Earlier this year on the 28th and 29th of January we did a two day shibari intensive at Anatomie Studio in London.
This was our second visit to Memphis Tennessee USA and it was even hotter than the last time. That's saying something. Coming over from a wet and windy UK it was more than a little bit of a contrast in conditions for us. The first thing once we were at our hosts was to get some supplies, we looked on google maps and found a local Walgreens (I think it was a Walgreens) and headed off. Man it was hot! We noticed fairly quickly that we were getting some odd looks and that we were the only people walking. The walk was only 10 minutes but... Man you've got a lot of churches in Memphis! We must have gone past 7 in that 10 minute walk. Dudes! Insane! The walk was fairly uneventful but we did hear some gunfire! This is very unusual for UK people where guns are the exception not the rule. (Later that day when we our hosts got back we were told that that wasn't the best neighbourhood and walking that way was probably a bad idea. They did register some surprise that we'd heard such a small amount of gunfire and yes, there are a fuck-tone of churches in Memphis.) So anyway we'd gotten some sun block (Hey did you know that they aren't allowed the chemicals in the USA that we are in the UK and that therefore our sunblock is much more effective?) and bits and pieces. So suitably protected Clover decides to keep her training up and go for a run... and nearly dies of the heat and gets sunburned. Protip: People from Europe, take sun block with you. Happily our hosts had stuff for just such [...]
I don't even know where to begin with this blog. BED was a complete blast from start to finish. The people of Dallas were great to us and the people of BED especially. This event really has a special atmosphere and has won a special place in our hearts. I'd like to say right off that this event treats presenters better than any conference I've been to in the USA. The team really made an effort to make us welcome and at home. I can't tell you how much we appreciate this kind of effort. It really made a difference to our stay. Highlights of the event include our first show in 6 months. Dinners with friends and seeing people improve in classes. I honestly do love it when you see someone make real progress right there in a class and take away things that can help them improve for a long time to come. It's a cool thing and I never grow tired of it. My sincere thanks to everyone that came. Next of course seeing Kinoko Hajime san perform again for the first time in a couple of years. BED has a really personal atmosphere, while there's quite a few people there and you cannot of course spend a lot of time with everyone but many people became familiar and more familiar to us. When we left we were really aware that we were leaving friends behind. The after party! The after party at TheChurchDallas was an amazing blast. We really had a fun time performing. Thanks to everyone who came and gave such amazing reactions, you really contributed to the atmosphere and our own experience on stage. I can't tell you what it's like to [...]
This was our first trip to LA and we were really looking forward to it for a variety of reasons. First off this trip wouldn't have happened without the good offices and organisation of our friends in LA. We sincerely thank you all for your amazing hospitality and help. The classes Saturday, April 19 One Rope Tension Sunday, April 20 Rope control and movement Unthinking rope I want to say what a pleasure it was to teach in LA at the Bordello of Decadence. This is a great space and we enjoyed teaching and playing there very much. At the classes every person that came showed improvement and I hope took away lessons to help them continue to improve after the classes. It's a great pleasure for me to see a class have a positive effect on those attending. Shopping We had a really good time shopping in Downtown's 'Little Tokyo' region. Great shops and people. We were able to get some things that we usually have to order direct from Japan at very reasonable prices and without British customs scalping us for import duty on even the smallest items. The people and shop keepers of Little Tokyo were very nice and helpful, I'd really recommend visiting if you get the chance. Culture We had to visit the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo. Fortunately while we were in LA there was an exhibition on Japanese American tattoo artists. Tattoo Exhibition Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo Los Angeles, California The exhibition was only there for a limited time so sadly you can't visit this after September 2014. Beach Finally we got to be really tourists seeing Hollywood and the beach. [...]
Learning that a photographic hero and inspiration, Norio Sugiuar would be there. Getting nervous about meeting him. Being so pleased to meet him and having the chance to get a print in person.Takeshi Nagaike san's good humour, charm and old school tying style. It was very much a pleasure to meet him. Getting to go to the Andersen Japanese gardens for the first time, picking up some nice hashi. Visiting the Asian market on the way back and getting an Agatsuma CD I didn't have. Saki Kamijoo san just being so infectiously fun and instantly fitting into the mind as one of those people that you're just always glad to see. Having some time with Milla Reika san and discovering the sweet, un-egotistical, enthusiastic and grounded person behind the mistress image. Iambic9 for being one of the most unassumingly nice and generous people I can think of. Tying Indigozebra who is just such a sweetheart. Getting to perform again (I'm aware that we may have run just a fraction over time for which I apologise). MarkDV8's generosity of spirit truly catching me off guard and really touching me. Tying friends in the dungeon. Being only the third person to really tie Beemo, thanks for the trust. Giving Amy Morgan a stressfull old school experience on the bamboo frame. Somewhat more seriously getting into it with Clover and then having a great time tying sugrah! That was hot and hot again. Getting some M0co jute to try. I've never had a single specific rope for Ichinawa but couldn't resist getting a piece of Oniroku Nawa for that purpose and as yet another souvenir. Getting a new kimono for Clover from the lovely Japanese lady who was [...]
I've been asked a lot of times if Ichinawa is right for the one rope technique I teach or if it should be Ipponnawa. So rather then keep explaining it I'm going to write out my answer here and point people at it in future. The term comes straight from the Japanese language. Confusion has arisen because some people have been getting confused between naming and counting. Some have told me that Ichinawa is wrong and it should be Ipponnawa. It would be Ipponnawa if you were counting ropes. Or slightly more accurately Ippon me no nawa. Japanese counting is a nightmare so I checked this with a Japanese born professional translator who also agrees that it's a nightmare and a minefield. Ippon = one as in one two three... for long cylindrical things, The 'hon' category! Yes I know it's written 'pon' but it's still in the hon category. Ichi = one in a general sense can also mean best. (Ichiban is worth a mention as it's what you also might use for best or first as in first, second third.) There are also Japanese counting variants for flat thin objects, small compact objects, liquid in cups, bound objects (i.e. you count things like books differently to everything else), machines, the floors of buildings, pairs of things (i.e. socks), time, large animals, small animals, birds, people (formal), people (informal) and age. To be honest I've probably missed a few in that list. Nightmare right? Which is why I asked a professional translator who's a Japanese national and also into rope to make sure. Ichinawa definitely (in the opinion of a professional native Japanese translator) a correct usage for the naming of this technique. Now [...]