Tsujimura Takashi: Interview in Sankei Weekly (1976)

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Tsujimura Takashi: Interview in Sankei Weekly (1976)

 Tsujimura (1921–1987) was a very influential bakushi. Nawapedia writes: ”It would not be an exaggeration to say that Takashi Tsujimura established modern Kinbaku Art (…) Tsujimura acted as a kinbakushi for virtually the entire run of Kitan Club magazine…” (http://nawapedia.com/index.php?title=Takashi_Tsujimura)

See an earlier post here:

https://kinbakubooks.wordpress.com/category/tsujimura-takeshi/

Below are images from an issue of a weekly paper called Sankei, where Tsujimura was interviewed in 1976, along with a full translation.

Footnote: You can read more about the model Kawabata Tanako that Tsujimura mentions here:

https://kinbakubooks.wordpress.com/2015/04/06/kawabata-tanako-rope-bottom-roundtable-talk-from-kitan-club-1953/

 

 Forbidden Eros: Tsujimura Takashi reaches for the limit

Interview with Shimokawa Koushi

in Sankei Weekly, April 15th, 1976

 Translated by Shiba, commissioned and edited by Bergborg of the KinbakuBooks blog

  

Interviewer: We would like to hear about your thoughts about contemporary eroticism. To start with, could you tell us what made you interested in this ”world”?

Tsujimura: I actually believe that everyone has feelings like the ones I have. It is just a matter of their depth. And we probably become aware of them in quite early age. As I remember it, I realized that there were feelings like this when I was in the 3rd or 4th grade of elementary school. I was playing ”police and thief”. In this game, you divide into two groups, the police and the thieves. When the police catches a thief, they tie him to a tree. I remember I was having a strange ecstasy when being tied to a tree. So, in my case, it didn’t start with tying but with being tied. I started as an M, not an S.

I: Weren’t you at all interested in being the one catching the others back then?

T: I have absolutely no memory of enjoying being the one catching the others.

I: When was the first time you got the urge of wanting to tie someone, like you do now?

T: It was the night before I moved to Manchuria. I was 16 years old [editors note: 1937]. I was having a relationship with a girl since I was 14 years old and we were having a reluctant farewell-meeting that night. The thought of ”I might not be able to see her ever again” gave me a feeling of exaltation. I felt strongly that I wanted to tie her. As there wasn’t any rope at home, I used her obijime, koshihimo, and even pajama-belt all tied up together. It is somewhat embarrassing to tell, as this girl is my current wife.

I: When did you start taking pictures of the people you tie, as part of your work?

T: It was during the postwar years, after 1945. There was a magazine called Kitan club, which used to be just a general erotic magazine but over summer one of those years changed into an SM-magazine. I was writing short stories and essays for them. The editor in chief at one point asked me if I wanted to pursue the world of shibari since they had changed to an SM-magazine.

I: So those years and the words of the editor in chief made a big change in your life.

T: There is one more person I can’t forget: the model Tanako Kawabata. She was ideal as a kinbaku model and an extremely masochistic woman. Once, I tied her up to a pillar at Kitan club’s office and I went out for about three hours, leaving her behind. I came back and touched her genitals, and found that she was very wet with excitement. I was used to just tying my wife when the feeling was right and arousal was already there. Meeting a woman like Tanako Kawabata and learning that there are people who have such a deep understanding of the feelings of shibari made me unbelievably happy. I have tried so many ways of kinbaku with her and taken photos.

Eroticism as ”scene”

I: So, we have the achievement of 25 years of your work, the photos from many photo-sessions here. There seem to be over a hundred of them.

T: I think there are photos from about 150 sessions here.

I: I’ve taken a look at them. They are very interesting. I understand there is also the same amount of photos that you haven’t organized yet. As I was looking trough the photos, I noticed that there are many married couples in them.

