Itoh Seiu: ”Fifteen Ways To Tie a Woman’s Body” (1953)

itoh-fifteen-cover

Itoh Seiu: ”Fifteen Ways To Tie a Woman’s Body”, in Fuzoku soshi (風俗草紙), September 1953

Itoh was a prolific writer. Making private experiments with torment or ”seme” already in the 1910s, he started publishing texts on this topic in the late 1920s and early 1930s. I have posted earlier on the blog for example about a book from 1930 that contains both photos by Itoh, and a rather long text about seme (still untranslated, see: http://tinyurl.com/jd3fowy).

The magazine Fuzoku soshi (風俗草紙) existed only for two years (offering something like seventeen issues), and featured contributions among others by Itoh Seiu, Ueda Seishiro and Minomura Kou.

I find Itohs text and drawings in this issue from September 1953 especially interesting, as it connects his early experiments with the post-war expansion of Kinbaku. It also gives an indication about Itohs views on earlier, non-erotic forms of rope used for capture, transport and torture of criminals.

Please note that the text was written for publication in an erotic magazine, geared toward the pleasure and phantasies of the reader. Be advised that many of the things mentioned are quite dangerous, and do not treat it as a tutorial for Kinbaku.

The translation from Japanese to English is by Nana (London), commissioned and edited by Bergborg.

This is a non-profit endeavour. You are invited to support Kinbaku Books with a small donation through PayPal to: bergamott@live.se

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Fifteen Ways To Tie a Woman’s Body

By Seiu Itoh

————————————————————————

This is a precious article by a great painter who devoted his whole life to researching torment [責め, seme], based on his own experiences.

 Exclusive to our magazine!

*

When tying up a woman, there is surely some further purpose for it, more than just simply taking her freedom.

I assume that everyone would agree that the primary purpose of tying someone is to restrict them. In addition to this, you may want to achieve other things, like the extraction of a confession, the enjoyment of looking at their face full of pain by harming a part of their body, a disciplinary punishment – or some other purpose when specifically dealing with a woman’s body.

The martial artists [武術家, bujutsuka] in the old days invented ways to use rope for capturing an enemy alive and for tying men who surrendered in battle. As a part of ninja methods [忍術, ninjutsu], how to tie a person and the way to place rope were dependent on the person’s class, official rank and status. There were different styles, with each style having a different way to tie. At first it was just a method to remove a person’s freedom, but many styles and ‘Ryu’ cropped up later.

However, these schools were mainly for tying men. Tying women came second – while ways to tie women were established, these made up only a very small proportion of the entirety of possible styles. Seeing this, I have no doubt that there were only a small number of female criminals compared to the large numbers of male ones. It must have been rare to see a murder or a robbery committed by a woman in the pre-Restoration days [= before 1867], unlike in the post-war period.

Women have a troublingly tender spot: the breasts. There is a risk that putting rope on the chest or tightly binding the chest might lead to death, so tying the breasts would have been avoided for the ordinary (?) woman whose guilt was likely still uncertain. When tying a woman, we avoid the breasts. It’s understandable that we have seen only a few methods for tying women, as they had to be developed specifically for the small number of female criminals at the time. [The question-mark is in the original text.]

There was an illustration of a girl whose breasts were tied with a cord and suspended from a beam in a bondage magazine (?) of the current style [被縛雑誌, hibaku zasshi], accompanied by a composition claiming to be ‘a real story’. But this is complete rubbish, as it would be impossible to do things like that. [The question-mark is in the original text.]

I am going to describe how to tie up a woman, something I have learnt from my past experience, in the order in which I recall it.

There is no particular style like Houen Ryu, something-Ryu. If I must name it, I would say Seiu Ryu.

itoh-1-kopia

  1. How to do Hayanawa [= fast rope]

Quickly bring both hands to the back. Tie both thumbs with a thin but strong cord, like the string of a Shamisen, as it will dig into her thumbs. Bring the leftover string to her throat, then tie her pinky fingers tightly so that the string digs into them. Or tie her wrists instead of the pinky fingers.

