Kinbaku Vocabulary
Japanese words are extremely popular among rope bondage fans, yet their meanings often become garbled among non-Japanese speakers around the world. So here is a short list of basic words used in Japanese when talking about SM play.

NAME KANJI MEANING DESCRIPTION
Aranawa 荒縄 Straw Rope Rope made from rice straw.
Asanawa 麻縄 Hemp Rope Asanawa is an umbrella term for any rope made from bast fiber, like jute, hemp, or linen.
Ganjigarame 雁字搦め Completely Entrapped A term for any tie where a partner is bound head-to-foot or otherwise completely tied up with rope.
Gōmon 拷問 Torture In SM, Gōmon is one of two words interpreted in English as “torture.” Also refers to non-SM types of torture. See also Seme.
Gote Shibari 後手縛り Hands-Behind Tie In SM, Gote Shibari is a popular name for a type of bondage where the wrists are tied crossed behind the back, and the remaining rope is tied around the upper body.
See also Takatekote Shibari.
Kinbaku 緊縛 Bondage In SM, kinbaku is a popular name for erotic sadomasochistic rope bondage. The word "kinbaku" pre-dates SM, and its non-erotic meaning refers to a firm binding or restriction. "Kinbaku" is a verbal noun and its verb form (kinbakusuru) means "to strictly tie / to tightly bind."
Kinbaku-bi 緊縛美 Bondage Beauty An appreciation for the beauty found in rope bondage. Or also, it is the state of beauty in rope bondage.
Kinbakushi 緊縛師 Bondage artist A kinbaku specialist, practitioner or professional. See also Nawashi
Kotobazeme 言葉責め Verbal Abuse Play Kotobazeme has two overlapping meanings. The first is similar to humiliation/embarrassment play where one torments a partner through the use of words. The second is play where one manipulates a partner’s headspace through the use of words.
Masochist マゾヒスト Masochist In kinbaku, a masochist is a person who enjoys being tied (or being on the receiving side of a SM activity). Along with Masochism, Masochist is often abbreviated to “M.”
Mennawa 綿縄 Cotton Rope Cotton Rope
Munenawa 胸縄 Chest Binding Another name for Gote Shibari and Takatekote Shibari.
Nawa Rope / Binding In Kinbaku, Nawa has two meanings. The first is "rope." The second is "binding" or "tie" when used in words that describe ideas of tying, like "Matanawa" (crotch tie), "Semenawa" (torment binding), "Munenawa" (Chest Tie), "Hayanawa" (fast bindings), etc..
Nawagashira 縄頭 Rope Head In SM, it refers to the folded part of a doubled-rope used when tying.
See also Nawasaki.
Nawajiri 縄尻 Rope End The end(s) of a piece of rope.
Nawasaki 縄先 Rope Tip In SM, it refers to the folded part of a doubled-rope used when tying.
See also Nawagashira.
Nawashi 縄師 Bondage artist In SM, Nawashi is another word for Kinbakushi and refers to someone skilled in rope bondage.
See also Kinbakushi.
Rōsoku ロウソク / 蝋燭 Candle Candles. For example, candles used in wax play.
Sadist サディスト Sadist In kinbaku, the Sadist is a person who enjoys tying (or being on the giving side of a SM activity). Along with Sadism, Sadist is often abbreviated to “S.”
Sarugutsuwa 猿轡 / さるぐつわ Gag One word for gag.
Seme 責め Torment / Torture A popular ideal in SM play. See also Gōmon.
Seme-e 責め絵 SM Illustration Interpreted as “Torment Art” or “Torment Pictures,” Seme-e is an umbrella term for drawings depicting erotic bondage, torture or SM.
Shibari 縛り Tying / Bondage In SM, shibari is a word used to refer to the act of erotic tying. In this context, it can be used interchangeably with Kinbaku. Another use of the word Shibari is to indicate a type of bondage. For example, "gote" (hands behind) becomes "gote shibari" (hands-behind tie).
Shibari-te 縛り手 Tier In SM, shibari-te is one of the names for a person who ties.
Takatekote Shibari 高手小手縛り Upper and Lower Arms Tie
or
Bound Arms Tie
Takatekote Shibari is a popular name for a type of bondage where the wrists are tied crossed behind the back, and the remaining rope is tied around the upper body. Often used interchangeably with Gote Shibari. The word “takatekote” pre-dates SM and meant, “To strictly tie a persons arms.” Takatekote comes from “takate” (upper arms) and “kote” (lower arms/wrists). Takatekote Shibari can also refer to three distinct variations on the Gote Shibari, yet only one variation specifically refers to a tie where the hands must be pulled up high on the back. The words “takate” and “kote” seem to have fallen out of common use, so the word takate now causes confusion since takate is spelled with the kanji for “high” and “hand.” This coincidence leads some people to assume that the hands must be tied higher than horizontal for all versions of the Takatekote Shibari.
See also Gote Shibari.
Tomenawa 留め縄 / 止め縄 Rope Stop A spot where ropes are crossed together to prevent them from moving. A Kannuki is a type of tomenawa.
Tsuri 吊り Suspension Tsuri means lifting up from above. This refers to both a simple lifting like “kata-ashi zuri” (one leg lifted up) and a full suspension like “sakasa zuri” (upside down suspension). An associated term for a full suspension is "chūzuri" (suspended in midair).
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