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The origin & history of Shibari

Updated: May 20, 2023





Shibari, also known as Kinbaku, is an ancient Japanese art of bondage that involves tying intricate and beautiful knots on a person's body. While it is often associated with BDSM, the origins of Shibari date back centuries and were not necessarily sexual in nature.

The word Shibari comes from the Japanese word "shibaru," which means "to tie" or "to bind." The practice was first used in Japan during the Edo period (1603-1867) in prisons to restrain the prisoners. Later, Shibari evolved to an art form that was practiced by Samurai warriors and displayed in traditional Japanese theater. In the beginning of the 20th century, Shibari gained popularity in the underground scene of Japan as an erotic art form. Artists such as Ito Seiu, began to incorporate Shibari into their artwork connected to sexuality. Shibari then spread to the West during the mid-20th century through a photographer, who captured Shibari in an aesthetic way, where it gained popularity in the BDSM community. In the present day, Shibari is used for different purposes. While it has become a form of artistic expression that can be appreciated for its beauty and intricacy, it can be used in an erotic context or as a form of therapy to heal traumatic past experiences. Modern Shibari artists are inspired from traditional Japanese techniques, but also incorporate their own unique elements to create their own styles. For some, Shibari has also become a form of therapy, where practitioners use the practice to explore emotions, promote healing, and connect with others on a deeper level. The art has nowadays been recognized by the Japanese government as an important cultural heritage, as part of the Japanese history and culture. In conclusion, Shibari has a rich origin from centuries ago and has evolved from a means of restraint to an art form and can be used as a form of therapy. Its origins are deeply rooted in Japanese history as an important part of the country's cultural heritage. Shibari's journey from a means of restraint to an art form that promotes connection and healing is a testament to the power of artistic expression and the evolution of human culture.




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