The thumbs will lose their feeling, and the tips of the fingers will turn purple and lose sensation.

However, it’s not safe to use this method. When using it for rope bondage play [hibaku no yuugi, 被縛の遊戯] over a long period, there is a risk it would lead to an injury such as necrosis in the fingers. Do not use it for over an hour.

It’s important to control the strength of this tie as it’s just for immobilising a woman’s hands. If this method is used for a long time, the string will dig into her flesh and become inescapable, making injury to the fingers unavoidable. This method was also used by the unofficial policemen, or Okappiki, of the Tokugawa period [1603–1868].

itoh-2-kopia

  1. Guruguru Maki [= wrapping around and around]

This has to be done quickly. In reality, one’s physical strength is important when tying a woman who is trying to run away. You must not take pity on the woman when putting rope on her. Tie her up roughly without considering the pain she is receiving, remembering that the skin’s sensitivity of some women is low compared the typical man’s. She could cry – this might often interfere with your focus, but it’s unnecessary to take her tears into consideration and it is no reason to go easy on her. When you are tying a woman, if you don’t divest yourself of your humanity, you can not use full strength, and you can not truly tie her – you must keep thinking like that.

This is however not the case if both parties conduct this activity as play. But people like me, who make personal research about bondage (?), must abstain from sympathy. For me, there is no other way than tying her using my strength to the limit. [The question-mark is in the original text.]

There are no other mysteries of this form apart from wrapping the rope around and around, tying both wrists rapidly. As a result, there isn’t really any more to learning the tie than just to practice until you fully acquire the skill.

itoh-3-kopia

  1. Hayanawa [= fast rope]

First of all, the primary focus should be tying up both wrists. In this case, twisting both arms up quickly is a point which requires some tact.

After tying up both wrists, bring the remaining rope from the woman’s upper arms around her back and repeat it a couple of times, then tie a knot with all your strength. Her breasts will quickly be firmly tied, and the rope will bite into her flesh. Without a pause, take aim at the abdomen next; swiftly bring rope around it a couple of times and attach it to the wrists. There’s always an impending risk that she might get away. Except when it’s bondage play [yuugi, 遊戯], some resistance by the woman you’re tying should be expected, especially if it’s a serious situation. Special care must be taken when capturing a female criminal. You must avoid putting rope across the breasts, even if you forgo being careful. Needless to say, the woman’s wrists of course should be on her back.

itoh-4-kopia

  1. Kataashi Kake [= hooking one leg]

At first, hold the woman down and make her lie face down. Twist the right arm towards the back (you’d usually deal with the right arm first), put rope around the wrist, then quickly take it down to the left ankle. It’s necessary that ‘the snake’s mouth’ of the rope (see the illustration) is pulled out near the wrist. The woman’s body will become a Z-shape when you bring the rope from the ankle to the loop by the wrist, then tighten it. Wrap one of her legs with the excess rope, or use another rope and bring it from her leg to the crotch, then wrap it strongly above the groin. It’s more effective if a new, thin rope is used if possible. Once you finish doing this, use your full strength to twist and tie the leg and the crotch.

Towards the end, you should always reel in the rope sequentially, then tighten the rope up from time to time as you tie. There won’t be enough rope left if the crotch part is tied loosely so it’s better to bind as tight as possible, considering that you’ll be bringing the rope to her neck later on.

After placing this rope on her neck and tying the left arm up, you can hold the woman’s right leg and torment her by dragging her body around. This will instantly bring a good result.

itoh-5-kopia

  1. Same as…

There is a method which can be done in the opposite manner to the one mentioned above; placing a pole between the knees and crotch in order to torment a woman after tying her up. In addition to tormenting her, the woman’s body can be suspended from it, if this amuses you.

However, there are no practitioners using this technique at present. It was probably one of the methods for torturing suspects used by Okappiki at police stations in the pre-Restoration days [= before 1867]. When a criminal didn’t confess, they were confined with Hoda for any number of days. Hoda means fetters.

itoh-6-kopia

  1. Irekubi [= neck putting]

I have created a fictitious name, which will suffice for this explanation.

