The History of Jute Bondage Rope

A brief insight into the beginnings and past of jute rope in bondage.

Japan and the history of jute bondage rope 

All kinds of bindings and rope materials have historically been used for rope bondage.

While rope had been used for restraint globally, it was the unique circumstances in Japan, and the Pink Revolution of the early 1960s there that exposed bondage as a niche adult market.

Imagery published in the well–known Japanese SM magazine Kitan Club after 1952 when it became rope bondage focused, saw reader contributions using metal chains, magnetic tape, Obi belts, curtain sashes, ribbon, grass Aranawa, and cotton, hemp, linen, Manila, polymer, ramie, sisal rope, etc.

Jute has never been grown in Japan for making rope. Japan’s 264–year isolation of the Edo–Tokugawa period until 1868 missed the commercialisation of jute by the British East India Company from 1690. In 1833 Thomas Neigh patented whale oil batching and spinning and industrialization turned Dundee, Scotland into Juteopolis.

The first mill, Toga in Kobe commenced importing raw bales for jute yarn spinning in 1890 during the growth of the Meiji era. By the Russo-Japanese War in 1904, the Japanese Army was using jute rope. However, all supply of jute from British India ceased with Japan’s entry into World War II on the axis side. 

After the war, the 1949 edict of the occupying American Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers banned the established growing of hemp in Tochigi, Nagano, Iwate and Fukushima prefectures due to the shared Kanji meaning with cannabis sativa. 

When the ‘Pink’ revolution of the 1960s in Japan first commercialised Kinbaku and Shibari as an adult sub–genre, existing available stocks of hemp rope for general use were already in decline. The last mill in Japan closed in 1991. 

From historical data, it is assumed during the 1980s Toshiyuki Suma, possibly with Nureki Chimuo were the first to discover jute as an available alternative in local general rope stores. Within a decade, names such as Oniroku Dan, Matsui Kenji, Yukimura Haruki, Akechi Denki and Go Arisue had all began to exclusively use jute as a superior material.
Our co-Managing Director and CTO Stephen Hastings first came across jute bondage ropes in the adult stores of Kabukichō in 2002. By 2012 it was Hajime Kinoko who recommended he purchase in bulk from a local general rope store. But this was agricultural–industrial product, manufactured specifically for its rapid biodegradability using cheap, low–grade fibre, and contained carcinogenic petroleum–based oil (JBO).

70% of all jute rope is manufactured for commercial agricultural uses, 25% for horticulture, and 3% for packaging. The remaining 2% is used for haulage, animal stands, etc. The majority of products use single–ply yarns. Multiple–ply yarns are specific to rice and grass baling, and thicker twines for fruit trees and garden planting.

Following initial research, Hastings then founded Amatsunawa in 2014 to find a way to procure product specific for his applied use in his guise as the underground SM rope bondage performer, Sin. What began as quest to find the best product for his own use became a labour of love, to develop and specify the ultimate rope for our niche application, and to make it available for all.

It was our co–managing Director and COO Michaela Hofmann who developed the vegan coating technique to add body and feel to our pre-conditioned rope, and enhance the product for your utmost intimate enjoyment.