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Do you appreciate the blog Kinbaku Books?

I have now made 230 blogposts, sharing, cataloguing and commenting Japanese Kinbaku material from the 1930s until today. The blog has been viewed more than 330.000 times with visitors from more than 100 countries. Most visitors are from Japan, followed by the USA.

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Every little helps, and this would be a good moment.

I have my eyes on some rare materials, and already have access to some very interesting texts that I would really like to get translated and share with you all, but my funds are emptied. Here is a link to the materials translated so far:

https://kinbakubooks.wordpress.com/translations/

The easiest way to make a contribution is to use http://www.paypal.com , and send a donation using my e-mail:   bergamott@live.se

 

Randa Mai interviews Akechi Denki (1999)

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Randa Mai interviews Akechi Denki
in Speculum, No. 8 (1999)

The following interview was translated by Nana. Thank you for your help!
Randa Mai has kindly allowed me to share the text and images here. Thank you!
Translation commissioned and edited by Bergborg / KinbakuBooks.

**********************************************************
Randa Mai’s SM friendship journal – Series Vol.3
The grand master of the world of Kinbaku: Akechi Denki

Today’s guest is Mr. Akechi Denki, who is my senior and someone that I respect greatly, an influential figure in the SM world. I have already a long-lasting friendship with him. Currently, Akechi Denki is trying to introduce Japanese kinbaku to the world outside Japan. Akechi Denki, who is particular about kinbaku, loves kinbaku dearly, and devotes everything of himself to kinbaku – I am certain that he is the only person who could convince the world about kinbaku. So, this time, I would like to present ‘The world of Akechi Denki’.
Randa Mai [R]: It is a pleasure to see you after such a long time. I am sorry that I came on a busy day for you

Akechi Denki [A]: It has been ages. Have you been well?

R :  Yes. It seems that you have had a lot to do, but I hope you have been well?

A : Yeah, I have been doing my best somehow.

R : Though there is no particular theme we must talk about, I thought I would like to start by asking what you are up to at the moment, and your upcoming plans. It seems to me that your tendency has been considerably different recently, compared to before.

A : Yes, that’s right. It’s 180 degrees different.
About 15 years ago, when I started doing the ‘Phantom Show’, there were quite a few well known journalists coming to see the show. If I asked them ‘Please write about it in the magazines’, they said ‘I don’t want to write about the Phantom Show because I want it to be only for our pleasure’, ‘I don’t want it to come out to the mainstream of society’, and so on.
And indeed, at that time, my soul as an ‘enthusiast’ was deep. I thought: ‘I had better not present myself in the mainstream culture’, ‘SM should stay in the underground for good’, and so on.
However, since about 4–5 years ago, I have been invited to various places and people have started to say: ‘This cannot be a thing only for the underground’.
Back then, various people were doing so-called ‘SM shows’ at various places at that time and I went to see them, and I thought ‘this is not really right’. There were shows in which the idea of SM was strangely twisted, and seemed only superficial. Their so called ‘shibari’ was also absolutely ridiculous. ‘Well then…’, I thought – it was like I was coming out. I told them: ‘Hey, that is not the way to do it’ … And it turned out everyone was pleasantly surprised at what I spoke. They were like: ‘There is someone who thinks earnestly even in the SM world’… I felt I got such a response from them, so I became aware that I would need to do what I did more publicly after all.

R: So, you decided to step into the spotlight?

A : Yes. It was just around that time when I met you, Ran-chan, for the first time, wasn’t it?

R : Yes.

A : You were doing stage shows. I had heard that there was someone who had the same soul as mine. I went to see your show and talked with you. You understood what I said and we connected with each other. I often said ‘Randa Mai is the only one who is promising among the young’ (laughing).

R: I was in my 30s at that time (laughing).

A : SM is about the heart, it cannot be a superficial thing. If you could find one submissive woman, she is a treasure. You have to embrace everything about her. For example, listening to her for things on her mind. I have been saying this again and again.

R : I understand it well.

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A : I have recently been dragged out to different fields again. For example, I made an appearance at a big cultural conference in Akita prefecture. [1]

R : That was also given a big write-up in a tabloid magazine (laughing).

A : Indeed, you are talking about the matter of Ms Ishii Mitsuko [t/n : an actress-turned-politician], right? I was performing kinbaku at the conference, as requested by Mr Saegusa Shigeaki [t/n : a composer]. Suddenly Ms Ishii came in to intervene and I was a bit annoyed, but Mr Saegusa got in between, and I was able to continue. Mr Okuda Eiji [t/n : an actor and film director] talked to the audience. There was a massive ovation in the end.

