The Oct 3, 2010 edition of the Masocast podcast has an absinthe-tinged interview with Dov, who talks about the history of rope and BDSM in general, including the development of Japanese rope bondage and the cross-pollination with American BDSM culture in the post-WWII era. It starts at about the 15:30 mark.
My interview with Dan & Dawn on the Erotic Awakening podcast is now up. The interview starts about 18 minutes in.
Graydancer’s Ropecast has another interview with Master K (starting about 24 minutes in), with some recently uncovered skinny on Nikkatsu, a Japanese film studio that, faced with financial difficulties in the 1970s, turned to big budget, high production value, softcore porn features. These “roman porn” movies were a contrast to the small budget, independently-made “pinku eiga” movies.
Many of these films were BDSM-themed, and Nikkatsu recruited pinku eiga star Naomi Tani, bringing her to a much bigger audience.
Graydancer’s Ropecast includes part one of an interview with Master K, who provides the most plausible account I’ve found so far of the history of Japanese bondage (shibari or kinbaku) and its relationship to the Western/American BDSM tradition. K says there was a cross-pollination between John Willie, of Bizarre fame, and the Japanese bondage subculture in the early 1950s, with Willie’s books being distributed in Japan (legally or by piracy?) and Willie having access to books and magazines from Japan. He also says the modern Japanese bondage culture grew out of several influences: kabuki theatre, the military tying technique of hojojutsu, the use of tying as a form of physical and psychosocial torture, the use of tying in many other aspects of Japanese culture, including religion. It makes more sense to me that it would come from multiple sources, and go through an evolution that parallels the Western sadomasochistic tradition.
When non-Japanese talk Japanese rope bondage, the discourse often revolves around issues of authenticity, and there’s a certain jockeying for status in who has the most access and understanding of the “real” thing, complicated by the distance, language barrier and general insularity of Japan. It’s hard to separate this from Orientalist discourse of the erotic, exotic Far East. Graydancer makes a point of sidestepping this issue by calling what he does “Japanese-style rope bondage”
Addendum: Part 2 of the Master K interview
Addendum: Now the complete Master K interview has been posted.