Gags, Porn and More on Akechi Denki
Update: I posted a new video at the end of this report.
I feel like I'm starting to become an expert on tenugui, i.e., Japanese hand towels. These things are generally in the range of 33cm by 90cm (or thereabouts) and are made of thin cotton and dyed to exhibit various patterns and designs.
I'm not going to go into the history of tenugui or the multitude of uses to which they may be put. Info is readily available online if you're so inclined. They seem to be quite popular with kendo players, though. For folks into SM and Japanese style rope bondage, you can't get more traditional than a tenugui with blue polka dots used as a gag.
These just happen to be my favorite, followed by the ones with red polka dots.
The prices of tenugui range from around 200 yen up to 2,000 yen and more.
Someone told me about a place in Asakusa where they sell the blue polka dot ones in bulk and, sure enough, I found the place and it's a good deal. Definitely the way to go if you need, oh, 10 meters of material for gags!
Why Asakusa? Well, first of all there are a lot of shops there that sell traditional Japanese items. A lot of it is cheap, touristy crap but I did find one place that had really nice blue and red polka dot tenugui for just 200 yen.
Also, Asakusa has the famous street that has a large collection of shops selling restaurant goods. That's where the tenugui in bulk can be found.
Oh, and it seems that Asakusa still has some movie theaters showing adult films. That's pretty hard to believe in this day and age. Even before the internet cafes came along, there were video rental shops where you could take the movies home or watch on the premises in a private, comfortable room with a leather reclining chair.
Speaking of Asakusa, Philippe and Claudie were visiting Tokyo recently for a couple of weeks taking rope courses and trying to find a leather kilt. I recommended Shinjuku 2-Chome but I'm not sure if they ever got over there. Somehow I don't think kilts are easy to find in Japan but then, I've never looked for one.
Anyway, they found a reasonable and comfortable hotel located in Asakusa and that's where we met up. We had lunch at a Chinese restaurant and then made our way to Akihabara. Lovely couple. You can find a video of Philippe performing bondage on TV in France at the end of this post.
Continuing my inquiries into the purveyors of porn in Tokyo, I finally made my way over to the palatial offices of DMM (Digital Media Mart) located in a modern skyscraper in Ebisu, just one station from Shibuya on the Yamanote line.
This place looked pretty awesome. As I walked into the reception area, there were three beautiful young ladies behind the counter dressed in matching white outfits. This is the kind of place where they stand up to greet visitors and bow while welcoming the guest, or in my case, the intruder. Impressive.
DMM is part of the Hokuto Corporation. In a previous post I believe I erroneously stated that Soft on Demand was the leading distributor of porn in Japan. Apparently that honor goes to Hokuto. But as far as I can tell, these companies are not exactly the same. It appears to me that Hokuto is just a distributor. They handle DVDs, online downloads and pay TV deals. SoD is similar but also is involved in producing their own stuff. At least they used to be.
Both organizations have affiliate companies that they represent for the distribution of their content. As an example, Shima Shikou used to be independent, then he hooked up with SoD for awhile before going back to being independent. Since his website went dark, however, I'm not sure what he's been up to.
I was fortunate to have met the late, great Akechi Denki once before he died. I guess it was in 2004 as he passed away about a year later. I was sitting next to him in that out-of-focus picture above (cut myself out to avoid frightening the kiddies).
I'm pissed the photo came out that way but since it's the only one I've got, I treasure it. I met him after he had performed at some huge SM/fetish event. I can't even remember the name anymore but I think it had the word "circus" in the title.
The weird thing is, as I recall, I learned of his death at this very same event a year later.
Now, there is a fellow who goes by the name NuitdeTokyo and every now and then he blows everyone away with an article over at the TokyoBound blog. Awhile ago he dug up a very old interview with Akechi Denki. More recently, he found an interview from about 10 years ago in the now-defunct SM Secret Club magazine. NdT translated the interview and I read it in amazement. There was so much that I had not known about Akechi Denki until I read this interview.
It really knocked my socks off. This is probably one of the most interesting pieces I've ever read on an SM personality. Highly recommended.
Dr. Phil on French TV
How to use tenugui
Video available at Sanwa