R : You are receiving a lot of attention, but in the wrong way.

A : That’s right. Various media came to interview me, too…

R : By the way, Sensei, you are going to the Netherlands again soon. Could you tell me about it?

A : Yes. To Amsterdam. I am invited to perform at an annual event called ‘De Mask’.

R : When you do such activities abroad, it is because you want to introduce the beauty of Japanese kinbaku to them, isn’t it?

A : Yes, indeed. I feel that shibari is a Japanese culture. It’s a traditional thing that has been handed down since ancient times in Japan. Indeed, Japan is the only country which has a history of shibari.

R : An invitation to perform at ‘De Mask’ must be a big thing.

A : Yes, it’s the first time for an Oriental person. Enthusiasts from all over Europe, around 3,000 people, will gather there. I was chosen as one of only five performers who have a chance to perform there. It’s the biggest underground event in Europe. Really, I think that this time it could be a critical turning-point for me.

R : It seems your performance in the Netherlands last year became a hot topic and you were recognised. [2]

A : That’s right. I have heard that it became a thing that was talked about. I did a lot of interviews, also with regular newspapers… They thought the whole scene was mysterious, that a woman who was tied in various forms with a single rope screamed with pleasure and held me tight as I embraced her at the end.
It took place in the biggest SM club in Europe called ‘Doma’. No one cared about me at first. They were like, ‘A weirdo came from the East’. I was not welcomed, really. But when the show was over, everyone stood up and applauded. The owner of the club explained to them: ‘This is also one of the forms of love’.

R : Wow, that sounds amazing. So, when is the ‘De Mask’ event happening?

A : It’s the 29th May [1999].

R : I see. By the time this magazine comes out, it’s already over then. I guess it will be a hot topic again, at home and overseas… I am looking forward to hear about it. Please do your best by all means.

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A : Thank you. Yes, I have to work hard. Recently, I have got a request from a famous Taiwanese female film director to create an installation for her film. I am working on it right now. The thing is huge, though it is an installation using rope, of course. Two girls are fiddling with each other on top of a gigantic bird cage which has been made with rope. The movie is a fantasy about what sex will be like 100 years from now. But it is also hard work. I have been racking my brain (laughing). [3]

R : That sounds challenging. Changing the subject, what are your thoughts about the current SM industry?

A : Well… In short, there is not enough ingenuity there. Their ways of expression are quite poor.

R : As I have also written in my column in this magazine, it has become too standardised.

A : Oh yeah, that’s right. They make it too easy. There is something more, a deeper place. The way to express the embracing of the woman, the ingenuity in the tools we use, etc. Devotion, that’s devotion. It’s not there. It seems as if they are doing a routine task. There are too many of them who do not know what SM really is. Even the way they use rope, they do unbelievably terrible shibari. For example, the model’s chest rope is loose and ends up around her neck, so she is almost dying, it is all so dangerous (laughing).

R : There are also people who are not even aware of the difference between musubi [knot] and shibari [bind]. Indeed, some people don’t know that women get sexual pleasure through their minds, rather than just by stimulation of their bodies.

A : Uh-huh, it’s mere abuse those people are doing. There are many people whose soul is not there.

R : I think the amazing thing about Akechi Denki is that you have such a soulful feeling like: ‘I would die with the submissive woman anytime’. How about that? The feeling of: ‘I would die together with her if something was to happen to this woman while we play’… I feel it whenever I see you play…

A : Yes. Of course, I would not be able to do what I do to the women if I was not prepared to commit suicide by cutting my belly. That’s love.

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R : Getting into such a mindset can be ‘pleasure’ on our side, too. It’s like: ‘This woman has my life in her hands’. It’s impossible to do truly bold shibari or play until we get that feeling.

A : It’s about opening your heart.

R : This is the biggest thing I have learnt by watching Akechi Denki’s play. If you are anxious, feel hesitant or cowardly, you are not able to do further, deeper play. We feel an amazing pleasure when both of us manage to get into the same state of mind, that is (laughing).

A : Anyway, men are unreliable nowadays (laughing). Unreasonably immature. They don’t have energy to lead, can’t push it like: ‘Look at me!’. Women are stronger now (laughing). I wouldn’t like to see submissive men taking over the world, to be really honest (laughing). I think that ultimate submissiveness is about ‘to be a baby again’. ‘The other person does everything for me’, ‘The other person finds where I feel pleasure’ and so on. Real babies are like that, aren’t they? If they cry, they get breastfed, food, a nappy changed. Babies can’t take care of themselves. Aren’t submissives the same? They do not need to do anything. The other person does everything for them. …People who have strong submissive tendencies tend to have the ‘habit of return’. They wish to go back to being children. I believe so.

