Visiting Tokyo was the big highlight for us in 2019. We had one week – it was too short and same time over-full with impressions.
Private tuition with Naka-san
We had the chance to meet Naka San for private tuition in his studio. The studio is a bit outside the centrum of Tokyo, in a quiet neighborhood. On the way from the subway station to the studio we even found a few cherry trees in the last phase of blossoming and giving away the white leaves.
The studio is small and cosy, the shelves full with books and DVD. Naka-san really took his time for us. We chatted a lot, about our way into Kinbaku, how we met, how we tie. Suddently we ended up flipping together through a book about the history of Kinbaku photography.
During the tutition itself we got much more than we expected: corrections in many details on the basics plus experimenting on subtle position changes and aesthetics.
You are the Legend: Maniac Festival 2019
We wanted to go to Japan already for long time. Hence, it needed an impulse from our teachers and a bottle of red wine in Copenhagen, to decide we want to come to Maniac-Festival to cheer Riccardo Wildties & Red Sabbath, WykD Dave & Clover, and – of course – the Japanese performers.
It turned out that we witnessed a historic event: the last Kinbaku show in DX theatre. Located in a shabby side street in famous Shinjuku “Night Life” district, this club hosted many BDSM and Kinbaku related shows. It is, actually, a very small strip-club, with the flair of the 1990ies Hamburg, Frankfurt or Amsterdam… To get in, we lined up for four hours. We made it to be No. 5 in the line, which grew fast. The Japanese were super tidy in lining up – and super trusting. It was enough to just place a camping chair or a backpack in the line whilst going for coffee or snack – no one would take the place.
Coming early saved us a seat, a seat very close to the stage. The stage was a rotating disk (Stripclub, uh?), and many people were seated “behind” the scene from a typical Kinbaku performance perspective. The performers had different approaches to deal with this challenge. In general we will not go on the slippery ground to judge the performances – some we liked more, some less… Here is a report from a Japanese magazine reviewing the show.
Playing the tourist…
Also, we dived into the busy streets of old and new Tokyo. This is what we love, this is what we always do visiting a new place, since we’ve met in Shanghai on that magic November day in 2010.
In Tokyo every step on the streets was fascinating, mesmerizing. On the way to Naka-san studio we saw the cherry trees. On the backstreets of Roppongi-Station (where we lived), we found a touching quietness in a shrine at dusk. But also, we saw patterns, structures, lines. We visited busy Ginza, and even more busy Shinjuku at night. We lined up amongst other (mainly Japanese!) tourists to see a Kabuki piece. We went to some major temples, walked under the Cedar trees in Meiji-Shrine and visited the 47 ronin’s graveyard at Sengakuji Temple.