FREE Osada Steve interview
Discussing kinbaku in Japan and his path in becoming a professional
When Osada Steve was here to run some classes in August, he agreed to spend some time answering a few questions about his career and kinbaku in Japan. Here's the result.
Steve has been my main influence and teacher. We met over ten years ago when I attended his Tokyo studio for lessons and we have been in touch ever since. He was the catalyst for the connection with Japan as he offered a gateway to the rather impenetrable Japanese scene. German is his native language but he speaks excellent English and, as you would expect after several decades, speaks some Japanese.This allowed Europeans to access his tuition. It also opened up the Japanese scene to us since without a knowledge of the language, you won't get far. He was also responsible for introducing me to Kinoko Hajime who I brought to the UK for our London festival, his first performance in the west.
He has been taught by the key names in the history of kinbaku: Eikichi Osada, who pioneered public performance, Akechi Denki who systemised the art and Yukimura Haruki, the master of newaza. With a pedigree like that, you can be sure he knows what he's talking about. I'm sure our discussions will show just how deep this rabbit hole goes.
Coming to Japan : 1980 –
After living one year each in India, Thailand, and Hong Kong, and extensively traveling through Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Korea, Taiwan, China, and Vietnam, settled down in Japan for intensive study of martial arts (mainly Shotokan karate and Aikido).
Entering Japanese Subculture : 1990 –
After paying his dues as fashion photographer Osada Steve picked up fetish photography in the 1990s, documenting much of Tokyo’s SM scene.
Apprenticeship 1998 – 2001
He first met his mentor Osada Eikichi in 1998 during a photo shoot, and soon found himself helping out during stage performances, studying his style of kinbaku until his retirement in 2001, after which he continued his teacher’s shows under the stage name Osada Steve.
Weekly: On stage with Osada Eikichi at Roppongi Mistress Bar
April: Opened Studio SIX to house Osada Seminar
Sep: Osada Steve Shibari art published in Wired mag
Nov: Special Osada Eikichi Memorial performance at Roppongi Jail
June: Osada Steve Shibari art published in Vogue
July: Special Osada Eikichi Memorial performance at Omiya Gekijo
Aug to date: Changed the concept of Studio SIX (approx. 100 performances per year) to also include dojo facilities for intensive Kinbaku studies
Sep: Special Osada Eikichi Memorial performance at Roppongi Mistress Bar
Oct: Special Halloween performance organized by Ginza Black Heart
Nov: Joint performance with Kazami Ranki at Loft Plus One
March to Nov 2005: Weekly guest performer at Jail Tokyo
June: East Meets West vol. 1, joint performances with Drachenmann from Germany at Jail Tokyo and Loft Plus One
Aug: Shows at Omiya Gekijo
Sep: Started career as nawashi for Japanese video production companies
Nov: Special performance at Sadistic Circus
Dec: Established Osada Studios and started producing for Japanese and overseas video companies
Jan: Performances and workshops in Berlin, Germany
Feb: Performances and workshops in Hong Kong
March: Joint performance with Nawashi Monko at Loft Plus One
April: 80 shows in 20 days at Kujo OS, Osaka
May: East Meets West vol. 2, joint performances with Drachenmann from Germany at Jail Tokyo
June: Shows at Wakamatsu Gekijo, Funabashi
July/Aug: 8-week European Kinbaku Tour. Performances and workshops in Berlin, Hamburg, Paris.
Starred in several SM movies and shot a major Shibari documentary.
September: Shibari shoot for Playboy TV
November: Started monthly gigs at Ranbukan, Randa Mai’s place in Nogizaka
Dec: 80 shows in 20 days at Kujo OS, Osaka
Jan: Joint performance with Amrita at Loft Plus One
Feb: Shows at Wakamatsu Gekijo, Funabashi
March: Shows at Kabukicho DX
April: Performance at Nightmare
May: Performance at Bonobo Bar
June: Kinbaku shoot for Sundance Film Festival
July : 45 performances in Okinawa and Kyushu
Aug: 40 performances at Kujo OS, Osaka
Sep: Performances at Kabukicho DX
Oct: 40 performances in Sapporo
Nov: Performance at Nanohana, Kabukicho
Dec: Performance at The Gate, Yokohama
Jan: Special performance at TKS The Gate, Tokyo Kink Society
Feb: Started monthly gigs at Sasquatch
March: Video shoots for hogtied.com and waterbondage.com
April: Filming for KMC in Fukuoka
May: 40 performances at Kujo OS, Osaka
July: xplore06 in Berlin
Aug: Second European Kinbaku Tour with workshops, demos, performances, and video shoots
Sep: Shows at Kabukicho DX
Oct: 56-Camera 3D/CG film project plus gala show
Nov: 40 performances at Kujo OS, Osaka
Dec: Attackers video with Naka Akira, Randa Mai, Chiba Eizoh, Mira Kurumi, Kato Taka and others.