R : I see.

A : So, that’s why men should not live that way (laughing). A man must fight. He must protect the woman. He has to embrace everything about her. Like, up to the point where he is able to take over the role of her mother. You should treat a woman in that way if you love her. We should keep developing ourselves… It’s ridiculous that some people who are not able to do it are messing about with such issues as ‘two-timing’ or even ‘three-timing’ (laughing). I am like: you are really not such a powerful man! (laughing).

R : Dear readers, are you listening? (laughing) Akechi Denki is angry (laughing).

A : Don’t talk about SM if you cannot even successfully seduce one woman! (laughing)

R : Sensei, please calm down (laughing).

A : Just joking, I shouldn’t say those things even if I really want to (laughing).

R : What do you think about the SM world having become commercialised? … Because, all of us so called ‘kinbakushi’, including me, we are making a business out of the unique world called SM. We are using it to earn our bread. But I feel that Akechi Denki is a bit different.

A : Yes. Basically, I don’t think it’s a good idea to make a business using SM.

R : As I expected. You are a true ‘enthusiast’. That’s why you are an amazing existence. You don’t do SM for business, don’t take advantage of SM. Those of the same trade are using it conveniently and make a business. I am the prime example (laughing).

A : (laughing) You wouldn’t have any trouble doing it because everyone has approved. … Well, yeah, I absolutely don’t want to lose my heart as an ‘enthusiast’. However, I have a sense of responsibility and self-awareness as a professional, naturally. Without that, I cannot continue to do it. Especially when it comes to ‘SM as a show’, I have a pride and confidence in it as a professional. That’s my grass roots. I am also hoping to make a study of it.

R : What is ‘SM’ to Akechi Denki?

A : … (pausing for a while) …that’s rope. I call myself ‘Nawashi’, I love rope and I love shibari. That’s ‘the act of exchanging love through rope’. I would say, everything begins with Ushirote Shibari and ends with Ushirote Shibari. [t/n : ‘a tie with the hands behind one’s back’.]

R : Do you have any dreams or goals for the future?

A : Yes, I want to keep challenging myself to do various things. I would like to tell the world about the culture and beauty of Japanese shibari. Also, I want to research in the history of kinbaku, and I hope to make this legacy remain. It won’t make much money though (laughing). But I want to leave my footprints in the future generations.

R : I want ‘Akechi Denki’ to always stay on top, one step or two steps ahead. I want you to keep running ahead of us. Then I am encouraged to do my best when I see your back.

A : Yeah, I want my juniors to keep following me, and then I want them to overtake me eventually. Maybe ‘Randa Mai’ can do it, indeed.

R : It’s absolutely impossible to overtake you (laughing).  But I will do my very best to get close to you.

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– After the dialogue –

That was the evening of our reunion after a long while, and we got carried away in conversation. After all, the energy of ‘Akechi Denki’ is incredible. I am always overwhelmed. He is always thinking about something new. I could not get more pages in the magazine for our conversation, but we also talked about the history of kinbaku extensively as we both adore it. I found out that Mr. Akechi has been researching in the history of kinbaku in depth. He is always thorough in everything he does. He is a man who does nothing by halves. That’s why he is phenomenal. I, as a person who failed in my U.S. promotion last year, am proud of his success and high reputation in Europe as a fellow countryman, and I also envy him as a person in the same business.
I can’t resist sighing when I look at my article about ‘black market porn videos of U.S. reimport’ (laughing). Akechi Denki is the greatest. I am not even close. I hope to keep seeing new ‘legends’ of him being born.
Akechi Denki – From Tokyo, Age unknown
In the late 70’s, he participated in the SM experimental theatre-group GSG planning. There, he was responsible for directing and supervising the shibari. He was also active as a Nawashi himself. He constantly creates new shibari projects such as Tokyo SM Project, SM Bomber and SM Aquarium. During the Adult Video epoch of the 1980’s, he became widely known as he made an appearance in many videos by production companies like Uchuu Kikaku, VIP, Endo Pro, Athena Images.
From July 1987, he organised Studio Phantom – a members-only gathering. In September in the same year, SM Experiment Theatre at Studio Phantom was launched and had a regular performance twice a month – it ran a long-term performance of 10 years until June 1997.
After that, he organised four different types of gatherings such as SM Society Denki’s Meeting and so on.
In the early 1990’s, he worked as a nawashi on various photo-publications, V Cinema [t/n : feature films produced and sold as a video format without theatre release, often containing soft porn elements] and TV.
In August 1997, he opened Salon Garasha and still continues. In 1998, he performed in the Europe’s largest SM club Doma, and also at other places in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and elsewhere. In 1999, He is the first Oriental person who is formally invited to Europe’s biggest SM & Fetish party DeMask, and will also perform in the Netherlands, Belgium and so on.

