Kinbaku (緊縛) means 'tight binding' Kinbaku-bi (緊縛美) which literally means 'the beauty of tight binding'. Kinbaku is a Japanese style of bondage or BDSM which involves tying up the bottom using simple yet visually intricate patterns, usually with several pieces of thin rope (often jute, hemp or linen and generally around 6 mm in diameter, but sometimes as small as 4mm, and between 7m-8m long). In Japanese, this natural-fibre rope is known as 'asanawa'; the Japanese vocabulary does not make a distinction between hemp and jute. The allusion is to the use of hemp rope for restraining prisoners, as a symbol of power, in the same way that stocks or manacles are used in a Western BDSM context. The word shibari came into common use in the West at some point in the 1990s to describe the bondage art Kinbaku. Shibari (縛り) is a Japanese word that literally means "to tie" or "to bind".
'Kinbaku' vs. 'Shibari' 
There is much discussion about the distinction between shibari and kinbaku, and whether one term is more appropriate than another.
One modern distinction which is gaining popularity is that shibari refers to purely artistic, aesthetic rope, whilst kinbaku refers to the artistic, connective, sensual, sexual practice as a whole.
A traditional view is that the term 'shibari' is a wrong Western Japonism. The word denotes tying in Japanese, but in a generic way, and traditionally not in the context of bondage. The names for many particular ties include 'shibari', but it is not traditional to call the entire activity that way. (In the same way as there are 'Diamond Knots' and 'Portuguese Bowline Knots', but 'knotting' does not mean bondage). Instead, Kinbaku is the term for artistic or erotic tying within traditional Japanese rope bondage circles.
However, this is a somewhat hidebound definition and the word shibari is now increasingly being re-imported from the West to Japan, as the tying communities are very much interconnected. Most Japanese kinbakushi do not object to the term shibari, as it's common vernacular in the global community.
Rope Types 
In Japan the most often used type of rope is a loose laid, three strand Jute rope. This rope is referred to as "Asanawa" usually translated as "hemp rope" the word 'asa' as hemp and 'nawa' as rope, however this is using the more generic form of the work [hemp] referring to a range of natural fibre ropes rather than those pertaining to a particular plant. In recent history a range of rope types have been used for Kinbaku in Japan though Nawashi rarely use synthetic fibre rope and most often use jute.
Aesthetics of Japanese Bondage 
The aesthetics of the bound person's position is important: in particular, Japanese bondage is distinguished by its use of specific katas (forms) and aesthetic rules. Sometimes, asymmetric and often intentionally uncomfortable positions are employed. In particular, Japanese bondage is very much about the way the rope is applied and the pleasure is more in the journey than the destination. In this way the rope becomes an extension of the nawashi's hands and is used to communicate.
Traditional Japanese bondage techniques use natural vegetable fiber rope (hemp, jute, or linen) exclusively, though contemporary Japanese Masters have been working with a range of rope materials. The natural fibers easily lock to each other which means the bondage can be held together by the friction of twists and turns or very simple knots. Traditionally, multiple 6-8 meter lengths are used.
Bondage as a sexual activity first came to notice in Japan in the late Edo period. Generally recognized as "father of Kinbaku" is Seiu Ito, who started studying and researching Hojōjutsu is credited with the inception of Kinbaku, though it is noted that he drew inspiration from other art forms of the time including Kabuki theatre and Ukiyoe woodblock prints. Kinbaku became widely popular in Japan in the 1950s through magazines such as Kitan Club and Yomikiri Romance, which published the first naked bondage photographs. In the 1960s, people such as Eikichi Osada began to appear performing live SM shows often including a large amount of rope bondage, today these performers are often referred to as Nawashi (rope master) or Bakushi (from kinbakushi, meaning bondage master).
In recent years, Kinbaku has become popular in the Western BDSM scene in its own right and has also profoundly influenced bondage, combining to produce many 'fusion' styles.
Kinbaku is based on fairly specific rope patterns, many of them derived from Hojojutsu ties. Of particular importance are the Ushiro Takatekote (a type of arm box tie), which forms the basis of many Kinbaku ties, and the Ebi, or "Shrimp", which was originally designed as a torture tie and codified as part of the Edo period torture techniques. Today the tie is used as part of SM play and can be considered a form of Semenawa, torture rope.
Generally speaking, Kinbaku is practiced with ropes of 6–8 meters (23 ft) in length. Due to the generally different physique of Western subjects, 8 meter (26 ft) ropes are commonly used in the West. The rope material is usually hemp or jute) though many other materials are in use including cotton and various synthetics. Various techniques are used to make the natural fiber ropes softer.
- kinbaku (緊縛): (noun) literally 'tight binding'. It does not convey the meaning of sexual bondage outside SM circles. However, some experts, e.g. Kinoko Hajime and Osada Steve, make a distinction from 'shibari' in that it is used to refer to sessions with a strong emotional exchange.
- kinbakushi (緊縛師): (noun) kinbaku master, can be shortened to bakushi.
- shibari (縛り): (adverb) the act of tying, binding or weaving. It does not convey the meaning of sexual bondage outside SM circles.
