More RopeMarks on Dutch national tv.

Posted on April 28 2006 by Bob

Is it possible that our Dutch national TV network is picking up on our oh so beloved shibari? We have been approached by the people of the Dutch TV program "Bizar & Bijzonder" (Bizar and Extraordinary) if we are interested in participating. We had some e-mail exchange, watched a few episodes and had a real/live meeting about the subject. We decided to participate. Today we are being filmed and it should air in about 2 weeks. When we know more we'll post it here.

Absolute Kink, 2006

Posted on April 24 2006 by Bob

We're feeling very much alive at the moment but also very alien from our own body. On april 19nd we arrived in Amsterdam again after three wonderfull weeks in Japan. We already knew our return to Amsterdam would not allow us some rest and gently easing back in the rush of our Dutch lives. We have been booked for every day, except one, on the new Dutch party "Absolute Kink" (five days of fetish decandence in Amsterdam).

Since our jetlagged bodies did not respond to our normal brainwave pattern we decided to go to the "Meet & Greet Cocktailparty" and meet with the international jetset that we knew was gracing us this weekend during Absolute Kink. This turned out to be a very nice evening, great location, relaxing music and a great public. We stayed way longer than we originally intended and had a great meet with Danny herself and Robert, Ian Rath (a very cool dude! :), Peter, Kumi Monster, Ancilla Tilia, Maria Shadoes (who we got to play with) and many more.

The 2nd day of Absolute Kink was reserved for the Guilty as Sin party, we were booked for a main stage shibari show and an "ambience performance", the first I don't need to explain, the second simple means "do what you like for hours in a relaxing atmosphere, just make sure you keep on tying". We had fun during our main stage performance and my fingers still hurt from the ambience performance :). Besides Chantal we had some fun with Ancilla and Miss Suzn. This night we also got to meet with Eden Wells (Ian's wife). The party itself had a great atmosphere, good music and very friendly fetish-minded people.

The 3rd day of Absolute Kink we skipped, although we had free entrance to all that was going on we felt really tired and thought it best to get to bed early and give our jetlagged bodies some well deserved rest at proper Dutch times.

The 4th day we had two bookings, one for the "Japanese Bondage brunch" and the other for "Verboten" the party of that evening. The brunch was a very exciting, all afternoon tying action and workshops event. We should have more of those in Amsterdam. The Verboten party we did a show together with Kumi. As with all parties and events of Absolute Kink we attended the Verboten party was a very pleasant place to be, real fetish people, real BDSM people and (more in our line) real bondage people.

For us Absolute Kink is over, now we are tired! And I have not even started talking about the AFFF that is going on this week in Amsterdam... that I'm missing completely for the first time in 22 years.

The last days in Japan

Posted on April 18 2006 by Bob

Our final days in Japan (for this year!). We have been doing some shopping in a Kitty-chan store, the Ginza area, the Sony-building (ooooohhh... the goodies :), the Shibuya, Harajuku and Shinjuku area. Tokyo is a world-city and we love it! :)

Also in our last days we had a dinner with Kabuki Joe, a great American guy that moved to Tokyo is in the shibari-scene and produces his own video's.

Bob, Kabuki Joe

We -had- to blur Kabuki Joe, we understand all to well that you, our visitor, can only handle so much perversion... :)

Goodbye Japan, see you next year!

Sanwa publishing Interview and Miura Takumi

Posted on April 17 2006 by Bob

April 16, our 17nd day in Japan

Today is expected to be yet another interesting day for us. Today we have an interview scheduled with Yamaga Shizuka of Sanwa Publishing. Sanwa is a very big name in Japan and probably known around the world for their, approximatly, A6-sized books with beautiful pictures of Japanese models in all sort of bound and contorted positions :). As it turns out Yamaga-san happens to be quite high in the corporate hierarchy of Sanwa. She has hired Kanno Kei a professional photographer that has worked with the greats in the shibari-world, like Akechi Denki. We got to see some of Kei-san's work and where really impressed, his pictures are clear, beautiful and full of energy (and then I'm not even talking about all the exotic bondage poses that where actually on the pictures) it was all very impressive.