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Notes by Bergborg

[1] The cultural conference included a panel on ”the art of kinbaku” [緊縛芸術]. One of the other participants in the panel was Dan Oniroku.
[2] About the performance in the Netherlands, see an earlier post here: https://kinbakubooks.wordpress.com/2017/07/03/akechi-denki-visiting-europe-1998/
[3] The movie mentioned was given the title I.K.U. Available on DVD. A short trailer for that gives you an idea can be seen for example here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nyt4UwgMsS0  Read more about it here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I.K.U. 

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Translated by Nana, commissioned and edited by Bergborg / KinbakuBooks

Kei Shimoto: Action Book No. 2 (1981)

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This small book I found quite entertaining. It was published in a series of ”action books” in 1981. The author goes out to visit a number of SM-related clubs and events. Each of the different venues and organizers gets a few pages of description, the address and phone number is given – and lots photos (some featuring the author himself involved in SM play).

Represented are for example the GSG Project, SAMM, RA-project etc – in other words groups and sites for an underground SM culture with a keen interest in ”performance” and aspects of an avantgarde aesthetics during the early 1980s. As is made clear for example in this interview, it is also a context from which which Akechi Denki emerges as a performer.

Lots of names could be mentioned, but here let me point to the following three, all involved with GSG Planning: Sakurada Denjiro, Shuji Onizawa and Osada Eikichi.

In an interview with Ugo of SMpedia in 2014 (whom I understand has done a lot of reasearch on this), Denjiro Sakurada said that Akechi Denki’s name took [伝], the first part of the name ”Denki” [伝鬼] from Denjiro [伝次郎] and the second part [鬼] from Onizawa Shuji [鬼沢修二]. Osada Eikichi is a central figure on the performance-scene in these years, as can be seen on some of the photos in this publication (see the last series of five pictures in black and white below).

I like to think it offers a kind of snapshot of a period in time, with a distinct flavour.

Title: 体験SM術 一歩踏み込めば倒錯の世界!! マンションSMのすべて

Author:  島本慶

Publisher: 白夜書房 (1981)

Series: アクション・ブックステクニックシリーズNo.2

No ISBN

 

Read more on SMpedia:

Akechi Denki: http://smpedia.com/index.php?title=明智伝鬼

GSG Planning: http://smpedia.com/index.php?title=GSG企画

SAMM: http://smpedia.com/index.php?title=SAMM

OSADA EIKICHI and SAMM: http://smpedia.com/index.php?title=花真衣とSAMMと長田英吉

(and, of course, much much more on the same website)

crazy färgcrazycrazy1crazy2fem dmo sakasafemdom1gsg1

 

 

 

Akechi Denki Interview (2000)

The following text and images are from the book 日本緊縛師列伝, edited by Sanada Nobuyuki and published in 2000 (see an earlier post here ). Text and interview by Nozawa Na [1]

The translation is done by Emi Kinako, commissioned and edited by Bergborg / KinbakuBooks. Thank you for your help once again Emi!

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Akechi Denki is respected as the most skilled performer in the kinbaku world. Unfortunately, I have never seen his shows myself, but according to rumours they are astonishing. Whips and candles are the norm, and sometimes models are shaken from side to side mid-suspension. Of course, the girls end up crying and wailing, and some of them lose consciousness…

I had the opportunity to meet this person. To be honest I was extremely nervous before meeting him. This was because- I may be exposing my naïveté- I felt as if I were about to expose my lack of knowledge about SM and kinbaku. The only knowledge that I have is some names of kinbakushi and a basic idea what they do.

Of course, since I work in this industry I do have a strong interest in the world of SM and kinbaku. However, I find myself hesitating to go and investigate further. I can’t explain the reason behind that very well, but I think it is because of the specific “world” SM has – I would say that it is a psychological world – I find myself doubting if I can understand that world fully. This insecurity stems from my strong interest in the world.