- shibaru (縛る): (verb) tie or bind with a rope
- nawa shibari (縄縛り): (noun) rope-tying with a rope (an incorrect, "made-up" term, does not exist in Japanese )
- nawashi (縄師): (noun) literally,"a maker of rope", but in SM circles it means a professional "rope artist" (source Master K's book "Shibari, The art of Japanese Bondage")
Kinbaku patterns 
Most of the below have multiple variations:
- Single wrist binding 片手首縛り Katate kubi shibari
- Both wrists binding 両手首縛り Ryoute kubi shibari
- Handcuff binding 手錠縛り Tejou shibari
- Prisoner handcuff binding 連行手錠縛り Renkou tejou shibari
- Hands behind the back binding 後ろ手縛り Ushiro te shibari
- High hands behind the back binding 後ろ高手小手縛り(簡易型 Ushiro takate kote shibari)
- Hands behind the head tie 後頭後ろ手縛り Koutou ushiro te shibari
- Tasuki (kimono string) tied 襷(タスキ)縛り Tasuki ( tasuki ) shibari
- Crotch rope tie また縄縛り Mata nawa shibari
- Turtle (diamond pattern) binding 亀甲縛り(菱縄縛り) Kikkou shibari (hishi nawa shibari)
- Upright standing binding 直立不動一本縛り Chokuritsu fudou ippon shibari
- Cross-legged binding 胡座 縛り Agura shibari
- Shrimp binding 海老縛り Ebi shibari
- Reverse shrimp binding 逆さ海老縛り Sakasa ebi shibari
- Standing partial suspension 立ち吊り縛り Tachi tsuri shibari
- One foot lifted partial suspension 片足上げ吊り縛り１ Kataashi age tsuri shibari
- Hanging letter M, open leg binding Ｍ字開脚吊り縛り M ji kaikyaku tsuri shibari
- Reverse hanging shrimp binding 逆海老吊り縛り Gyaku ebi tsuri shibari
Topics in Japanese bondage include:
- Karada Japanese word used in the West for body (body harness, a "rope dress")
- Ushiro Takate Kote Foundational form for most shibari ties, capturing the upper body / breasts and arms behind back (when ushiro) in a "U" shape behind the back
- Kikkou - A body tie that ends with a tortoise shell design in the front upper torso.
- 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.
- Ebi The "shrimp" tie
- Agoura a less severe tie similar to an ebi
- Tazuki "criss-cross harness"
- Tanuki "racoon dog"
- Kataashi tsuri "one-legged suspension"
- Asymmetric bondage, a common feature of Japanese bondage
- Tsuri suspension
- Gyaku ebi
See also 
- Jina Bacarr, "The Japanese art of sex: how to tease, seduce, & pleasure the samurai in your bedroom", Stone Bridge Press, LLC, 2004, ISBN 1-880656-84-1, p.185
- Christopher Noss, "A Text-book of Colloquial Japanese". Based on the Lehrbuch Der Japanischen Umgangssprache by Rudolf Lange, Adamant Media Corporation, ISBN 1-4021-5747-9, p.240
- Vee David, "The Kanji Handbook", Tuttle Publishing, 2006, ISBN 0-8048-3779-1, p.158,331
- Mark Spahn, Wolfgang Hadamitzky, Kimiko Fujie-Winter, "The Kanji dictionary", Tuttle Publishing, 1996, ISBN 0-8048-2058-9, p.907,1376
- Master K, "The Beauty of Kinbaku", King Cat Ink, ISBN 978-0-615-24876-9
- Single wrist binding
- Both wrists binding
- Hands behind the head tie
- Mata nawa shibari
- Ebi shibari
Further reading 
- Master "K". The Beauty of Kinbaku (Or everything you always wanted to know about Japanese erotic bondage when you suddenly realized you didn't speak Japanese.). King Cat Ink, 2008. ISBN 978-0-615-24876-9.
- Harrington, Lee "Bridgett". Shibari You Can Use: Japanese Rope Bondage and Erotic Macramé. Mystic Productions, 2007. ISBN 0-615-14490-X.
- Master "K". Shibari: The Art of Japanese Bondage. Secret Publications, 2004. ISBN 90-807706-2-0.
- Masami Akita (秋田昌美 AKITA Masami), while known primarily as a musician, has produced an extensive number of scholarly writings on the history and practice of Japanese bondage.
- Midori and Craig Morey (photographer). The Seductive Art of Japanese Bondage. Greenery Press, 2001. ISBN 1-890159-38-7.
- Esinem. Japanese Rope Bondage: Tying people not parcels. A 2 DVD set, 2011. ASIN B005QW5S8Q (PAL) & B005QYNTCQ (NTSC).
- The first nawashi/photographer to have entered the world of contemporary art
- A Kinbaku night with Arisue Go
- Master "K" Files Weekly articles (and archive) on the history, personalities & development of shibari/kinbaku. Video, gallery, slideshow.
- Japanese Kinbaku Fanpage No.1 Famous Kinbaku Fanpage.Video,Photo,How to Sibari,
- Shibari on the Wipipedia, the BDSM Wiki
- Glossary list 2009 Ongoing project with collecting terms and kanji related to Kinbaku
- Bondage related Japanese terms, pronunciation and translation
- RopeTopia.com Kinbaku / Shibari website with images, tutorials, articles and videos
- European Kinbaku & Shibari Store Jade Rope is the world's first 'international' rope & rigging supply network.
- Aspects of shibari Some shibari techniques (rus)
- Kinbaku Ichimai Original photo collections of Kinbaku.
- Naturally Twisted Co Detailed information about Kinbaku ties
- Esinem's Website Esinem's website with detailed information about Kinbaku and safety information
- Kinbaku LuXuria website, with lots of pictures and information on Kinbaku
- Bondage Expo Dallas International Bondage Conference with Shibari and Kinbaku focused education.
- BOUND UK The first international monthly event dedicated to Japanese Rope Bondage.