Osada Steve – a portrait of the bondage god

By Mario Meyer -
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
Der Bondage-Gott: Wer ist Osada Steve?

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Japan, Tokyo, Bondage, Shibari and Kinbaku

Osada Steve: Far Eastern Bondage Rigger?

Osada Steve began his career as a pornographic bondage artist in the 90s as a student of the legendary Osada Eikichi (1925-2001). After several years without a permanent residence and living in the East Asian states of India, Thailand and Hong Kong for about a year each, he decided in the 1980s to move to Japan, where Osada Steve still lives and works today. He also spent years travelling in East Asia before making a permanent decision to go to Japan. He visited Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Korea, Taiwan, China and Vietnam.

Der Bondage-Gott: Wer ist Osada Steve?On the Road in Japan’s Tabooed BDSM Subculture

Before Osada Steve met Osada Eikichi and decided on bondage as a profession, he first studied Japanese fighting styles in the 1980s. Especially with Shotokan Karate and Aikido. After that he was active as a photographer for years. First and foremost for financial reasons for the Japanese fashion industry. However, his interest was more and more in BDSM. As part of his work as a photographer for sadomasochistic nudes, Osada Steve went deep into the Japanese BDSM scene. This is even more taboo and criminalized in Japan than in Germany.

As is so often the case, this view of Japanese society and government has ironically contributed to the fact that the scene in Japan is particularly “abnormal” and sometimes also shows a not insignificant amount of criminal energy. Since Japan is hardly interested in the country’s own SM scene, the Yakuza (the Japanese Mafia) is also involved.

Der Bondage-Gott: Wer ist Osada Steve?Osada Steve in Tokyo 1990: breeding ground for Japan’s normal abnormal fantasies

In the 90s Osada Steve photographed and documented a significant part of the exciting Tokyo fetish scene. In the context of this activity he finally met the rigger Osada Eikichi, master of the Japanese bondage style Kinbaku. Eikichi became Steve’s mentor and taught him Kinbaku. In return, Steve helped him with his performances in Japanese underground establishments and strip clubs. It was a win-win situation for the two, who supported each other from now on.

After Eikichi’s retirement due to illness in January 2001 and his subsequent death, Steve took over his work. Since 2001, hardly a day goes by without the Far Eastern Rope Artist standing on stage. In addition, the rigger has to prepare and test his performances of course. In addition, the bondage master must take care of new orders and acquire prospective customers who want to stand for his bondage model. Admittedly – this is not particularly difficult, because every Ropebunny would like to work with Osada Steve at least once in his life.

Impressive register of international clients

In addition to his live performances, Kinbaku-Sensei Osada Steve continues to work as a photographer, director and film producer. He has also worked as a photographer for the magazines Wired, GQ, Vogue, Marie Claire, Issue One, Skin Two and Headlines. As a director for a well-known American porn site, for example, which has its fetish films shot mainly in the former weapons fortress San Francisco Armory.

He also gives seminars and instructions for prospective Rope Artists and Riggers. You can also book him as a teacher for private courses in Kinbaku. This is characterised above all by the fact that the model is not completely immobilised by the bondage. Shibari developed from the Hojojutsu bondage technique of the Japanese military and police.

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Kinbaku: Japan’s art of bondage

Kinbaku (outside Japan often also called Shibari) is the best known bondage technique in Japan. Its origins go back to the way the police and military in Japan used to render criminals and enemies unable to fight and move.

Interestingly, however, Kinbaku today is characterized by the fact that the model is not completely immobilized. This makes it possible to a certain extent to perform erotic movements even after bondage. The aesthetics are in the foreground with many riggers here, BDSM plays rather a subordinate role and a Spanish rigger has already switched to sell her bondage as RopeTrance or RopeArt.

Shibari: Simple – but beautiful
It is also typical for Shibari that the ladies are wrapped and tied up with simple, but artistic and ornate knots. Therefore this technique is also called Shibari by western Rope artists, which literally means “decorative lacing”.

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Kinbaku, on the other hand, translates as “tightly fettering”. No matter what name is used to describe the lacing technique, ropes made of jute, hemp or linen must definitely be used. In Japanese these ropes are called Asanawa. Leather, metal or plastic ropes are therefore taboo for Osada Steve and his colleagues.

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