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With that said, I was extremely anxious when meeting Akechi Denki during this shoot. It was my first time meeting a nawashi, let alone seeing shibari be properly done. There was no way for me not to be nervous. However, when I actually met Mr. Akechi, he quickly blew away any kind of anxiety I had.

He is, simply put, a very nice person. When you see Mr. Akechi in SM magazines, he seems like the type that you can’t get close to; this may be because he wears sunglasses and his expressions are completely hidden. In reality, he isn’t like that at all. He is very gentle-mannered, and made me feel at ease. When you speak to him, you start to wonder if this man is truly the Akechi Denki, the man behind the torturous kinbaku shows. But of course, that was until the shibari session was about to start…

The featured model of the day was Mr. Akechi’s assistant as well as partner for his kinbaku shows, Ms. Kyojo Yumeji [2]. She is 26 years old, and has been working for Mr. Akechi for 2 years. She has been appearing in his shows quite often, but this is her first time being a model for a shoot. It seemed that she was feeling a little nervous.

“I’m sorry I asked you so suddenly. But all you need to do is what we always do.”

I saw Mr. Akechi cheer his model up. With those words, the nervousness disappeared from her face. It seems like nothing, but this kind of care makes a woman feel very happy.

The shibari session began. The calm and warm Mr. Akechi had disappeared. The man standing in front of us was a serious bakushi at work, working the rope into the female form.

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The first item Mr. Akechi put in his hands was not asanawa, but red cotton rope. After tying Ms. Yumeji’s arms behind her, Mr. Akechi pulled on the rope that was in his hand. The model was tied down tightly, yet the rope slipped right off of her body! The art of untying without touching on the rope used to tie the pattern. I wasn’t aware of this practice, but this is the practice of hojojutsu, something Mr. Akechi is currently working on.

”Hojojutsu [捕縛術] is something that began in the Edo period, under the rule of one of Edo’s five great shoguns, Tsunayoshi [1646–1709]. This is when the class system of warriors, farmers, artisans, and tradesmen was established. There were different ways to tie members of the different classes. Every feudal clan had its own secret system of tying. Depending on the criminal, there were different rules for tying; which way the rope was to go, what colour was to be used, and so on. For example, once a warrior was tied in a pattern for commoners. This was considered extremely humiliating and disgraceful. The warrior committed seppukuin order to pay respects to his monarch. Because of that, the ruling monarch filed a complaint to the shogunate government, and the person that had tied the warrior was beheaded. Tying was one of the eighteen budo arts. It was said that if you hadn’t mastered this art, you could not call yourself a warrior.”

Mr. Akechi was generous in showing us his tying techniques. Though he was tying complicated patterns, all he had to do to untie the model was to pull one section of the rope. It almost felt like I was watching an elaborate magic show.

When showing this technique while performing at “Department H”, he suspended the model in a sakasa-ebi-zuri(upside down shrimp) and elevated her to a height that he couldn’t reach. The model was somewhat lowered and then dropped sideways into an ougi[fan], and finally into a sakasa-ippon-ashi-zuri[upside down one leg suspension]. He had demonstrated three patterns, two transitions in total. All the patterns were done in the hojojutsu style, so in the end, the ropes slipped right off of the model.

“It took me three months to perfect the ties for that show. Hojo-shibari is extremely difficult. It’s relatively easy for anyone to tie the ropes very tightly so that it’s safe. But it’s extremely difficult to tie someone who weighs fifty, sixty kilos, make sure they’re secured, and then be able to tug on the rope so that everything undoes itself…”

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Hojojutsu is considered a secret technique, and much of it has been passed down only by oral tradition. Therefore, it isn’t an easy task to decode its details. So far, Mr. Akechi has decoded twenty-seven styles, but that took him five years. The effort is admirable. There is a reason behind his passion for hojojutsu.

“This kind of stylized shibari is uniquely Japanese. There are records of rope being used in western style torture, but nothing that is specific to class systems. I consider this a Japanese tradition. We can say that it’s a tradition of shibari. I have a strong urge to maintain it as a form of traditional Japanese art.”

Says Mr. Akechi. Though hojojutsu is something uniquely Japanese, due to the fact that its history has been only orally transmitted, many have started to forget its existence. Perhaps this urge to maintain the art comes from the fact that he is a bakushi. In the past two years, he has been performing overseas as well; this comes from his hopes to spread the culture of rope internationally.

