I should start off this review with a disclaimer.  For the past year I have been studying with Master "K" on a regular basis and am one of his more serious students in the study of kinbaku.  That said, I also would add that "The Beauty of Kinbaku" holds a special place in my heart because it was this book (along with a recommendation from Osada Steve) that send me searching for Master "K" and ultimately led me to be his student.

If I were to summarize this work, I would say that Master "K" has written the seminal volume on the history of Japanese rope bondage.

 

It is refreshing to know that I am not alone in this opinion, as pretty much every major figure in Japan has weighed in to review this book and each has offered extraordinary praise.  Comments from Nureki Chimuo, Yukimura Haruki, Arisue Go, and Naka Akira (among others) all attest to the importance of this work as a milestone in the study, history, and appreciation of kinbaku.

It is no surprise, then, to find that in 2011, The Beauty of Kinbaku will be translated into Japanese, a rare honor, especially for a Westerner to have his analysis of a quintessentially Japanese art form taken as the standard text on the subject.

The book does an amazing job of tracing the many and multiple sources and inspirations of kinbaku through the history of Japanese culture, touching especially on the influence of rope on Japanese culture and the pathways by which it was eroticized, becoming what we know today as kinbaku.  While that history is essential to understanding the origins of kinbaku, what Master "K" interweaves into the text so beautifully is the Japanese cultural sensibility that makes Japanese bondage distinctive.  It is more than simple technique of patterns.  Kinbaku, in many ways, tells the story of the history of Japanese culture.

For Master "K," kinbaku is as much an aesthetic of restraint as it is a set of techniques, patterns or methods.  One cannot separate the art, history, philosophy, and culture from the act of tying and this book makes a compelling case as to why that is true.

One can only marvel at the dedication, scholarship, and effort that went into producing this work.  It has set the standard for all future books on the topic and will undoubtedly be the key reference on kinbaku for many years to come.

 

 



Grabado: 2010-06-22 02:00:00

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