Shibari glossary

Posted on Tue, 26 November 2013

This section will constantly be updated as I come across new words and get better translations. I welcome input from those better qualified.

I would caution about throwing around Japanese words without checking with a Japanese national or other suitably qualified person as to the exact meaning and usage. It is all to easy to look an idiot, at best, or, worse, cause offence by inappropriate use. For example, see this post about the expression 'M-jo'. However, sometimes it is useful, more precise or more convenient to use a Japanese term but one should take care not to overuse these terms as this can become unhelpful and make the subject unnecessarily elitist.

I received a very earnest and well-intentioned email not long ago from a rigger enquiring of the correct name to use for his partner. I think he expected me to come up with some exotic and esoteric term but my response was "What's wrong with the name her parents gave her?" :-) Let's keep it real!

• Agura: A less severe tie similar to an ebi.
• Aomuke shibari - face up suspension.
• Asanawa: Literally, hemp (asa) nawa (rope). Hemp is used here to describe a type of fibre, not a specific plant. Typically, it is jute.[private]

• Bayu: A traditional rope treatment product made from horse fat.
• Bakushi: Contraction of 'kinbakushi'. Popularised by the eponymous documentary.

• Deshi: Student.
• Dorei: Slave.

• Ebi: The "shrimp" tie.
• Ebi-tsuri: The "shrimp" tie suspension.

• Fumo-tsuri: Suspension by one crooked leg.

• Hishi: A tie using diamond shapes. When done as a full body tie, it is sometimes also called hishi-kikkou. The hishi has been popularized by manga, or cartoon, art.
• Hashi:Chopstick.

• Karada: Japanese word for body. Used in Western terminology to mean body harness or a "rope dress".
• Kataashi tsuri: One-legged suspension.
• Kazushi: Messy style, the jazz equivalent in rope.
• Kannuki: Cinches, e.g. on the front of the wraps on a takate kote.
• Kikkou: A body tie that ends with a tortoise shell design in the front upper torso.
• Kinbaku: Literally tight binding. Generally, only understood as bondage within SM/rope community.
• Kinbakushi: -shi donotes a trade/profession, like -or, -er or -ist in English, e.g. professor, winemaker. Thus, kinbakushi is used to describe a kinbaku artist of professional level.

• M-jo: Masochist/bottom/sub.

• Newaza: Floor work. Word borrowed from martial arts.
• Nawa: Rope.
• Nawa yoi: Literally 'rope drunk'. Sub-spaced.
• Nawashi: -shi donotes a trade/profession, like -or, -er or -ist in English, e.g. professor, winemaker. Thus, nawashi is used to describe a rigger of professional level but could as easily be applied to a rope-maker.

• Ryo-tekubi shibari: Both wrists tied together. It does not matter where the wrists are, or if the tie is cinched, as long as the wrists are tied together.
• Ryo-ashi tsuri: Suspending your model with both legs together, i.e. binding both ankles together.
• Ryu: School, e.g. Osada ryu. Used to describe the style taught as, for example, in painting.

• S-jo: Sadist/top.
• Sakasa tsuri: Inverted suspension, the m-jo is hanging head down and the body vertical, not supported by a tsuri nawa on the takate kote. (when pronouncing stress the first SA)
santen zuri
• Santen tsuri: Suspended from the takate kote with the ankles in front. Sort of sitting position. San means three, this refers to the number of suspension lines. Another word for santen tsuri is M zuri because the body and the knees up form the letter M.
• Sensei: Teacher, master, doctor; he who has gone before.
• Shambari: A mixing of the words 'sham' and 'shibari', often used to refer to fusion or Japanese inspired bondage passed off as shibari. Can be derogatory or self-deprecating.
• Shibari: Literally tying, weaving. Generally, only understood as bondage within SM/rope community.
• Shuuchi nawa/shibari: Ties designed to embarrass the subject.

• Takate Kote: Also takate gote, ushiro takate kote. Often abbreviated to T-K, prefixed sometimes by 2R- or -3R to denote 2 and 3 rope variants. Foundation form for many shibari ties, capturing the upper body / breasts and arms in a "U" shape behind the back
• Tanuki: "Racoon dog, suspension by hands and feet tied close together.
• Tazuki: Criss-cross harness
• Tenugui: Cloth usually typically as gag, blindfold or used wetted for corporal punishment.
• Teppo shibari: Named after the Japanese flintlock rifle, the Teppo
• Tomei nawa: The safety rope between arms and chest; the cinch
• Tsubaki: Camellia. Used to make an oil used for rope treatment. Also commonly used cosmetically and, historically, for preserving wood and metal
• Tsuka Maki: Sword hilt wrap finishing where the rope is wrapped around and around other ropes.
• Tsuri: Suspension (alt. zuri)
• Tsuri nawa: Suspension rope

• Ushirode shibari: A tie on the back of the body. See also: ryo-tekubi shibari
• Ushirode-gassho shibari: A tie usual referred to in English as the "reverse prayer tie." This tie is only for the limber! There are Buddhist and Western variations.
• Ushiro takate kote: Foundation form for most shibari ties, capturing the upper body / breasts and arms in a "U" shape behind the back
• Ushiro tasuki shibari: The ushiro tasuki shibari is a hojojitsu inspired bondage. In this pattern the hands are tied in a "W" position on the back and an "X" shape is created between the breast.

• Yokozuri: Sideways suspension

• Zuri: Alternative spelling to Tsuri