Short Film Profile


Rope meets flesh in Tokyo, the sm-capital of the world. In Shinto religion, in order to make something sacred, man will tie a rope around it. This sacred quality of the tying can be applied also to Kinbaku, “tight binding”, which is an erotic, spiritual, artistic connection between the people who are doing it. It started with samurais capturing enemies on battlefield 500 years ago. Rope is an extension of arms and communication tool. Two people can really be close and have emotional exhange. Haruki Yukimura is a rope master who has tied over 3000 people during his life. If you look at the Japanese samurai armor, it’s tied on. Japan places a ritualistic weightness on everyday acts-a-talent our own culture lacks – and turn almost anything, including knots and ropes into art.

Film notes

When I saw kinbaku for the first time, I immediately fell in love with rope and knots.
I was thrilled how the skilful rope masters have turned knotting into an art.

I wanted to do something like Japanese rope masters; create a beautifully stylised and intriguing work of art. With a little help from my friends involved with Japanese underground film scene, I was lucky to meet the great rope masters Haruki Yukimura and Osada Steve.

I knew that the centuries-old ritual of tying up and chastising exists in several
cultures, but the ceremonial detail and the stunning mastery with which these people
are bound turns out to be just as typically Japanese as flower arranging and pouring tea.

It’s history runs from the feudal Japan to its present popularity in the high octane
world of Tokyo nightlife. Kinbaku was originally the art of using a rope to capture, restrain and transport suspects and criminals in Japan. It was practiced by the warrior class and in particular the samurai, who acted as police officers.
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Copyright © 2010 Hakalax Productions

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Previous screenings

Curtocircuíto: International Short Film Festival
23 May – 30 May | Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Monterrey International Film Festival
20 Aug – 28 Aug | Monterrey, Mexico
16 Sep – 26 Sep | Helsinki, Finland
Arsenāls: Rīgas Starptautiskais Kino Forums | 2010
17 Sep – 26 Sep | Riga, Latvia
29 Sep – 10 Oct | London, United Kingdom
6 Oct – 11 Oct | Sapporo, Japan
Warsaw International Film Festival
8 Oct – 17 Oct | Warsaw, Poland
9 Oct – 17 Oct | The Hague, Netherlands
28 Oct – 31 Oct | Berlin, Germany
17 Nov – 20 Nov | Helsinki, Finland
24 Nov – 27 Nov | Marsa, Malta
21 Jan – 27 Jan | Park City, United States
25 Jan – 30 Jan | Helsinki, Finland

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Information on this profile is provided by the film owners and/or compiled from available sources | Profile updated 6 Jul 2010