Shibari in Postwar America

Shibari in Postwar America

I was doing some research for a study in the exchange between American and Japanese cultures. You know: they like Elvis, we eat sushi. Anyway, when a very old woman told me this story, I knew I had to write it down. It proved how Shibari in postwar America began to tak shape. Here it is:

“My husband had been away for four years, from 1942 to 1946. He had to stay one more year in Japan after the war because he was part of the reconstruction effort. I missed him badly all that time, in every possible way.

Once he returned, and some time had passed, I asked if he had been with any woman while he was away. He admitted he had frequently had sex with a woman. Then, when it was time for him to return, they agreed to avoid any further contact. He asked me to forgive him. And I did. After all, he was back and he was well, and that was all that mattered.

One night, after we were together, I asked him if that woman was better than me in bed. At first, he didn’t want to answer. But, since I insisted, he finally admitted that there was something that she did which made her surpass me. She had taught him about bondage and he had liked it very much. He said that if I agreed to do it, he would completely forget about her.

At first, I refused. The very idea of being tied for my husband’s enjoyment seemed to me sick and disgusting. However, I was so eager to have him back in every possible way, that eventually I agreed.

It took me some time to get used to it, but, eventually I came to enjoy it as much as he did.

And he did forget about her.”

This is her story about Shibari in postwar America.