending a satsueikai in 2013 that my sensei, the late Yukimura Haruki, presented in a wonderful, traditional Japanese home for about 30 photographers with the subject being a stunningly beautiful model and glorious rope bondage. The rules for this event were very strict. Once sensei had bound the model, the photographers were instructed where they could take their shots from and each was only given three minutes to take as many photos as they could of each pose before they were politely asked to move on and another photographer would take their place! 

This tradition continued throughout the 20th century and many different Kinbaku artists and enthusiasts, from Chimuo Nureki sensei and his Kinbiken Society to Akechi Denki sensei and his collaborations with well-known Japanese photographers, were some of the highlights.

Our feeling is that the key to a successful satsueikai, at least in Los Angeles, California, is to give the photographers three essential things:

              1. Beautiful models.

              2. An interesting photographic location.

              3. Inventive ideas in bondage and pose concepts.

Here are some of the results:

We then changed pace and moved into a somewhat surrealist presentation with our lovely model Dani in a 1950’s style dress which we called “find your fetish.” See how many fetishes you can find in these photographs of what appears to be a 1950s housewife tightly tied to a chair in her backyard next to her pool.
This was followed by a more austere presentation with Marica wearing Kimono undergarments and standing in a pool of water while floating candles gradually drifted into place. A great deal of Japanese themes and symbols in this one.
These first images are of the lovely Marica tied beneath an autumnal tree, whose leaves have just begun to turn color and fall. For this she wears a gorgeous, traditional kimono. I think it’s the perfect evocation of the Japanese artistic philosophy of Wabi-Sabi, emphasizing the transitory nature of life and experience.
Naturally, nude photography has long been a part of the satsueikai tradition and, fortunately, we had a magnificent decorative iron bed to tie Marica to. Sometimes simplicity is best!
The interior of our location was as photographically interesting as the exterior, so we took advantage of a 1950’s kitchen to set up a classic “damsel in distress” scenario. Or is it a symbolic representation of the plight of the repressed 1950’s housewife? Your choice. In any case, the bondage was very tight and Dani acted the pose beautifully.

Did you find them all? Just in case you missed one here is the list we came up with:

            1. The 1950’s fashionable green dress (of course).

           2. The high heels.

      3. That tattoo on our beautiful model’s shapely leg (a favorite of both                  Japan and America).

           4. The blindfold.

           5. The surreal touch of a gag made from a mouth-sized lime.

Of course, we couldn’t end our shoot without doing some stringent bondage. Here is a set of side-by-side hogties with a “choker” gag, featuring rope around the neck. However, lest you think we were taking unnecessary risks, this was an educational demonstration and I was able to show our photographers and spectators a trick with rope to make this type of pose safer. While it looks stringent, the models actually have complete control of the rope around their necks and, as long as they are carefully watched and assuming they enjoy a little gentle pressure on their necks, they are able to completely relieve the pressure with a simple movement of their legs. That said, this pose certainly made for dramatic photographs. Love that drool!
It became clear to us long ago that no American photographers were going to stand in line and take their pictures from a designated spot, not at the ticket prices we were charging! As you can see from the variety of angles shown in the above event photos, the photographers were positioned all around our lovely model.

In closing, here is a short sequence of “behind the scenes” photos taken by my dedicated and talented associate Miss Zelement as we prepared our surreal lime gag situation. 

Photos: Michael Helms
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