EP 10
KAZAMI

Kazami Ranki talks about how he learned to tie and what keeps him going for more than 25 years as a rope artist while sharing some insight into his teachings.

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Guest Bio

Kazami Ranki, also known as Atrocious Nawashi, focuses on the spirit and beauty of women tied in rope.

Transcript

Wicked Wren [00:00:19] Welcome to the Shibari Study podcast. I'm your host Wicked Wren and today I have Kazami Ranki and Mistress Kiko translating. How are you?


Mistress Kiko [00:00:28] Good.


Kazami Ranki [00:00:29] How are you?


Wicked Wren [00:00:30] Amazing. Thank you so much for being here.


Kazami Ranki [00:00:35] Yeah.


Mistress Kiko [00:00:35] Thank you for having us.


Wicked Wren [00:00:37] You're welcome. So I heard that you play guitar, correct?


Mistress Kiko [00:00:44] (Japanese).


Kazami Ranki [00:00:45] Yeah.


Wicked Wren [00:00:46] How long have you been playing guitar?


Mistress Kiko [00:00:48] (Japanese).


Kazami Ranki [00:00:52] 45.


Mistress Kiko [00:00:54] 45 years.


Wicked Wren [00:00:55] Wow. Where did, where did you learn to play guitar? Who in your family played?


Mistress Kiko [00:01:00] (Japanese).


Kazami Ranki [00:01:02] (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:01:04] He studied on his own.


Wicked Wren [00:01:06] What kind of music did you listen to or do you listen to?


Mistress Kiko [00:01:15] He listens to Japanese pop music.


Wicked Wren [00:01:17] What kind of music do you play now?


Kazami Ranki [00:01:22] (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:01:34] He plays the music from the 80s and 90s.


Wicked Wren [00:01:38] Got it. Are you in a band?


Kazami Ranki [00:01:42] (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:01:42] By himself.


Wicked Wren [00:01:43] That's so cool. Do you play any other instruments?


Mistress Kiko [00:01:50] Only the guitar.


Wicked Wren [00:01:51] Yeah. So you're from Osaka, correct?


Kazami Ranki [00:01:56] Yes.


Wicked Wren [00:01:56] Yeah.


Mistress Kiko [00:02:01] Yeah, he's going back and forth. Osaka and Tokyo.


Wicked Wren [00:02:05] Gotcha and that's where you two met?


Mistress Kiko [00:02:07] Correct. I met him in Osaka.


Wicked Wren [00:02:09] Very cool.


Mistress Kiko [00:02:10] Yeah.


Wicked Wren [00:02:11] So I heard that you responded to a 1800 number that was asking for bondage in some way.


Mistress Kiko [00:02:27] (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:02:31] In terms of playing.


Wicked Wren [00:02:33] Yeah. And you said that it was hard to get into it, correct?


Mistress Kiko [00:02:43] Yeah.


Wicked Wren [00:02:44] What kept you going back to it? Why did you keep going and trying to get into it?


Mistress Kiko [00:03:04] This is, this might be a bad thing to say, but he wanted girls to like him.


Wicked Wren [00:03:12] I feel that's pretty common, you know?


Mistress Kiko [00:03:30] Now it's kind of changed but before it was more like this.


Wicked Wren [00:03:33] Well back in the day when that happened, did it get girls to like you? Did a work?


Mistress Kiko [00:03:44] Once he was able to tie.


Wicked Wren [00:03:46] Gotcha.


Mistress Kiko [00:03:47] Yeah.


Wicked Wren [00:03:48] Well, I think it's the same in the States. I think many people get into rope bondage to get pretty women to like them. So...


Wicked Wren [00:04:00] How did you move into making this a career?


Mistress Kiko [00:04:39] So this is, he, he kind of thinks he's, he's doing this as a professional right now but it's kind of hard to say, you know, define the difference between professional and amateur.


Mistress Kiko [00:05:06] He's teaching now, but he doesn't play that much. But when he does play, he has to use his skills.


Wicked Wren [00:05:16] So in America, we do a lot of scenes where we will play, and then we have a lot of labbing time where we try things out. And those two things are kind of separate and then we'll go to classes. How does that look in Japan? Is it the same kind of thing where there are scenes and labbing time and then classes? Does that make sense?