Place her right wrist behind her bended knee, then tie it with rope tightly, placing the excess rope around her neck. Bring the rope to her back, tie her left wrist as it’s brought to her back, bring the rope end around her waist and tie up there. This is to keep the woman’s neck leaning towards the left. The pain this position causes becomes intense from the rope as the wrist gets caught on in the crotch area. The shoulders start to hurt after an hour.

If weight is added to the crotch, the pain on the wrist will reach the upper right arm and the shoulder begins to hurt. The aim of torture shall easily be achieved if you place a stick in the left elbow and twist it, which will undoubtedly cause the woman to scream in agony.

Furthermore, to add harsher torment, bind the body more tightly by putting more rope on, but this is said to cause fainting in some cases.

itoh-7-kopia

  1. A type of Ebi Zeme [= shrimp torture]

This is almost the same tying method as was used in torture chambers during the Edo period.

Make a woman sit cross-legged, tie her legs in a couple of places, run rope from her shoulder to her crotch and pull it tight, leaving the neck as close to the legs as possible. Her back should form a curve, bent like a shrimp.

It is said that Ebi Zeme was named as it is because the colour of the body changes and turns red. It is a matter of life or death when the colour of the body then changes to white after having become red; then it must be untied, as failure to do so is fatal. This writer has never conducted an experiment on this matter so cannot comment from personal experience.

Regardless, this method of torment includes inclining the woman’s body forward and exposing a certain part of her, so it is difficult to conduct such an experiment without being on intimate terms with the woman.

If this test were to be done for research purposes, it is suggested that this position should be maintained for no longer than ten minutes. As a result of an experiment conducted by this writer, a woman was physically disabled for a couple of days after the experiment finished.

itoh-8-kopia

  1. Bou Shibari [= pole tying]

This is a good practice tie, as it shouldn’t cause any harm. This torment can also be bearable for a long time, to a certain extent.

When using this method in a playful manner [yuugiteki, 遊戯的], the time can be extended longer and the mosquito torture can be done to a woman if it’s summer.

This can be a most effective and harmless tie, know to be used for example on a homosexual woman by her jealous female partner, because it won’t leave a scar even if she’s tortured to the edge of breaking the skin. Therefore, this torment method is widely and deeply applicable.

When using this method, you could throw a woman into the garden and make her shiver with cold if it’s winter, give her the mosquito torture if it’s summer (as mentioned above), or torment her with smoke. When using this pole tying method, all sorts of torment methods can be thought up to follow. Its applications are limitless.

The method for this tie depends on personal preference, but historically, the most common way is to open a person’s arms straight and place a pole along the arms over the back. The pole is then tied to the arms in a couple of places with short ropes. You can then tie the woman’s ankles and throw her down, or attach her to a tree.

It is said that this tie was a type of arrest which was usually used on Noarashi [= poachers and rustlers, persons who steal crops from a farm].

itoh-9-kopia

  1. Mata Nozoki [= peeping through the crotch]

This is similar to a variety of a method called Hyoutan Zeme [= gourd torture], which is said to have been used at a government office at the Sado gold mine.

This is an unbearable tie unless the person has a great deal of endurance. At first, bring both hands to the back and tie them up, then bring the rope end to the shoulder and tie up in the same way as in the Ebi Zeme. You should then bring the rope through between the thighs. Pull it tightly until the woman’s head meets her own anus. Bring the rope to the back and attach it to the wrists, then throw the rope over a beam and lift her up. It is both ridiculously laborious and quite dangerous, so it’s a bit tricky to try out this tie. There is a legend that Dakki no Ohyaku [”Ohyaku the villainess”] was tortured with this tie twice, but even such a wicked woman couldn’t bear it.

itoh-10-kopia

  1. Sagi [= Heron]

I’ve made up my own name for this one, as its shape is similar to a heron.

Start by tying a woman’s hands behind the back as usual. It is important to fixate the wrists as high as possible. Extend this rope end, bend either the right or left ankle towards her front and wrap the rope in a spiral around her leg. Use the remaining rope to tie a pole to the leg the woman’s standing on, putting the pole between both arms as in the illustration.