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However, it’s important to remember the erotic aspect of rope. Mr. Akechi says that the foundation of his ropes lie within the kinbaku used during SM scenes. The reason behind Mr. Akechi being allured into the world of shibari was a magazine targeted towards “maniacs”.

“I was in the third grade when I first came across Kitan Club. I came by it at a rental book store in my neighbourhood. I still remember feeling shaken by a photo of a woman being tied (laughs).”

From then on, he hid away and read copies of Kitan Club. It was around then that he started to want to tie women up. However, this fantasy took ten years to become a reality. He was nineteen years old, and faced with a sudden tragedy.

“My family went bankrupt when I entered high school. My parents basically sold me off, telling me to work for a craftsman for five to six years. Two other apprentices were there as well. Their salary was five-thousand yen, and mine was five-hundred. I learned that my parents had agreed with the craftsman to send them the rest of my salary. I got letters from my little sister, who’d been sent off to work as a baby sitter all the time. She told me how hard life was on her, and how lonely she was. I also saw dried up tears on the letters. My sister was either in the first or second grade. It was unbearable. I ran away from my job two years later. I wanted to establish myself. I worked under different masters, became independent at eighteen, and half a year later, I had one hundred people working for me.”

Two years later, he had built his own home, and brought his family back together. His vitality is unbelievable. This story seems unrelated to kinbaku, but there is actually a strong connection. The eagerness to bring his family back together translates right back into his eagerness in relation to kinbaku. Without that experience, there would be no “Kinbakushi Akechi Denki.”

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“I experienced tying for the first time when I was nineteen years old. My partner was a woman I met in a bar. Unlike now, there weren’t any SM clubs. I had to “hunt” in order to find myself a partner. It would start by a meeting at a bar and a conversation. You would find someone who’s your type, and ask her if she’d like to go to the movies. You would date for about half a year, and then go to a hotel. There, you would tell her that you’re interested in tying and show her your rope. Most girls ran away the moment they saw my rope. I repeated that process over and over. Sadomasochism was still considered abnormal, so most people didn’t know what a sadist would do to you. In other words, they’d think that you were broken, that you would go around stabbing people on the street, and look at you that way. I would speak to maybe one hundred women, and maybe twenty would come to a hotel with me. Out of them, oneperson would let me tie them. So, after speaking to a hundred women, only one of them would let me tie them.”

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One out of a hundred. The low chances are mind blowing. If it was me, I imagine I would forcefully tie any woman that had followed me to the hotel. But Mr. Akechi is different; he is a true gentleman.

“I wouldn’t do it to someone who didn’t want to. I can’t tie if there isn’t any love behind it. So, I tried my best not to scare them.For example, I started by using neckties, or sashes used for yukata instead of rope. I took steps so that they get used to the rope. I also try to create an atmosphere where the woman wants to get tied. I’ll show them patterns and tell them ‘There’s beautiful patterns like these, I’m sure you’d look great in this pattern.’ I would have a full-length mirror around, too. I would keep it at that. I would untie them, give them a hug, and tell them ’Thank you, you looked beautiful.’ ”

So far, it seems as if Mr. Akechi is the one who is doing the serving.

“Ha ha, that might be true. But the top has to put in a lot effort. Otherwise you won’t be able to find a good bottom. You need to pour in all the effort and service until they become your bottom.”

The service he speaks of is to heighten the bottom’s characteristics as a bottom. You have to go to such lengths to find yourself a bottom.

“You can only find a bottom by using your money, time, brains, and effort. Submissive women are like diamonds. Actually; you spend even more money, effort, and time on them, so they are more precious than diamonds. That’s why you need to love them,” says Mr. Akechi. His passion towards submissive women has not changed to this date. “You’re able to have a great scene because you’re in it with someone you have fallen in love with. In other words: You can’t tie them unless there’s love behind it. Even to this day, when I perform, I only think about the person I’m tying. When I’m tying, I’m only looking at the model. I only speak with the model. By doing so, your feelings go through to them. When that happens, you’re able to perform a great show where both of your hearts are connected.”

Speaking of performances, let’s have Mr. Akechi tell us how he became a rigger and performer.

The opportunity rose about twenty years ago. When viewing an underground theatre-company’s experimental SM show, he befriended one of the members of the company. That friendship led to him helping out at the shows. At first, he was simply a “maniac” (a fan of the SM world) that was helping out. However, audiences began to request his appearance, and he began performing hour-long shibari shows after the main performance.