Mistress Kiko [00:05:42] It's pretty much the same.


Wicked Wren [00:05:43] You've been doing it for so long. What do you love about it so much? Was there something specific that you liked about it, or are you a very engineering kind of person, or are you just a general (…) that likes the rope and tying people up? Why have you kept doing it for so, so long?


Mistress Kiko [00:06:02] (Japanese).


Wicked Wren [00:06:14] Because most people don't do it for the time span. This is a long, long time to do one thing.


Mistress Kiko [00:06:27] That's a hard question.


Mistress Kiko [00:06:40] It's kind of like a puzzle.


Mistress Kiko [00:06:50] So he's thinking like a puzzle. If he ties this way, this part is going to be that way.


Mistress Kiko [00:07:04] It's kind of in mathematics, there's the, what is it? Like the (inaudible)?


Wicked Wren [00:07:11] Yes.


Mistress Kiko [00:07:11] Yeah.


Mistress Kiko [00:07:23] It's like biology or, you know, like there's a weight and how things balance out. So it's kind of difficult, but it's tricky. But it's fun.


Wicked Wren [00:07:35] What part of the puzzle are you working on right now?


Mistress Kiko [00:07:54] So when he goes back to Japan, he's been, he's been doing a lot of hands behind the back. But he wants to study more of hands in the front and see how that can work well.


Mistress Kiko [00:08:21] So, yeah, technical stuff is one thing, but he thinks of it as more of a communication tool with the person he ties with.


Wicked Wren [00:08:34] What are some things that you've learned about communication specifically that you can share?


Mistress Kiko [00:09:08] So I mean, usually he ties girls, right? So he talks and communicates, but at the same time, he wants to communicate with rope.


Wicked Wren [00:09:22] Yes. How have you seen communication change over the years you've been involved in rope bondage?


Mistress Kiko [00:09:48] It hasn't changed that much for a lot of women. Rope bondage is something that feels good.


Mistress Kiko [00:10:01] At the same time, you can do something very tough.


Wicked Wren [00:10:03] Yes.


Mistress Kiko [00:10:11] And he likes that back and forth, you know, like, you know, enjoying both sides of it.


Wicked Wren [00:10:19] Absolutely. So –


Mistress Kiko [00:10:22] It's kind of an abstract way of him describing things.


Wicked Wren [00:10:27] So your nickname is the Notorious (inaudible).


Mistress Kiko [00:10:42] He does a lot of brutal stuff too.


Wicked Wren [00:10:45] Yes.


Mistress Kiko [00:10:51] He thinks the first video that was released was the most brutal one. There was one person that said something positive.


Mistress Kiko [00:11:05] And his name is Akechi Denki.


Wicked Wren [00:11:08] What did he say?


Mistress Kiko [00:11:13] He said, you have very good technique.


Wicked Wren [00:11:15] You seem like someone that does their own thing. You know, you don't seem like someone that follows the trends of what everyone else is doing.


Mistress Kiko [00:11:32] Yeah, no.


Wicked Wren [00:11:33] Have you always been like that?


Mistress Kiko [00:11:45] Yeah, he hasn't been affected in terms of (…) and rope.


Mistress Kiko [00:11:59] But if somebody asks him what do you want to eat tonight that's when he gets wishy-washy.


Mistress Kiko [00:12:12] In Japan, it's okay to be like I can eat anything but here, you know, people tell you need to be like –


Mistress Kiko [00:12:23] Yeah, the translators always tell him, "Just to tell me straightforward, what do you want to eat".


Wicked Wren [00:12:28] Yeah. Well you always post pictures of your food and things like that.


Wicked Wren [00:12:38] You're saying that that food can't complain or no one can be mad about food, and it makes sense now that you told me all these stories about how people have been, you know, upset about stuff you've done.


Mistress Kiko [00:12:55] Because they taste good so already.


Wicked Wren [00:12:56] Exactly. Exactly.


Mistress Kiko [00:13:13] So he puts a lot of food on Instagram and stuff. So a lot of people in Japan thinks he must be gaining weight when he comes back. But he weighed himself today and he lost about 4.53kg.


Wicked Wren [00:13:32] Wow. Okay.