T: Certainly there are many photos of couples who have been married four or five years or so. Of course, there are also people who are keeping it a secret from their spouse. And unexpectedly, female university students and young female office workers has started coming to me too. Four or five years ago, a girl who claimed that she was a junior college student asked me to tie her. She was very passionate and had a supple body, so I became very interested. I did some quite cruel shibari, including a suspension with her. Then it turned out that the girl was a 2nd grade high school student. I found it out that later somehow.

I: Do you think married couples tend to desire new and different kinds of stimulation after having been married a couple of years?

T: I don’t think so. I comprehend eroticism as a kind of ”scene” [演戯] – a game [遊び] we play [戯れ] when we act in a role [演じる] – and the world of S and M is a world which concentrate these positions. I think married couples understand the feelings they search for in a scene after the years they have spent together, but sometimes they can’t do the scene themselves, so they come to me. I would say that the couples that come to me, are couples that have a love which is one step ahead of themselves.

I: There is the expression muttsuri sukebe [むっつりスケベ], saying that people with solid occupations are more decadent when it comes to sexuality. Have you noticed any significant patterns when it comes to the occupations of these people?

T: I have solid occupation myself, I do businesses with schools, so I guess I am a good example of muttsuri sukebe (laugh), but in fact these two things are not related to each other. During the years I have devoted myself to this world, I have met people in many different job categories –mizu shobai like politicians, entertainers and hostesses, as well as more established people like monks, bank employees or teachers. The image of who a person is connects strongly with one’s occupation, so for some it might be a great surprise to find out that these people, with solid jobs, are doing this type of play.

The feelings move between S and M

I: By the way, I have two questions I wanted to ask about the SM-world. The first one: There is a general stereotype that men are S and women are M. But there are male masochists, also tied in your photos. Shozo Numa [沼 正三], a famous author writing about masochistic themes, seems to have a different opinion – according to him ”there are only masochistic emotions in human beings. The sadistic feelings are illusions”. I wondered if that could be right since such an experienced person in the M’s world is saying so, but then as I explored my feelings, I found that I without doubt have both an S-side and an M-side.

T: That’s a very subtle problem. A building engineer I know of, has two large piercings, one through his nose and one through the glans of his penis. He enjoys being tied by his wife with electric cables with small bulbs all over the body, starting and ending in those two holes. When she lights him up, he says ”it is an illumination of the human”. He seems a typical masochist, but he isn’t just a masochist. He had his wife’s nose pierced too, and is having so much fun making suspensions with her, tying her quite intensely. People say that I am a sadist, for I tie and make suspensions – and I am conscious that the degree to which I am in this role is extremely high. But a person like me can sometimes also experience a very strong desire to be tied. So the feelings of S and M can be variable and switchable, I think. Then you might wonder if such a thing as a pure S even exists? But my answer would be that, yes, they actually do. There was a bartender who was such a complete S that even I couldn’t follow. He had a wife who was an M. I used to think that it was certain that the husband would eventually kill his wife if they kept going like they were doing, and I actually felt nervous about it. One day, the couple visited me and told me that they had decided to move to a mountain-area in Shikoku. I tried to stop them as hard as I could. Because it was easy to see that their purpose to moving there wasn’t to be farmers but to be able to soak themselves into the world of SM in the mountain-area where the eyes of others can’t reach. They returned from the mountain after a year and a half, because of the husband got Pott’s disease. The wife was very skinny and had scars all over the body. I fear she would have been dead if the husband had gotten the sickness half a year later than he did.

The question of Death

I: My second question: You said that SM is a kind of ”play”, a consensual play. I understand what you are saying, but doesn’t it get more and more dangerous when you love someone very deeply, since SM-play is basically about wanting dangerous things? I think the bartender you’ve just talked about would be a perfect example.

T: Absolutely. I myself have an experience of making a woman faint and for a moment appear to have died, when I got emotionally high with her. She had asked me to tie her tighter, and I did it too tight.

