For a Master Class in Kinbaku
In these days when every morning’s flood of Twitter posts and email brings in new bondage photographs from all over the world and sites dedicated to Japanese style tying and photos proliferate, it’s hard to remember that there was once a time when these photos were considered rare treasures and “forbidden fruit” and coveted by fans as precious and rare images of fantasy and imagination.
I have been fortunate enough to attend any number of Satsuei-kai over the years. Perhaps the most interesting was one held by my late sensei, Yukimura Haruki in Tokyo in 2013.
It was held in our Beverly Hills dojo, was extremely well attended and its themes were drawn from some of the classic styles of Kinbaku that featured in the earlier days of the Satsuei-kai. These included poses featuring stunning kimonos, nudes and even a little elaborate staging inspired by the theatrics of the “father” of modern Kinbaku, Itoh Seiu.
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Poster for the John Willie event.
This was the era of the classic Satsuei-kai or “photography club” events when groups of amateur enthusiasts would form, find exotic locations, engage beautiful models and fledgling rope masters would try their hand at creating erotic, BDSM images for private consumption.
I write about this time and it’s fascinating personalities extensively in “The Beauty of Kinbaku–or everything you ever wanted to know about Japanese erotic bondage when you suddenly realized you didn’t speak Japanese” (find it here on Amazon) but modern versions of this venerable activity still take place and today. Satsuei-kai type events for artists and photographers continue to be held across the world.
In it over 50 photographers gathered at a beautiful wood frame Japanese style home (one of the few remaining in downtown Tokyo) and sat mesmerized as sensei bound a lovely model. He then pointed to the one spot where he would allow photographs to be taken and all the photographers, both amateurs and professionals, lined up single file for their one minute at the best angle to take their pictures!
Generally speaking, we present at least two of these art events a year and recently we sponsored a free, invitation only, event for some of the wonderful artists who have supported us so loyally over the years.
Of course, in the United States this regimentation would never be tolerated. In the Satsuei-kai that my associates and I at Spring Tiger Ryu hold the photographers are given the freedom to move around and the graphic artists the freedom to pick their positions.
Yukimura Haruki-sensei and model.
Behind the scenes production shot of nude kinbaku pose to conclude the Satseui-kai.
Finished portrait of nude kinbaku in the style of Yukimura Haruki-sensei. Photo by Kevin Mack-
We were fortunate to obtain the services of the lovely Marissa Lynn as our model and, as can be seen by the attached behind-the-scenes photos, as well as by some of the finished work (graciously donated by our participants for this article), the venerable Satsuei-kai is still alive and well as we proceed into the 21st-century!
Artist's sketchbook of the above pose by RPMArt.
Seme-e pose in the manner of Itoh Seiu.
the “photo club” style of bondage photography from Japan
With special thanks to our wonderful participants and especially the beautiful MarissaLynn, organizer extraordinare zElement and rope associate "L"!