“The kind of shibari I practice during performances is for the spectators. It’s different from what I do in my private life. For examples, in my private practice, the intention isn’t to show off. I can wrap the rope around the bottom’s body freely. All that matter is that the bottom gets a sense of being bound. But when I’m performing, I’m given an hour, I have to tie as beautifully as I can, and suspend the model to her limits.”

He ties his models beautifully, but edges them to their physical and psychological limits. Of course, danger is something that flickers in the background.

“It’s true that there are risks of danger when I’m performing. I’m tying in front of an audience, so I can’t undo my ties. I’ve made mistakes in the past. An inexperienced model injured her shoulder, and her arm went numb. But those kinds of mistakes made me the rigger I am today.”

Though Mr. Akechi mentions he becomes heavily emotionally involved during his performances, he maintains a sense of coolness during his performances. That is because there are certain risks that are constantly behind the performances.

There are times when Mr. Akechi performs three times a day. Since he’s so enthusiastic about performing, there must be an allure that he cannot deny.

“It’s when the girls’ facial expressions make an extreme change. They really do change. That gets me. It makes them seem adorable, and I want to hug them instantly. Other than that, when a girl comes over and over, or when they’ve been tortured, I can’t hold myself together. There’s times when the bottom’s crying out of joy and comes and hugs me. That gets me, too. It’s a sense of connection, rather than excitement. I feel as if I can get connected with the girls on another level when I perform on stage.”

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At today’s shoot – or rather, I should call it a live performance – in the final scenes, I felt as if I witnessed what Mr. Akechi told me. Ms. Yumeji, freed from a suspension, looked as if she was about to lose consciousness. Out of the blue, Mr. Akechi pinched her nipple. In that moment, I heard Ms. Yumeji scream out of pain. Her body began to wince, and she was moaning. My attention had been taken aback by the shibari, but before I knew it, both the model and rigger were heated up, and a full-on scene was taking place before us. This was no longer a simple shoot.

I swallowed my breath as I kept watching. I have no idea what’s about to happen. The tension was high; just like a kinbaku performance.

With her nipple still pinched, Ms. Yumeji rolled to her back. I can’t hear her voice but she was breathing very heavily. Her facial expression told us that she was suffering. Mr. Akechi’s open hand begins to press onto her stomach, over and over. I started to hear her moan again. I heard this later, but apparently Mr. Akechi was placing pressure onto her diaphragm to send oxygen into her system. In her case, by doing so, she is able to drop into sub space easily.

Next, Mr. Akechi’s hand slapped the floor next to her ear. As he did so, her body began to tremble, though he wasn’t touching her directly. The trembling became harder and harder. With Mr. Akechi slapping the floor, Ms. Yumeji’s body began to make bigger flinches. With one final shudder, she led out a scream and fell. It seemed as if she had come as hard as she could. Mr. Akechi held her tightly. I found myself being jealous of the connection they shared.

“It felt amazing,” says Ms. Yumeji about today’s experience.

“If I get to feel that good for hours and hours, I wouldn’t mind doing a shoot again. You only get to experience this feeling for an hour during shows.”

She seemed very content. But I had one question. Why did her body react the way it did when Mr. Akechi was slapping the floor?

“I made her get used to it. I trained her so that when she hears that sound, her body reacts the way it does. Just like Pavlov’s dog,” was Mr. Akechi’s answer. I wondered if that was really possible, but since I’d seen it for myself, I have to believe him. I hear about his other shows, and they don’t cease to surprise me.

Out of all the things I heard, the most impressive thing was how there was a model who flipped into a completely different personality when she was being tied (it turned out that she suffered from dissociative disorder). A lot of women visit Mr. Akechi’s salon Garashawith issues and questions, as well as requests to be tied up by Mr. Akechi. The aforementioned model was one of them. When Mr. Akechi shooed out the separate personality, the woman lost consciousness, and regained her main personality. It sounds unbelievable, but after seeing Mr. Akechi’s performance, I can be convinced that this may be true.

However, it isn’t only women that fall into that kind of state. Mr. Akechi himself tells me that he faces weird situations during shows.

“There are times when the rope runs and does its own thing. My hand is simply on the rope. I’m not there, and I’m just obeying the ropes orders. It’s a very strange sensation. I get sucked into it. It really feels like I’m giving every bit of my body and soul, my life, and my will to fight. I feel like I do what I do because I want to see how far I can go.”

This kind of situation happens about once a year or less. Perhaps it is something that only one who has reached the top of rope can experience. It would be amazing to be a part of the audience if that were to happen.

Lastly, since we are entering the new millennia, I asked Mr. Akechi about his goals and ambitions.