I: The woman would die in satisfaction since she would die in the peak of the senses, but the one who is left would be a murder. However we can’t avoid the risk of falling into the situations like that in SM-world, can we?

T: Oh, but yes, we can. As I said about switching earlier, since the roles of S and M are so different, I think we can keep our mental balance by switching into each other’s roles sometimes. So, S and M can be switchable and even though it is possible to have just one of the roles, I think they should be switchable in order to keep SM-play in a married couple healthy.

I: So you are saying that if you are able to switch between S and M, it’s a matter of eroticism, but if you stay with only one of the roles, it can turn into a matter of death? By the way, I’ve heard that you have distanced yourself from shibari lately?

T: If they ask, I can’t turn people down that I have been related to for like 5–10 years, but I’m trying not to accept any new people to tie.

I: How has this changed for you?

T: I have been pursuing the beauty of kinbaku for 30 years and I’ve accomplished almost everything I want to. The thing left, that I haven’t done, is to face death as I talked about earlier. But that avenue is closed, as it is really the end. So I have decided to move on, and explore something else.

The ultimate joy I’ve reached

I: So, you are saying….?

T: Nothing special triggered me to be interested in this activity, but all of the sudden I got an interest for urine, like it’s a revelation.

I: Urine…

T: I’ve tried it and have drunk it often.

I: The emperor Genso in China was famous for drinking urine – perhaps you have now reached his mental state? (laugh)

T: As the saying goes: ”Beneath that rough exterior beats a heart of gold” [ボロは着てても心は錦]. (laugh) People frown, saying ”that is filthy” when they hear about urine, but it is a big misunderstanding.

I: Speaking of urine, it’s said that there was a medicinal system called 童便軍 during the Joseon Dynasty. Special servants stepped out in front of the king and did their job whenever the king wanted to drink urine. In your case, you reached urine on your path to the extremes of eroticism.

T: Yes.

I: Drinking urine was considered to be a most delicious feast during the Joseon Dynasty. It seems the essence of eroticism and the peak of appetite meets there.

*****

Captions to the photos:

* When I was at a club in Osaka, a hostess showed interest and said: “I would like to be tied like that sometime”. I answered lightly: “Come to me tomorrow then”, because I thought that sort of talk was just part of the service (and that she didn’t mean it). But she really came to me. She had even prepared herself and shaved, as she thought she would look pleasant. She was a woman with a really supple body.

* This girl came to me and said that she was interested because she had gotten tired of the usual soft “play”. I normally don’t like it when people talk like this, since I see SM as a communication between hearts. But, I tied her hard a bit, then she gave up as I expected.

* This woman was all on her own, economically supporting her mother and two brothers, and she became a model for money in the beginning. She begged: “I will do this for you no matter how painful it will be, so give me a lot of money”. I still can’t forget her pitiful face. Therefore she came to me twice, three times… and it turned out to be a 5 years relation, ending only as she got married. The feeling seems not appearing in her much after the marriage.

* This woman came to me from Tokyo two or three days after I had appeared on TV for the first time. She told me that she was a university student. I usually do not investigate if what they say is true or not. I found out that everything she had told me was true after meeting her again seven or eight years later. This photo was taken in 1972, on her first summer vacation after she started working.

* There are many girls who ask me “please tie me”, but in this particular case, it was actually me who asked. I got an intuition that she was a pure masochist. The intuition was right and she fulfilled my desires when it comes to Shibari and suspensions. My world of Shibari has been helped very much by her cooperation. We were related for exactly fifteen years, since she was 17. Now she is a wife to a man who is a manager in a company.

* This girl was working in a company in Nagoya and dating the managing director. The boyfriend had sadistic interests and her feelings as masochist grew while she was serving him

 

 

One thought on “Tsujimura Takashi: Interview in Sankei Weekly (1976)

  1. Ping: Tsujimura Takashi: The psychological background for the impulse to do Seme (1953) | Kinbaku Books

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