Mistress Kiko [00:13:32] Yeah.


Wicked Wren [00:13:33] Wow.


Mistress Kiko [00:13:38] Yeah, He said you could go on a diet when he goes outside of Japan.


Kazami Ranki [00:13:41] That is surprising because you would imagine American food to be really fatty.


Mistress Kiko [00:13:53] Maybe he's eating more in Japan.


Wicked Wren [00:13:56] That makes sense.


Mistress Kiko [00:13:56] I think also the rice, right.


Mistress Kiko [00:14:03] He eats breakfast in Japan.


Mistress Kiko [00:14:05] And then he eats sweets in Japan.


Mistress Kiko [00:14:08] And then lunch.


Kazami Ranki [00:14:09] (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:14:10] And then sweets.


Mistress Kiko [00:14:13] And then dinner.


Mistress Kiko [00:14:17] And then dinner. He eats double the amount he ate for the sweets he ate for breakfast and lunch.


Mistress Kiko [00:14:27] Then maybe the rice.


Mistress Kiko [00:14:34] He had a lot of ice cream in Toronto so he doesn't understand why.


Wicked Wren [00:14:39] I don't know. I don't know. We need to study you. We need to figure out what's going on.


Kazami Ranki [00:14:47] Oh, haha.


Wicked Wren [00:14:50] What kind of sweets do you like to eat?


Mistress Kiko [00:14:58] Anything sweet.


Kazami Ranki [00:15:00] But ice cream cake.


Mistress Kiko [00:15:03] Ice cream cake.


Wicked Wren [00:15:04] Love it.


Wicked Wren [00:15:10] I'm sure you're burning a lot of calories off when you're tying though, because it's pretty active.


Mistress Kiko [00:15:19] I have noticed that most have a, their bodies are just always in pain. Do you have any comments on why this happened?


Mistress Kiko [00:15:30] Shibari. Then I thought I'd rather do it and if I did, that would get all again that the women's.


Mistress Kiko [00:15:37] Club in there and enjoy it all again. Out of the women's.


Mistress Kiko [00:15:40] There are many reasons.


Kazami Ranki [00:15:43] (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:15:45] For example.


Kazami Ranki [00:15:53] (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:15:54] For people who tie, you are using a lot of...


Kazami Ranki [00:15:58] (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:16:00] You're always focused, right? And that mental pressure...


Kazami Ranki [00:16:08]  (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:16:08] It looks like you're doing it easily, but it's actually very difficult.


Kazami Ranki [00:16:24] (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:16:25] So in the beginning you might start tying for fun, but when you start doing something kind of difficult and suspension, you're more concerned about that person getting hurt.


Kazami Ranki [00:16:52] (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:16:53] So and you know, when they're suspending people, you're using power, right? So eventually it's going to... Your muscles start getting tired.


Wicked Wren [00:17:05] You were self-taught, correct? You looked at pictures and things like that.


Mistress Kiko [00:17:10] (Japanese).


Kazami Ranki [00:17:16] (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:17:16] And videos.


Wicked Wren [00:17:17] Gotcha.


Kazami Ranki [00:17:27]  (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:17:28] So the newer people, most of them have learned from pictures including him.


Wicked Wren [00:17:36] Yeah.


Mistress Kiko [00:17:38] And most of them have studied under somebody.


Kazami Ranki [00:17:48] (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:17:48] But back in his era, he just studied these papers.


Wicked Wren [00:17:56] What was the education like back then? Was there education then?


Mistress Kiko [00:18:07] (Japanese).


Kazami Ranki [00:18:08] (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:18:08] No, no, not at all.


Wicked Wren [00:18:10] How do you think that influences how you teach now?


Kazami Ranki [00:18:30] (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:18:31] So he's talked about it in Japan but when he was younger, no one was teaching him so he learned by making his mistakes and said, O okay, this is not good. So we're going to do something else and that's how he learned on his own.


Kazami Ranki [00:19:06] (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:19:07] But because he went through trial and error, it took him longer than most people but then he was able to come up with his own original tie.


Wicked Wren [00:19:27] That makes sense.


Mistress Kiko [00:19:28] Studying and you know.


