This page is constantly being updated, so please keep checking back. The schedule is not cast in stone and might be subject to change. We will be throwing in a few surprises. Like kinbaku, the Festival is organic. However it turns out, you can be sure that this will be the best event yet. Unlike previous festivals where we have had on big show night, we will be spreading our top acts across all the evenings to make sure each is unmissable. You can see more about the participants on the Artists, presenters & contributors page. We were aware that previous years attracted a lot of complete beginners, so we have more workshops for them. Of course, there will be plenty for those who have moved beyond the basics and, with the level of talent present, even the most experienced will find a lot to discover. Those familiar with time-honoured Japanese tradition of learning, by ‘stealing knowledge’ through watching the masters at work, should leave with bulging pockets by just keeping their eyes open throughout the festival. I know every time I visit Japan for tuition I think I know something, but leave realising I know nothing. We are bring you that knowledge to your doorstep.
We welcome your ideas, so please add your proposals via a comment on the Suggestions page.
Important note: The gallery has two areas: the main area downstairs and the mezzanine, which has recently been extensively altered. The main area holds the largest capacity so will be allocated to the more popular workshops. The mezzanine has very limited space, so will be reserved for small groups. Some might be oversubscribed, so it will be a matter of ‘first come, first served’.
Friday 23, September
12:00 Kinoko Hajime’s master class: 2.5hr class. These will be limited to 6 couples so as to ensure individual attention and the subject matter will be tailored to any reasonable requests of the group. The cost will be £95 per couple ticket, click here to book. For advanced students, who must be able to tie a standard Kinoko/Osada Steve 2-rope takate-kote. Kinoko will be assisted by four of his Ichinawa-Kai teaching team; Shishiwaka, Umitsuki Kurage, Otonawa & Shigure. SOLD OUT.
15:30 Kinoko Hajime’s master class: As above. SOLD OUT.
18:00 Close: Doors re-open 19:00.
19:00 Opening Night: Shows by some of our top performers, plus a kinbaku inspired exhibition . There will be work on display from world-renowned artists and photographers.
21:00 till late: An all Japanese line up for the first time in the west! This is real as kinbaku gets. Performances by members of Ichinawa-kai: Yoi, Shigure and Bingo. Kazami Ranki, the ‘Atrocious Nawashi’, will be topping the bill.
Saturday, 24 September
Daytime: Workshops and presentations.
10:00 Doors open
10:30 Introductory Japanese bondage : A class for complete beginner’s and those who wish to learn the key building blocks of shibari by Esinem assisted by Hajime Kinoko and teachers from Ichinawa-kai (Shishiwaka, Umitsuki Kurage, Otonawa & Shigure), so you can be sure of authentic Japanese style.
13:00 Performance by Nawashi Murakawa: A show by our own local veteran of the art. You can expect inimitable style and a visual feast. While he appears to break every rule in the book, there is something very Japanese and an undefinable ‘just rightness‘ about his work . What I believe might be called, more concisely, ‘kazushi’.
14:00 Introductory Japanese bondage : The class continues as we develop the variations on the basic ties and, most importantly, learn how to apply them for maximum effect.
10:30 Yin yoga:Victoria Birch presents a more passive form of yoga as opposed to the dynamic more yang styles of yoga popular today. The poses are fewer and held for longer periods of time, allowing for greater joint mobility, flexibility and safe gentle stretching of connective tissue. Its inherently more spiritual qualities are reflective, meditative and one of mindfulness… being in the present moment. The qualities are indispensable for a submissive in any type of bondage situation.
12:15 Rope & tension: WykD_Dave explains the importance of tension and its nuances in the language of rope. Without correct tension, the rope can never become an “extension of your hands” and “a tool of communication” as so many great rope masters have expressed it.
14:00 Nerve injury: Esinem will discuss the findings of his extensive investigation into this minefield, often mentioned in tutorials but rarely in any depth. It is essential information for anyone wishing to minimise this all too common injury.
14:45 Hojojutsu: StrangeLove from Baden-Württemberg, Germany, who has been study martial arts for well over a decade, will be exploring the antecedent of shibari, hojojutsu. He will explain a little of the history and move on to teaching some basic ties. Due to the hands-on nature of this class, numbers will be strictly limited to ensure personal supervision.
17:00 Speed bondage: Zamil will show you how to become the fastest rigger in the west by tying slicker and smarter.
18:00 Close: Doors re-open 19:00.
19:00 Doors open: The art exhibition, kinbaku shows, socialising and bondage space.
21:00 till late: After knocking us out with his amazing shows last year at LFAJRB and Torture Garden, Kinoko Hajime is back to top the bill! The supporting acts will be the cream of the European crop: Will Hunt (UK), Pedro (Portugal), Wykd_Dave (UK) and Max & Tina (Denmark).