The interview itself went very pleasant, Yamaga-san (and Kei-san) besides their professional interest also showed an honest personal interest in us and the European bondage scene. A nice extra for us was that during the interview Miura Takumi "crashed" the interview to grace us with his presence. After the interview we where asked to do a short performance so they could actually see what we do and to take pictures for the article (the interview was held in the studio of Kei-san, Studio Kei). The demonstration went very smooth and the responses where very positive.

Miuara-san, Chantal, BobAfter the demo we talked some more with Yamaga-san, Kei-san and Miura-san before we all decided to go out and get something to eat and drink. The Japanese "crew" decided on a traditional Japanese "pub" where we got a private room, perfect service, great food, tastfull drinks (sake and beer) and the conversations became even more "informal" than they already where :)

From left to right Miura-san, Kei-san, Yamaga-san, Alice-san, Chantal, Bob

the group

This was yet another great day in Tokyo, Japan for us to remember.

(more pictures will be published when we have them)

I would like to add one very big "thank you" to one person in particular, Alice. During our time in Tokyo she has been so kind to act as our interpreter during our meets with people like Arisue Go, S-san and this entire interview. She has also been a great help in actually being able to meet these people and has completly setup this interview. Without her "connecting" with the Japanese shibari people would have been next to impossible due to the language barrier.

Studio Six, Jail Tokyo

Posted on April 16 2006 by Bob

April 15, Our 16nd day in Japan

Stress... Getting up at 07:00 in Ohara, packing suitcases, having Japanese breakfast (fish and miso-soup!). Calling taxi to bring us to subway, taking subway to Kyoto station. Just in time to hop on the shinkansen to Tokyo. Trying to get some sleep in the shinkansen (not!). 3 hours later in Tokyo, looking for the right exit, finding a taxi. Trying to tell the driver where to go (Japanese address thing again). Check in the hotel, unpack what we need, shower, pack Nawa and goodies, back to the Tokyo subway to Ikebekuro, Osada Steve's Studio Six. At Ikebekuro finding the right exit, finding the right address, finding the right floor, getting in the elevator and.... made it on time with minutes to spare but very tired.

RopeMarks@StudioSixThis evening we where announced as a feature in Studio Six and did a few very nice things during the 4 hours that this evening lasted. Ofcourse we got see a few very nice things from nawashi Osada Steve.

After the Studio Six evening we got a short tour in the Roppongi area of Tokyo, giving us a completly new view on Tokyo (it is said that "Amsterdam has it", well for us "Tokyo has it"). We ended in one of the two Jail Tokyo's (Tokyo Jail, Roppongi Jail), met a few very nice people again and eventually did a short demo/show there. We left Jail Tokyo at around 03:00 at night, having been up for almost 20 hours we felt it was time to go back to the hotel. We left Steve at the Jail, playing with his new toy :)

(update: One pictures added, the rest will be added to the club)

Ohara

Posted on April 16 2006 by Bob
April 14, our 15nd day in Japan

bedtime in OharanosatoYesterday we traded Kyoto for one of the rural area's of Kyoto, Ohara. Here we are staying for a few days in ryokan Oharanosato, a traditional Japanese guesthouse. Currently we are living in a tatami room, sleep on futon's, eat Japanese breakfast, lunch and dinner and are just enjoying the rest and quit of the area without big-city-distractions. Live is good :)

Traditional sessionSession with a RopeMarks twistOh... we can not handle to much rest, so...

With did two series while in Ohara, one with a traditional idea behind the series. Kimono, nawa, tatami room, tea, the works. The second serie is with a twist that imo does not really fit in the setting and thus makes it very... "interesting".

The rest of these series will follow soon.
(update: the photo's and video will be published in our club)

Kitty-chan love

Posted on April 16 2006 by Bob
April 12, our 13nd day in Japan

Chantal in Kitty-chan roomSuccess!!! We left Kyoto for Osaka again, went to the love hotel, got recognized by the people working there and as we hoped the Hello Kitty room was reserved for us. More pictures and video will soon follow :)

Love hotel AdonisFor future reference, directions to "hotel Adonis"

  1. Exit at station Uehommachi.
  2. Look around and see if you can see KFC (should be on your right) and the Miyako hotel (should be behind you on the other side of the Sennichimae dori).
  3. Go stand with your back to the Miyako hotel and the KFC to your right.
  4. Walk in the big street (NOT the Sennichimae dori).
  5. Go right the second street.
  6. The second block in the middle is where you find hotel Adonis.