Kazami Ranki [00:19:44] (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:19:45] So people who are learning right now, they're are kind of learning, Okay, I'm going to do you're supposed to do this after this, you know, the orders of what you're supposed to do.


Kazami Ranki [00:20:20]  (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:20:22] He said there are some people who are thinking why is it tied this way. The reason for all of it. But there are some people who are just memorizing the orders, right? So for people who have just been memorizing the orders, it's very hard for them to come up with their own technique from that unless they're understanding the whole reason for everything.


Wicked Wren [00:20:55] How do you think students can understand the reason why we tie something versus just doing it.


Mistress Kiko [00:21:12] (Japanese).


Kazami Ranki [00:21:18]  (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:21:20] So first of all, he'll have them memorize the orders, right.


Kazami Ranki [00:21:29] (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:21:29] And then after that, he explains why he's doing this.


Kazami Ranki [00:21:34] (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:21:48] So then you train and train and then they do a different tie and then he will ask them, Why are you doing it this way?


Kazami Ranki [00:22:02] (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:22:03] And if they're able to answer that question, then he thinks they're understanding why they're doing that tie for a reason.


Wicked Wren [00:22:16] Do you think it's important to challenge why you're doing something?


Mistress Kiko [00:22:28] (Japanese).


Kazami Ranki [00:22:28] (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:22:41] So he's telling a lot of his students in Japan too but he has three... Do you call them apprentices? Yeah. Outside of Japan.


Kazami Ranki [00:22:54] (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:22:56] There are two in Toronto, Canada.


Kazami Ranki [00:22:59] (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:23:01] And there's one in Australia, Brisbane.


Kazami Ranki [00:23:18] (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:23:19] What he's telling them is that please understand why he's tying this way. Like the reason to why he's tying


Kazami Ranki [00:23:32] (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:23:32] But at the same time, he tells them to come up with their own original style.


Kazami Ranki [00:23:45]  (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:23:46] Because if they have a good understanding of why the ropes are on the body in a certain way, he believes that they would be able to come up with their own original.


Kazami Ranki [00:24:01] (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:24:08] So once he notices that they're there at that point, he calls them his apprentice.


Mistress Kiko [00:24:22] (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:24:23] So as a joke, he tells them that you have to be better than me.


Kazami Ranki [00:24:30] (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:24:31] And they have their own supporters.


Kazami Ranki [00:24:37] (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:24:37] And the supporters all have the same way of thinking too.


Kazami Ranki [00:24:51] (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:24:51] So he's hoping it could eventually grow and the supporters would have their apprentices. And then, the apprentices would have their own apprentices and they'll just grow.


Kazami Ranki [00:25:11] (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:25:12] So if all the apprentices grow then he won't be able to make his own decisions.


Kazami Ranki [00:25:30] (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:25:30] So if he wanted to find another apprentice,...


Kazami Ranki [00:25:42]  (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:25:43] If he's going to call another person in another country his apprentice, then he would have to do a meeting with everybody in Toronto and Australia and make the decision together.


Kazami Ranki [00:26:14] (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:26:14] So if he thinks that person in another country is worthy of being an apprentice, but if the people in Toronto and people in Australia don't agree, he can't


Kazami Ranki [00:26:34] (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:26:34] So it's a group decision.


Wicked Wren [00:26:38] Sounds very collaborative.


Kazami Ranki [00:26:39] T(Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:26:42] He thinks that's the best way to go.


Kazami Ranki [00:26:44] (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:26:49] Because if he makes his own decision, they might clash. They might not like each other.


Wicked Wren [00:26:56] Do you find that that style of teaching and growing groups has allowed them to help each other grow as well?


Mistress Kiko [00:27:05] (Japanese).


Wicked Wren [00:27:17] It's a very unique way of teaching.


Mistress Kiko [00:27:21] (Japanese).


Kazami Ranki [00:27:21] (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:27:27] He likes that way of thinking.


Wicked Wren [00:27:28] I love it.


Kazami Ranki [00:27:33] (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:27:34] But one thing he's always telling everybody is that he wants the group to be close.


Kazami Ranki [00:27:42] (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:27:42] With those who are studying Kazami-style, the apprentices have get along with each other so he wants everybody to be close with each other.