Sunday 25, September
Daytime: Workshops and presentations.
12:00 Nawa-aikdo: The Way of Harmonious Loving Energy with Rope. “Nawa” – Rope “Ai” – Love “Ki” – Harmony / Center of Energy “do” – the way. In this class participants will discover some of the cultural and aesthetic differences between east and west that help define what makes Japanese rope, Japanese rope. Finding that deep energetic connection that activates the body’s natural inner pleasure centres is the objective of this class; as well as moving them with your rope for mutual fun and pleasure. We will discuss rope scenes as a sacred space in terms of “energy” and not simply skilled rigging or roles played. For many visual aesthetics are the main focus with their Shibari. Here we will deal with uniquely Japanese cultural themes such as “Wabi Sabi” (beauty in simplicity and embracing the rust of time). The class will come away with much more than visual aesthetics as we explore all the senses; sensual, auditory, smell and taste. Participants will also take what Tatu refers to as the “blind tour”. Understanding the body, the flow of energies, and other approaches used in creating a connection between the Rope Artist and Model is fundamental to the goal of harmonious pleasure with rope. Techniques and concepts such as: scene setting, tradition, ritual activities, simultaneous breathing, and meditation will be explored and experienced in this class. All are shared from a Japanese cultural perspective, discovering various concepts such as “Kami” (the spirit that resides in all things), “Shime-nawa” (spirit that inhabits the rope), “Ichi-e, Ichi-go” (Being in the moment) and “wa” culture of being in harmony with self with others.
Requisite Skills: None Level:
Beginner Presentation Type: Hands On / Experiential
What to Bring: Open mind and hearts, a blindfold & 2 – 25ft lengths of hemp or jute rope.
12:00 Connecting with rope: Continuing in the theme, Peter Slemrian gives his perspective on using rope as a tool of communication.
13:00 Performance by Peter Slemrian: Peter puts ‘Connecting with rope’ into practice.
14:30 Bondage for sex: Time to get practical! What it says in the can: Some ideas on how to tie safely, effectively and innovatively for ‘access all areas’.
16:00 Ichinawa technique: Ichinawa can be translated as ‘one/single rope’, i.e. a bondage session conducted with a single rope. I learned this expression from Osada Steve and first witnessed it at Studio 6. I was amazed at what effect he could achieve with only one piece of rope. This is a case where less is more. This will make you think again about just adding another rope. Do it right and your partner will be away with the fairies without a mile of rope.
18:00 Close: Doors re-open
19:00 Shows, socialising and tying.
21:00 till late: All change! A major re-shuffle means that the European night is no longer on Sunday, now east meets west. From Tokyo’s Ichinawa-kai group, we have Otonawa, Umitsuki-Kurage and Shishinawa and, from closer to home, Esinem (UK) and Zamil (Germany).
Monday 26, September
12:00 Peer Rope International: Ichinawa-kai will be running an informal peer rope workshop Japanese style. This will be a great chance to get advice, get hands on help and watch others tie as there will be experts from Ichinawa-kai and from all over the world. Whatever, your skill level there will be something to learn and you can get that burning question answered straight from the horses mouth. Of course, there will be plenty of chances to meet the faces behind the on-line avatars and make new friends.
1:00 Lunch break
14:00 Peer Rope International: Continued
17:00 Salon of kinbaku: Nawashi Murakawa’s life drawing class where you can sketch as the master creates traditionally themed shibari tableux. All materials supplied.
??:?? Movie theatre: At various times throughout the day, a variety of kinbaku related videos and short films including:
12:00 Bondage-à-porter: Nawashi Murakawa shows how bondage techniques can be used to make and inspire wearable items.
14:00 Kazami Ranki’s master class: 2.5hr class. These will be limited to 6 couples so as to ensure individual attention and the subject matter will be tailored to any reasonable requests of the group. The cost will be £85 per couple ticket, booking to commence shortly. For advanced students, who must be able to tie a standard Kinoko/Osada Steve 2-rope takate-kote.
17:00 Salon of kinbaku: Nawashi Murakawa’s life drawing class featuring beautifully tied, kimono clad, models in a classic setting for you to sketch. All materials supplied.
20:00-23:00 Grand closing buffet and dinner: To mark the end of the festival this year, we are planning a unique night of traditional Japanese cuisine, interspersed with several artistic kinbaku performances from Kazami Ranki, Esinem and Murakawa. The restaurant is in the heart of London’s Soho, and the food is both authentic and beautifully presented. Ukai are sympathetic to the festival’s cause, and are granting us the sole use of the whole of the upstairs, appropriately named the Kinbaku Room. It is elegant, modern and luxurious, and very chic with massive poster prints of some of Esinem’s work. This extra event to the festival will cost £15 per head, excluding drinks, for the buffet menu, with a maximum of 60 persons. Booking to commence shortly