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Bondage is term used to refer to the tying, binding, or restraining of a partner for erotic or aesthetic stimulation. In Japan, the art of bondage is referred to as Shibari or Kinbaku, and is used in the same way that stocks or manacles are used in a Western BDSM context to exert power over an individual by physically restraining them.
Japanese-style bondage is exemplified through the use of using the rope to form visually intricate patterns while binding an individual and has come to be considered a form of artistic expression; where-in the binder creates "sculptures" by shaping the human body through ropes.
The origin of Shibari comes from Hojo-jutsu; a martial art formed around the restraining of captives. From 1400 to 1700, while the local police and Samurai used Hojo-jutsu as a form of imprisonment and torture, the honour of the Samurai required that they treat their prisoners well. To this end, they developed different techniques within the martial art to tie their prisoners depending on the status of their captured prisoner.
In the late 1800′s and early 1900′s Hojo-justu evolved into a form of erotic discipline, called Kinbaku in Japan and Shibari in the west.
- In Japan, the term shibari describes the act of ‘decorative tying’ and encompasses everything from ribbons around presents, to purely aesthetic knot work that has no functionality. Shibari as a reference to rope bondage has developed in western circles.