Ofcourse the name is not written in english, or the roman alphabet. For the name in Japanese see the image.

(update: The photo's and video's will be processed and published on our club)

Frustration

Posted on April 16 2006 by Bob

Rain, rain, rain... luckily we planned to do inside activity. We packed a bag with nawa-goodies, took our umbrella's went bravely through the rain to Kyoto station to hop on the shinkansen to Osaka. Osaka has not much to offer for a tourist, it is the business center of Japan, however we found a very good reason to visit Osaka and experience a Japanese fenomenon in our own style; a love hotel with a Kitty-chan SM-room :)

So... we arrived in Osaka, spent an hour to figure out how to use the public transport to come as close as possible to the hotel, decided on the subway. Exited at the destination station and went into the rain in search for the hotel. We walked north, south, west and east, one block, two blocks, three blocks. We asked a number of people, each pointed in a different direction. We found two maps and each map designated north in a different direction!!! (note to self: bring kompass) Completely soaked, the bag with nawa-goodies weighing a ton we stopped for a meal that would be easy to order, KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicked). In a moment of clarity we asked the girl serving us if she knew where the address of the hotel was. She walked in the back and came back with a book I now think of as my personal bible when in Osaka (unfortunatly I was not allowed to take it with me :). The book had all the addresses of Osaka (or at least that particular neighborhood) neatly drawn and written down.

After the KFC-junk-food-stop we walked to the hotel in less than 5 minutes (oh, happy day!). Went in, found the Hello Kitty room and... it was taken... We talked to the people who worked there to ask at what time the room would be available again... Sounds easy... assuming I would speak Japanese or these people English... Not one word from either site... I will not bug you with the conversation, it was very tiring but we hopefully succeeded to reserve the room for tomorrow. To be continued...

Johnnie Hillwalker

Posted on April 16 2006 by Bob

Mr.Hajime HirookaThe wheather is s*ck! It's raining and the forecast is not looking positive. Luckily for tommorow we have some things planned that take place inside (in Osaka, not Kyoto). However, it is not tommorow yet, it is today... Monday april 10, 11nd day in Japan, fourth day in Kyoto. Totally against our normal way of "doing" vacation we have planned to participate in a group-activity, a guided walk through parts of Kyoto. Actually, a guided walk through parts of Kyoto that would be very difficult to see or do if you do not speak the language (at all!); which would explain our reason for taking this walk. Our guide is Mr. Hajime Hirooka (a.k.a. Johnnie Hillwalker!!!). During the walk it is clear that Mr. Hajime is a walking encyclopedia for Kyoto, a city he obviously loves very much, especially the "old days". Mr.guide, his walk, his information and the parts of Kyoto (outside and inside) he took us are wonderfull, it would be even better if it wouldn't have rained...

Tokugawa Ieyasu

Posted on April 16 2006 by Bob
April 9, our tenth day in Japan
 
Nijo-joOur third day in Kyoto. No nawa-news, we purposly did not schedule any rope-related activities during our stay in Kyoto. We did not want to turn this vacation into a "work"-vacation. Today a visit to Kinkaju-ji, the famed golden temple and the Nijo-jo, the first official residence of the first Tokugawa shogun, Ieyasu.
Kinkaju-ji
 

Kyoto

Posted on April 16 2006 by Bob
April 8, our ninth day in Japan
 

fushimi-inari-taishaKyoto goshoKyoto; new city, new subway and railway, new challenges... Let's not bore you with the fact that everything in Japan takes longer than you would expect... especially if you lack a good map... But, short and sweet, we visited fushimi-inari-taisha, home of hundreds of orange/red torii lined up on a path of about 4km in length and we took a stroll in and around Kyoto gosho, the imperial palace.

Miyamoto-san

Posted on April 16 2006 by Bob
April 7, our eight day in Japan

Still all tired from the day before, we had to get up way to early to leave Nagoya and go to Kyoto. Kureha-san came to visit the hotel and say goodbye one more time. We took a taxi to Nagoya station to hop on the shinkansen again. Everything in Japan takes longer than you would expect, so we planned the trip to the station to take longer that it did; we arrived at Nagoya station at least 45 minuted early.

