It's a Dirty Job But Somebody's Gotta Do It
Master K seems to have pulled off another coup.
Have you ever wondered who did the ropework for such Nikkatsu classics as Flower and Snake and Wife to Be Sacrificed? I had always just assumed it was a different guy each time. And since, compared to much of today's work, the technique appeared less sophisticated, I figured they just got whoever was handy at the time to apply the ropes.
A fellow by the name of Urato Hiroshi was the rigger according to Master K. And not just for the two most famous flicks mentioned above.
"The kinbaku devised for over 40 of the most famous Nikkatsu films was the product of one man -- the mysterious and reclusive Urato Hiroshi. It's taken years to find him but thanks to luck and persistence we managed to track him down for 6 hours of interview in order to present his remarkable story for the very first time."
Now, I am a little confused here. I'm not sure if this refers to information already contained in Master K's book, The Beauty of Kinbaku, or if this is something new (Ed. New info here. See comment). In any event, a series of short articles on the subject is appearing at the book's website. At the top you will see a section called Master K Files. Click on that and it will take you to the latest update.
In other news, Esinem is already planning the second London Festival of Japanese Bondage scheduled for April 2-5, 2010. Hit the link for all the particulars.
And while on the subject of Esinem, he got his 15 minutes awhile back when he was interviewed on Graydancer's RopeCast podcast.
Here are some links to Esinem's handiwork at Torture Garden in London in July. He performed with Maleficent Martini in an act featuring abduction, bondage and ... ballet.
I remember coming across this info on the internet years ago and not really giving it much thought. I think at the time I wasn't sure what I was looking at. It seems clearer now for some reason.
Apparently, a noise artist by the name of Akita Masami produced a couple of CDs way back when which were aimed at the bondage crowd. They are called Music for Bondage Performance I and II. Akita goes by the name Merzbow and seems to be quite well known in noise circles. He's been around for 30 years.
A friend who knows about these sorts of things told me he believed some of this music was used in one or more of the seppuku videos of Saotome Hiromi.
What's most interesting, and what confused me in the past, is that he wrote something on the history of SM in Japan. It appears that this was an insert for one or both of these CDs. It's fascinating reading.
From The History of SM in Japan:
"S&M Art has taken many forms in Japan and this relates directly to the history of Japan. One established genre of S&M art in Japan is what is known as the Joshu or female prisoners stuff. When we say "female prisoners" or "Joshu" stuff, we generally refer to those pictures of torture from the period between the battle of Onin (1467) throughout Sengoku and Edo periods to Meiji. Sengoku period is noted for its cruel methods of torture..."
"The actual act of torture and punishment is almost always carried out by the lower class officials. During the Edo period, when the social hierarchy was established, catching the criminals was the job assigned to the lower class officials such as Yoriki and Doshin. Meakashi and Okappiki who are frequently featured in today's period novels were private detectives, official status being "merchants", employed by Doshin."
I also found this very illuminating:
"So-called soft core S&M and S&M clubs today are the products of the second stream. It is obsessed with vagina, cunt and anus, women's private parts which were not regarded important in the traditional S&M art. In this new and popular form, "S&M" is just foreplay, downgraded to a mere entree to the main act of sexual intercourse. It is certainly not seen as pursuit of aesthetics. There is nothing wrong with physical intercourse, but S&M art is not a part of it. Popularised S&M is not the real thing because it does not thrive in the pursuit of the art of torture."
Some interesting stuff here. Anyone into noise and have these CDs? Not my cup of tea, I'm afraid, but I'd be tempted to pick these up just for the insert.
Tomorrow I'm off with some visitors from France to track down some real Japanese jute rope and gags, aka tenugui, which are basically Japanese hand towels, but the white ones with blue polka dots are often seen in photos being used as gags.