Jan: Started training under Yukimura Haruki to study newaza and shuchinawa techniques
Feb: Japan producer for Hito Steyerl’s “Lovely Andrea” film for Documenta Kassel
March: First Annual Shibari Clinic for intensive students from North America
April: Performed at SM Taikai at Kabukicho DX
May: Four weeks of workshops, special gala performances, and video shoots in Berlin
June: Established Osada-ryu and inaugurated Osada-ryu Honbu Dojo in Tokyo
July: 40 shows at Kujo OS, Osaka. Special performance at Sadistic Circus, Tokyo
Aug: Established worldwide dealer network for original Osada Shibari & Kinbaku Rope
Sep: Developed a special 10-month Shibari training program for staff at SM bar Mode et Baroque
Oct: Special performance at Kitty Fire (aka Department H) in Tokyo
Nov: Produced a 4-DVD SM series for Kansai Media
Dec: Special performance at Sleeping Beauty, Tokyo
Jan: First Osada-ryu certificates given to licensed instructors
Feb: Special Valentine performance at Tokyo Decadance
March: Performed at SM Taikai at Kabukicho DX
April: 40 shows at Kujo OS, Osaka
May: Workshops, instructor training, and official opening of Osada-ryu Dojo Berlin
June: Special SM Taikai performances at Hamageki, Yokohama
July: Received special recognition and Bakushi name “Harumine” from Yukimura Haruki
Aug: Shooting Shibari documentary for German TV
Sep: Performed at SM Taikai at Kabukicho DX
Oct: Record breaking sales position the original Osada Rope as the gold standard used by professionals worldwide
Nov: 20 shows at Kokura AQ, Kyushu
Dec: 40 shows at Kujo OS, Osaka
Jan: Three-week Shibari Intensive with Maestro Kurt of Club Rosas, Barcelona
Feb: Special Valentine performance at Tokyo Decadance
March: Obtained the domain kinbaku.com at auction
April: Shows at Kujo OS, Osaka
May: Started weekly Studio SIX Light performances to complement regular Kinbaku Live nights
June: Full month of photo shoots (Photo Club), “satsuekai”
July: Embarking on major hojojutsu, hobakujutsu, torinawajutsu mission
Aug: Departing for yearly European Workshop Tour, first stop Copenhagen
Sep: Workshops at Osada Kinbaku Dojo Berlin, major performance at Avalon, workshops in London (Esinem World Headquarters)
Oct: First release of Aiko photo book
Nov: Three-week Shibari Intensive
Dec: Two-week Shibari Intensive
Jan: SM World At Night, special performance at Furinkaikan with Shima Shiko
Feb: Black Decadance, performance and “shibari hodai” tying up guests
March: Started rope work for Sugiura Norio Kinbaku photo shoots
April: Started producing and directing for major US spanking website
May: 10th Anniversary of Studio SIX, onsen photo tour with special customers
June: Black Decadance, performance and “shibari hodai” tying up guests
July: Total make-over and relaunch of JapanBondage.tv
Aug: Renewal Open of Studio SIX
Sep: Workshops at Copenhagen Shibari Dojo, Denmark
Oct: Workshops at Osada-ryu Dojo Berlin, Germany
Nov: Workshops at Club Rosas 5, Barcelona
Dec: Three-week Shibari Intensive
Jan: Represented Germany at Toubaku, International Kinbaku Festival
Feb: Started webcam feeds of Kinbaku Live Nights for US website
March: Interviewed by European TV for kinbaku documentary
April: Presented at Sydney Xplore plus special shibari workshops in Sydney
May: Workshop series in Melbourne, Australia
June: Three-week Shibari Intensive
July: Two two-week Shibari Intensives
Aug: Workshops at Copenhagen Shibari Dojo, Denmark
Sep: Workshops in Hamburg and at Vienna Kinbaku Dojo
Oct: Workshops and opera performance at Club Rosas 5, Barcelona
Nov: Two two-week Shibari Intensives
Dec: Charity Show (TKS) generating JPY 258,000 for Earthquake Relief Fund
First Osada-ryu world meet at Osada-ryu Honbu Dojo, for intensive instructor training
Second Osada-ryu world meet at Osada-ryu Honbu Dojo, for intensive instructor training
Third Osada-ryu world meet at Osada-ryu Honbu Dojo, for intensive instructor training
15th Anniversary of Studio SIX
500th Kinbaku Live @ Studio SIX event
500th DVD (Bakushiden/縛師伝) introduced to the market
Full focus on teaching intensives to visitors from abroad. Workshops and private coaching in Melbourne and Sydney.
Around the World in 80 days. Workshop tour of North America and Europe. Vancouver, Orlando, Kansas City, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Vienna, Königswinter, Berlin.
“Letters From Tokyo” book published.
European workshops tour London, Zurich, Königswinter, Berlin. The focus of Osada-ryu has shifted from doing shows and producing videos to full-time teaching, training, tutoring kinbaku aka giving private tuition in the Japanese art of shibari.
Razzmatazz Suspension of Disbelief workshop tour -- 90 days around the world. Los Angeles, Las Vegas, London, Hamburg, Zurich, Königswinter, Mallorca, Berlin.
The above chronicle a few highlights only. In real life, hardly a day goes by without either being on stage, in front of the camera, directing videos, running rope seminars, or giving private tuition in the Japanese art of Shibari.
Producing and directing for Kansai Mania Club, Genuine, JapDevils, and others. Starring in Master Costello, Kink.com, Happy Fish, Attackers, Art Video and other labels.
Featured in, written or photographed for Wired, GQ, Vogue, Marie Claire, Issue One, Skin Two, Schlagzeilen, Bondage Magazine, Secret, Tokyo Journal, FetishJapan, SM Sniper, Mania Club, Tsukasa Shobo, Burst, and other magazines.