The woman’s body makes a ┓-shape as it is folded to the front, making it look similar to a shape of a heron.

To inflict more pain on her, you can put things like a heavy stone on her back for some time. It is said that the person would faint if this continues for a long period of time. However, this writer hasn’t yet tested it to that point.

itoh-11-kopia

  1. Ryoute Age [= arms up]

This is also a name I’ve made up, of course. Tie both the right and left wrists while holding them up and prevent the hands slipping down by putting a pole by the wrists to hold her up. That’s all you need to do for the tie, but other people might take turns in tickling the woman’s armpits. She will writhe in agony as the pain increases, so you might want to tie both legs to a log to deprive her legs of their freedom.

This method is used when you want to cause the greatest pain without damaging the body. It is said that a person will make a confession as their consciousness clouds after this torture continues without allowing them sleep or rest. This tie can be used for a ‘torture’ called Utsutsu Zeme [severe sleep deprivation] later on.

The tie is quite simple, but the torture requires time and patience.

itoh-12-kopia

  1. Mata Biraki [= crotch opening]

First place both hands behind the back and tie them up, then spread both legs as wide as possible and tie the ankles to a pole. Then tie the rest of the legs to it with the excess rope.

This can be used for wicked play if it is done with a woman lying down, but these details shall not be mentioned here.

It must be noted that it is a blasphemy to the art of bondage if you demand poses which are beyond the limit of range of motion for the human body, just because you’re too eager to see a change in a woman’s body. Once you’ve learned the tie, try it with your partner, and learn the limits of their body.

itoh-13-kopia

  1. Kukuri Zaru [= bound monkey]

This is another for which I’ve coined a name, referring to the shape it produces. This tie is a bit tougher than it appears to be. You’re trying to create a shape like a monkey by bringing both wrists and ankles together, with the neck leaning downward.

If you use this tie for a suspension, the shape becomes what the title of this paragraph says. However, in reality, there is a risk that the wrists can be damaged if this is applied to a suspension without great care. Here I’d emphasise that this method should not be used on or by an inexperienced person.

itoh-14-kopia

  1. Gyaku Tsurushi [= Inverted suspension]

This can rarely be done in reality, and even if it’s done, it can cause a life or death situation. As it’s so risky, this tie should be done only in very special cases.

It’s safer to use a Nuno Renjaku, especially when it’s for a photo shoot or for a film. Nuno Renjaku is made by wrapping a cloth around the waist many times, putting jute rope over it and making a loop, then attaching the main rope to it in order to suspend the body. This is also used in provincial theatres when they want to hang an actor in mid-air for short periods. It is a quite useful thing, but amateurs are quite often unable to do it properly. With this taken into account when you suspend a woman, you should first tie both legs. Then lay her body on her back on a board which is set up in a raised position (tie her hands behind the back before doing so). When you suddenly remove the board then the woman’s body will hang down.

This also looks easy, but it’s one of the most difficult things in bondage. A full understanding of this suspension can be gained only by practice or by in-person teaching from someone else.

itoh-15-kopia

  1. Suspension

It’s impossible to suspend a woman with her hands behind the back like in all the illustrations for popular novels.

If you think the hem of a kimono flutters conveniently and the long sleeves of the kimono will move into an attractive shape, you are totally wrong. The shape of a woman suspended like this really doesn’t look good. As I mentioned before, there absolutely must not be rope placed on a woman’s breasts at all. As a result, the shape of the tie becomes bad, the legs hang down and the body will just keep spinning around.

Even if you tie rope to the Obi, the woman’s posture will become like a post, not a very attractive sight. To tie this, begin by tying both her hands as in the Takate Kote, then wrapping the waist with rope before hanging her from a beam. However, great care must be taken with this tie, and you must not forget that there is always a risk of injury.

***

– Translation by Nana (London), commissioned and edited by Bergborg // http://www.kinbakubooks.wordpress.com //

This is a non-profit endeavour. Please support ”Kinbaku Books” with a small donation through PayPal to: bergamott@live.se

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