Kazami Ranki [00:27:56] (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:27:56] So if they start fighting, he's going to be in trouble.


Kazami Ranki [00:28:07] (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:28:07] So he's telling Brisbane and Toronto to make sure they get along.


Kazami Ranki [00:28:13] (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:28:14] So they can't fight. They're not allowed to fight.


Wicked Wren [00:28:17] I love that. Have there been any fights?


Mistress Kiko [00:28:21] (Japanese).


Kazami Ranki [00:28:24] (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:28:24] No.


Wicked Wren [00:28:25] There won't be, I'm sure.


Kazami Ranki [00:28:26] (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:28:28] Because he's been saying that all the time.


Kazami Ranki [00:28:40] (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:28:40] He hears lot of groups not getting along with each other but personally, he doesn't like it.


Kazami Ranki [00:28:52]  (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:28:53] Who wants everybody to respect each other and grow together.


Kazami Ranki [00:29:00] (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:29:00] Which he thinks is the best thing to do.


Wicked Wren [00:29:03] Absolutely. You teach a lot and you see a lot of different students. What are some of the common things that you see people do incorrectly?


Mistress Kiko [00:29:13] (Japanese).


Kazami Ranki [00:29:24] (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:29:25] Technique-wise or...?


Wicked Wren [00:29:27] Well, anything. Technique or communication...


Mistress Kiko [00:29:32] (Japanese).


Kazami Ranki [00:29:36] (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:29:37] In terms of technique, he won't be really picky about everything.


Kazami Ranki [00:29:49] (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:29:49] So he teaches his patterns, right. But there are a lot of people who can't do that exact pattern.


Kazami Ranki [00:29:59] (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:30:10] As long as things are locked and it's not going to get loose and it's done properly in the right location, he's okay with it.


Kazami Ranki [00:30:29] (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:30:31] So he has four different levels on someone who's able to teach.


Kazami Ranki [00:30:54] (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:30:56] But he tells everybody, if they're going to teach, they should teach exactly his orders. But if they're going to do his originals, then it's the original and fine.


Wicked Wren [00:31:09] That makes sense.


Kazami Ranki [00:31:15] (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:31:17] Technical and then other...


Wicked Wren [00:31:19] Well mainly, you see so many varied students from Atlanta to Denver to Los Angeles all over. I was wondering if there's a common thing that people do inefficiently or incorrectly.


Mistress Kiko [00:31:34] (Japanese).


Wicked Wren [00:31:34] Or something people need to work on.


Mistress Kiko [00:31:43] (Japanese).


Kazami Ranki [00:31:46] (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:31:51] Not really. There's not much to that.


Kazami Ranki [00:32:10] (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:32:11] He said, he's sure there's a lot of different Nawashis coming to different studios but as long as everybody is able to do their own tie, that's working, he thinks that's okay.


Kazami Ranki [00:32:43] (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:32:44] So when he's coming to teach in two different cities, generally he wants everybody to learn his tie but he's not going to tell everybody, You have to do my tie.


Kazami Ranki [00:33:02] (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:33:03] Because he's sure there's a lot of people that have their own specific way of tying already.


Kazami Ranki [00:33:11]  (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:33:12] So he's respecting that while he's teaching.


Kazami Ranki [00:33:15] (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:33:18] So he never tell anyone to stop their technique or the way they tie.


Kazami Ranki [00:33:26] (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:33:27] If he told them to stop, it would be nonsense.


Kazami Ranki [00:33:29] Yes, yeah. Makes sense. What is next for you? Are there any links or anything that you would like to share for the listeners or anywhere you'd like to direct them?


Mistress Kiko [00:33:41] (Japanese).


Kazami Ranki [00:34:05] (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:34:06] So there is a link to kazami-ryu.com and there's also postings of Toronto and..


Kazami Ranki [00:34:17] (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:34:19] And Brisbane also.


Wicked Wren [00:34:20] Okay.


Mistress Kiko [00:34:21] So you can see all of that Kazami style.


Kazami Ranki [00:34:26] (Japanese).


Mistress Kiko [00:34:26] And they're all in English.


Mistress Kiko [00:34:28] Well, I want to thank you so much for being on and sharing your story. I really appreciate it and there are a lot of people who want to hear.


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