Blood Sport Meets Blade Runner
My friend and I did, indeed, make it over to Kabukicho on Monday evening to check out what was going on at Loft/Plus One. Neither one of us had detailed information on the event. The only thing we knew was that the celebrated Mira Kurumi would take the stage.
As I mentioned earlier, Mira Kurumi is one of the hardest practitioners of SM in Japan -- of those who ply their trade in public, at least. I used to consider Shima Shikou a hard player, and still do, but Kurumi makes even Shima look rather tame.
Hit the Read More link for further coverage and photos.
We met up a little early. A good meeting spot for a couple of perverts is the Taiyo Tosho video store on the east side of Shinjuku station. They've got an impressive collection of SM and fetish DVDs and magazines.
We browsed around there for awhile, killing time. I picked up a couple of mags. One was a bit of a disappointment as it turned out to be more of a how-to shibari manual although it did have a few good pics. As per usual, the magazines are shrink-wrapped so it's impossible to see the goods before buying. I have been to some shops where they had one issue out and unwrapped so you could actually take a peek at what was inside. No such luck this time.
Just for the hell of it, I picked up the January 2009 issue of S&M Sniper which was their final issue. Not that I necessarily expect it to increase in value over time. I just told my friend that if I couldn't have the first issue, well then, I'd at least have the last.
After this we got a bite at Pepper Lunch. Whenever this buddy and I get together we invariably end up at Pepper Lunch. It's a chain specializing in cheap steak served up fast on a sizzling plate. They get it to you so quickly that it's still pretty red on the inside. Fortunately, it keeps cooking there on the plate while you throw some sauce on it and turn it periodically with your chop sticks.
You won't get Matsuzaka beef at Pepper Lunch but then you're not paying Matsuzaka beef prices, either.
Time to head over to Loft/Plus One.
Left to right: Masters of Ceremony; Kotone; Mistress with needles
That picture at the top of this post was taken a few years ago. I took it standing almost directly in front of the building that houses Loft/Plus One.
Loft/Plus One is on the B2 level which I guess is the basement below the basement. Truly an underground club.
I don't know if the Loft/Plus One management actually hold their own events or if they just rent the place out. Maybe both. A lot of SM-related events are held there but they have other kinds of events as well. I've been there at least once before but probably more than that. I just remember the last time I was there I was working, shooting video. Shot the event and then just left.
This time we stayed pretty much till the bitter end. The doors opened at 6:30 and things got going sometime after 7 p.m. We finally left a little after 11.
Overall, I'd say I had a pretty good time. I think both my friend and I felt a little let down by the unfortunate absence of rope. That and the fact that Mira Kurumi didn't perform any SM this time around but, rather, put on a magic show. If you read my earlier post you know that Kurumi is the bondage magician. We would have liked to have seen some bondage mixed in with the magic.
According to my friend, these events take place on a monthly basis and they have the same crew, give or take, each time. He described it as a kind of "collective". It looks like these like-minded people get together and rent Loft/Plus One (which can't be cheap) and then divvy up the profits, assuming there are any.
A little pricey to get in: 6,000 yen which included one drink. Everything's relative. There are cheaper shows and there are a lot that are more expensive. So maybe not a bad deal.
Left to right: Mistress show with needles
They certainly have a lot of performers. I completely lost track of all the different acts that took place. I remember that the first act had a guy sticking needles through his girl's skin all over her back, front and arms. He then used some fishing line to package everything up neatly. This and a similar act put on by a mistress and her two female slaves reminded me of the film title, There Will Be Blood.
There was. Quite a bit of it.
There was a lot of comedy thrown in between the acts as incongruous as that may seem to some. Now, the Japanese language is hard enough for me to keep up with but Japanese humor (or humor in any language) is a real killer for someone who is learning that particular language. Fortunately, a lot of the funny stuff involved sight gags. I got a real kick out of the guy dressed in a Star Trek uniform doing sound effects with his microphone.
Both my friend and I were happy to see that Asagi Ageha seems also to be a member of this troupe and put on her popular aerial, SM-inspired acrobatic show. I say SM-inspired because she doesn't actually tie herself up as some specialists have been know to do over the years.
She has a couple of long lengths of fabric extending from overhead beams all the way down to the floor. At the top she has a couple of loops into which she places her ankles and hangs upside down wearing only gold short shorts and a white blouse. As she hangs and writhes to the music, she removes her top while remaining stretched out taut as momentum turns her slowly in a circle.
Left to right: Magical Mira Kurumi; Girl being stripped; Butoh dance; Mistress show
After this, she frees her ankles and wraps her feet around the fabric. Grabbing the material with her hands, she proceeds to contort her nearly naked body, glistening with perspiration, into a series of impossible positions. All of this takes place several feet off the ground.
In photos I have seen her go up even higher. Much higher. So high that it made me nervous. I told her this once but she just looked at me bemusedly.
Between acts, I went over to the guy who seemed to be in charge. I'm sorry I didn't get his name. He was dressed like a gypsy and was very cordial and accommodating. I asked about taking pictures for the blog. No problem. This came as a bit of a surprise. We worked out who would and wouldn't mind having his/her face showing in the pictures. It turned out that, with most performers, this wasn't a problem.
He even gave me a little "press pass" thingy I stuck on my jacket.
Jeez, if I had known it was going to be that easy, I'd have talked to him sooner. I missed a lot of good stuff, including Ageha's show.
I took the crappiest camera I had mainly because it fits easily into my pocket. The other good thing about this camera is that it's not an SLR so there's no shutter sound when I take a picture. The quality seems to be slightly better than an iPhone, which isn't saying much, but at least I was able to get some snaps. If I wind up going to this event again, I should do a much better job.
Regarding the pictures: that cute blondie in the bunny outfit wearing a slave collar is Kotone. And I forgot to mention that there was a birthday girl in the audience. Some nasty gals went over and grabbed her and dragged her to the front. Several of the performers, guys and girls, then tossed her into the air several times. Our birthday girl was wearing a dress, stockings and high heels.
After this I thought she was going to wind up in her birthday suit. They started to strip her in front of the audience but only got to the point of hiking her dress up to her bra and ripping down her pantyhose. Then they stuck a goofy doll down the front of her panties.
I think I'll be going to this event again.