Waiting on our shinkansen we experienced the most heart warming experience in Japan yet. Kureha's friend, Miyamoto, who has been with us all three days in Nagoya, driving us around, explaining Japan and its weird ways, works from 4 in the morning to 3 in the afternoon on the Nagoya fish-market. Our shinkansen was scheduled to leave at 12:07PM, fiveteen minutes before the shinkansen arrived Miyamoto dressed in his work clothes, sweating very much has took time off to RUN to the station, RUN all over the place to find us (Nagoya station is big) to say goodbye one last time and to offer some tips for our visit to Kyoto (where he is originally from). When we finally got on the shinkansen and left, Miyamoto kept waving us goodbye at least until we where unable to see him anymore.

Miyamoto-sanDo know that Japanese in general don't express their "honne" (true feelings), that work is VERY important to them and Miyamoto-san does not speak English (translation was done over the phone with the help of Kureha-san and our handy "point-and-speak" book). To us Miyamoto looks and acts as we think Japanese do. With this in mind the experience
of Miyamoto-san coming to say goodbye is very special and heart-warming!

The picture of Miyamoto-san waving was taken through the shinkansen window on the always busy Nagoya station.

Bar "R", Nagoya, Japan.

Posted on April 16 2006 by Bob
April 6, our seventh day in Japan

Vodafone?Atsuta JinguToday is the day of our first officially scheduled, announced and promoted show (read: we got payed for this one!) in Bar "R", Nagoya, Japan. We decided to take it slow today since it was going to be a long day, especially a long evening. We visited our first gothic/lolita shop "metamorfose", took a ride on a big ferris wheel that was mounted on the side of a building(!) and got a great view over Nagoya. In the afternoon we met with Kureha-san and Miyamoto-san to visit the Atsuta Jingu (temple) where we got a crash course in proper behaviour (cleaning-up, praying, etc.).

Now, on to the reason you visit RopeMarks; bondage, shibari, kinbaku! After packing our nawa we're off to bar "R", we exchanged pleasantries with Rei-san (the Mama-san of bar "R") and got 2 beautiful pieces of nawa and one of my favorite candles. We where officially introduced to the staff and a few customers that have a special relation with Mama-san or Kureha-san. Mama-san arranged for a professional photographer, Hideaki Kimura, to take the photo's off our show. Hideaki Kimura apparently traveled around the globe and enjoys a fair share of fame.

When the bar was stuffed with visitors we could begin our show. I think we where we a good 60 minutes on stage doing our thing. We enjoyed our show very much and judging from the reactions afterwards (keeping "honne" in mind) I think the visitors also had a great time.

Kureha-san, ChantalAfter the show we enjoy ourselves with some off the staff and visitors that where very intersted in shibari... my opinion, they where very interested in shibari by a gaijin :)

When it was time to leave pleasantries where exchanged and Mama-san accompanied us all the way to the street. Which, as we understood, is special. Usually mama-san only guides people to the elevator (bar "R" is on the eight floor) and returns.



When we have the photo's from Hideaki we will post some here.
(update: the photo's if Hideaki-san can be found on our show's page).

Nagoya-jo

Posted on April 06 2006 by Bob

Chantal. Kureha-san, Miyamoto-sanKureha-san, ChantalOur sixed day (april 5), no nawa-news just a quick update on playing silly gaijin in Nagoya. Today Kureha-san took us to visit Nagoya-jo. A beautifull castle that was build by Tokugawa Ieyasu for his ninth son. Much of the castle was destroyed during WWII and replaced in 1959.

There is a teahouse on the castle ground that is really nice to see during the sakura season. Which is now :) Our trip to Japan was purposly planned during this period to be able to watch the sakura.

Kureha-san taking picture of the food... or of me taking a picture of the foodOur dinner was fully arranged in a wonderfull traditional Japanese restaurant called "shimonoishiki", selected by our honorable host. Eating in Japan is highly social event and the dish is presented as a work of art. Takeing pictures of the food is a very common activity in Japan. Here is a shot of one of our dishes.

Mistresses Kureha-san, Hibiki-san, Rei-san

Posted on April 05 2006 by Bob

ShinkansenFuji-sanOn our fifth day (april 4) we took the shinkansen (bullit train) and left Tokyo to go to Nagoya for a few days. This vacation we had not planned a trip to Fuji-san but got a view from the shinkansen anyway.

