Last friday, at the shoot with MyWifeBound, my friend K introduced me to his new photographer friend as "Graydancer, the Shibari Master." I almost jumped down his throat.
"Please, please, please never call me a Shibari Master," I said, quite seriously. "I’m a rigger. I’m an artist. But I don’t do shibari–I just do rope."
Seriously. I did, to my shame, call myself a nawashi for my very first rope performance. I will even teach Japanese-inspired (or "based") bondage techniques. But I don’t know shibari, nor would I ever claim to have achieved "kinbaku". And why? Well, because of this particular statement by Osada Steve:
What I donâ€™t appreciate are people who classify their ties as Shibari, when in fact their ties are reverse-engineered Japanese-inspired bondages. In my book, someone who has never been to Japan, someone who has never directly studied under any genuine Japanese Shibari practitioner (read: someone with a traceable lineage to one of the Shibari dynasties in Japan), someone who takes his knowledge from a picture on the Internet, or from watching a Japanese SM porn video, or from having attended a workshop that was mislabeled as a Shibari lecture, would be better off not making a fool of himself. Such a person should better describe his bondage in English words, perhaps as Japanese-inspired bondage, with emphasis on inspired…When you read discussions about whether a Korean could make a decent burrito with rice instead of wheat, and whether you could then still call it a Mexican burrito and if you could, then THEREFORE you too (and your cousinâ€™s neighbor) have the right to call your bondage Shibari, you know what direction Shibari is taking in the West.