“I want to set up a project related to hojojutsu by the fall. By next year, I want to compile everything into a book, so I want to look for someone to study the art with me. Also, performances. I obviously want to continue performing domestically, but I have plans on performing overseas in the fall as well.”

Time is not a changing factor for Mr. Akechi’s passion towards performing.

 

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***

Kyojyo Yumeji Interview

That day, Ms. Kyojo Yumeji accompanied Mr. Akechi as his assistant. She is twenty-six years old, and it is her first time modelling for a photo-shoot. However, she has been Akechi’s show model numerous times, and there are times where she fills in for other models.

“It’s not rare for models to get their period, or get sick. In those cases, I fill in as a model. That happens a lot for performances (laughs). But I’ve never done a photo-shoot before, so I’m a little nervous.”

It’s been two years since her and Mr. Akechi first met.

“A girl I know modelled for Sensei (edit: She calls Mr. Akechi Sensei). And then I heard he was hosting a SM party. I asked her to let me tag along. I was a little interested in SM.”

At that first party she attended, she was mistaken as someone else’s slave and got whipped, hot wax dripped on her, and tied. She had not experienced any serious play before. It’s unbelievable that this was her first experience.

“The end of the century was coming close, so I figured I should experience SM for myself.”

She was interested in the world of SM, but not that serious.

The first time she was tied by Mr. Akechi was after the SM party. In her afterglow, she mentioned “I want to be suspended next time!” to which Mr. Akechi answered, “Do you want to get suspended now?” She ended up getting suspended then and there.

“Everything was happening so suddenly. Then, it turned out that I was going to appear in his ‘Phantom Show’! I was suspended, whipped, dripped with wax, I couldn’t believe how fast things were going.”

It was around the same time she started filling in for other models.

“I heard that there was going to be a performance at a theatre, so I went to help out backstage. But the model suddenly got sick, and I took her place. I’d only been tied by Sensei four times. And there were so many people in the audience. I had no idea what was going on. But Sensei went ahead and twirled me around, me suspended mid-air. My foot once hit the lights, and I was terrified. After that, I’ve been scared of being twirled around.”

This wasn’t the only time she had frightening experiences. There’s plenty more.

“Sensei uses daggers in his shows, but the other day that dagger scratched my throat, and it still hurts. And once when we were at a party, he found a pulley and said: ‘Let’s try hanging from the neck.’ So I got suspended from my neck. It was hard enough when I was on my toes, but he started suspending further. My body went off the ground! That was rough. I was breathing like I was having an asthmatic attack, and Sensei boasted: ‘This is how people breathe when they are about to die’, and showed me off. I was about to black out. I checked afterwards, and there were clear rope marks on my neck.”

Though she goes through such experiences, she does not leave Mr. Akechi’s side. In fact, she is currently his assistant, takes care of his scheduling, and plans his shows. How is this possible?

“No matter what happens, I feel safe when I’m with Sensei. When I’m feeling mentally vulnerable, he takes the time to listen to me. He treats me like a real human being, and not only a play partner. That makes me happy.”

I feel like her words answer any questions. Her trust and respect towards Mr. Akechi. Those emotions allow her to withstand the hardships of being his model. On top of that, she gets to feel another sense of emotion;

“Sensei’s way of tying is indeed, hard, but there’s a sense of ecstasy that overthrows it. When I’m playing with him, I feel like the way I do while having sex. Actually, it’s much deeper than what you can feel with your genitals.”

And to this day, she gets tied by Akechi Denki.

 

Notes by Bergborg

[1] The editor adds about Nozawa Na: ”A superstar of the erotic world, Nozawa Na has various nom de plumes, works also with erotic photography and directs indie videos.”

[2] Kyojo Yumeji (京城夢路) also appears for example in the akechi-photobook by Yoshiki Saitoh (se an earlier post on this blog here). There is a live-scene with Kyojo Yumeji and Akechi Denki in the DVD called 明智伝鬼の世界 8.

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Translated by Emi Kinako, commissioned and edited by Bergborg / KinbakuBooks

 

 

Kanna interview in Mania Club (2017)

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Last Fall, the magazine マニア倶楽部  [Mania Club] started a series of interviews with contemporary bakushi. In the September issue, there was a long one with Kanna. Accompanied by a series of photos of the ever beautiful Kagura in Kanna’s rope. Below, a glimpse. I am much looking forward to meeting Kanna & Kagura again – this time in Copenhagen at the Kinbaku Lounge.

 

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