On Nagoya station we got picked up by our friend, Kureha-san, and we went to her place of work where we talked, drank tea (sakura-tea and green-tea) and watched a Akechi Denki DVD. Kureha-san works together with Mistress Hibiki who we also got to meet. Together we went for a afternoon snack before Hibiki-san left us.

Mistresses Kureha and Hibiki

In the evening we where invited to the sushi restaurant of Masa-san.

Bob, Masa-san, Chantal

Kureha, Miyamoto, Bob's armAfter the restaurant, a well amount of sake further, a Japanese tea-cup and a number of Masa-san's chopsticks richer, we headed of to bar "R" to meet "Rei" the Mama-san there.

Now, when I write this, I can tell for sure the quality of last nights sake must have been very good... I still feel a bit whoozy :)

Hanami

Posted on April 05 2006 by Bob

Sakura Imperial Palace view AkihabaraWe have been spending our fourth day in Japan (april 3) being real tourists. We went to visit the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. After that we went to Ueno park for some hanami (sakura, cherry blossom, viewing) and finally visited Akihabara, Tokyo's "electric city" - or as we like to call it, "madhouse"! :)

Kinbaku lesson in Akechi ryu by Mr. S.

Posted on April 03 2006 by Bob

Mr.S., Chantal, BobOur third day in Japan (April 2, 2006) was a very special day for me. I have been admiring the work of nawashi Akechi Denki ever since I saw the first images of his work. His work radiates tradition, beauty and suffering; all the things that attract me to kinbaku. Unfortunately the master passed away last year (see previous entries in this blog) and his work, his secrets can no longer be learned from him.

The man that has been by the side of Akechi Denki for over 20 years, that dedicated his life to the master (and is obviously, I now know, still not over this loss) is trying to carry on the master's style through lessons. Lessons mainly thought to Japanese people; this makes me feel even more privelidged to have had this opportunity to study kinbaku in Akechi ryu.

The picture shows Mr.S., Chantal and Bob.

Osada Steve at Studio Six

Posted on April 02 2006 by Bob

konichi wa!

The evening of our second day in Tokyo, Japan was spent in the presence of the honorable Osada Steve at his "Studio Six". Before we left our hotel room to get lost finding Studio Six we called for some last minute directions (addresses in Japan are a different story completely!). The Master himself offered to pick us up from the train station; a gesture we greatly appreciated and accepted.

The evening started with a beautiful agura/ebi shibari from the master. After this first bondage the master unexpectatly invited us to show our thing in his studio, for his audience. We accepted the invitation and did some groundwork.

RopeMarks@Studio Six

Then the master continued with a elaborated bondage and a few tsuri's. Then again he invited us to do our "thing"; really surprised (but very much honored) by this we accepted and performed some shibairobics :). After which the master did his beautiful kinbaku again. Actually 3 more times. The entire evening lasted a little less then four hours and was one wonderfull experience.

Bob, Osada Steve

The picture shows me on the left and Osada Steve on the right.

Arisue Go in club Shangri La

Posted on April 01 2006 by Bob

When I write this we are halfway into our second day in Japan. On our first day having skipped one night of sleep, absolutely and totally exhausted we decided it would be best to not give in to being tired and went to see a show of Arisue Go in club Shangri La. The trains and subway are relatively easy to use, actually finding the right exit of a station is another challenge. But none of this compares to finding an address in Japan... Eventually we got picked up by someone from the club... stupid gaijin must have been their primary thoughts :)

Before the show we met with Arisue and "his gang", exchanged some mandatory pleasanteries and we took our seats to watch his show (actually 4 shows, lasting a total of about an hour, if not more). After his show the club turned into a "shibari wild west", guest were offered the chance to get tied up, visitors could tie up visitors, etc. Very funny to see this happening.

Before the shibari wild west started Arisue invited us to show him "our thing" and, after some discussion with Chantal (remember we were VERY tired) we passed the "DJ" our CD and did some bondage on stage... our first show in Japan.

Arisue Go, Bob and Chantal

The picture shows Arisue Go on the left (duh:), Bob (me) in the middle and Chantal on the right (looking lovely as ever!)