The Choice Is Yours



Order this original coil of Osada Jute asanawa (麻縄) from the Kinbaku Shop, and the Magic May Bundle is yours for FREE.



Or, spend the $135 you save with this bundle on your next date with your significant other.


Enroll Here

What You Always Wanted To Know About

Rope Lengths in Shibari (縛り)


It’s a free country. We have the constitutional right to use whatever type of ‘rope’ (be it cotton, polypropylene, barbed wire) in whatever diameters (4, 6, 8 mm or even more) in whatever lengths (1m, 4m, 8m, 16m, 50m) we choose.


Yet, if it’s Shibari (縛り) you are into, it helps to understand a few points. In ‘true’ shibari we use jute rope of 4.5 to 6 mm diameter and the standard lengths are 7 to 8 meters. If this comes as a surprise chances are you have never been to Japan or your knowledge of Japanese rope art is lacking authentic provenance.


A standard tatami () mat is 6 x 3 shaku (). Two tatami are 6 x 6 shaku or 1 tsubo () = 3.3 m2. A shaku is about a foot (30cm). If you run a rope around 2 tatami you will get 4 x 6 shaku (or feet) = 4 x 1.80m = 7.20m which is the old-days, old-school rope length in shibari. In the old days, if you took a riksha to the rope market and asked for a length of rope you would be handed a shank of 24 shaku (= 7.20 meters). Fast forward to the modern age where a healthy diet has made ‘man’ grow larger: just add another shaku or two to account for 'modern' body sizes. Today, with 8 meters, Bob's your uncle.


The significance of 6 shaku (1.80 meters) can also be found in Japanese architecture where the height of sliding doors corresponds to the length of tatami (1.80 meters again), or the height of the door beam (1 ken, 間), which any Westerner having bumped his head in Japanese housing can attest to.
Six shaku (, 1.80 meters) are also equal to 1 hiro (, fathom) to measure nautical depth.
Six shaku (, 1.80 meters) also happen to be the distance between the fingers of a person’s outstretched arms which, surprise, surprise, corresponds to the height of that person – provided you are of ‘standard’ proportions – something that Leonardo da Vinci had discovered back in 1485 on that fateful sunny Wednesday afternoon in May.


Some facts
1 shaku () = 10 sun ()
1 ken () = 6 shaku () = 6 feet for the room dweller
1 hiro () = 6 shaku () = 6 feet = 1 fathom for the seafarer
1 jô () = 10 shaku ()
1 tatami () = 0.91 x 1.82 m = 3 x 6 shaku () = 1.65 m2
1 tsubo () = 2 tatami () = 3.3 m2
1 gô () = 180 ml or cc (a typical size for serving sake in restaurants, and also to measure a person’s amount of rice per meal)
Bottle of rice wine = 1.8 liters
Sake barrel = 18 liters, 36 liters, and larger
1 koku () = 180 liters
The Vitruvian Man (c. 1485)


Now, that you know all about the type, diameter, and length of rope in shibari/kinbaku (縛り/緊縛), click here to get your very own rope fix by ordering genuine jute from Japan.
If you do so until stock lasts you are entitled to 100% OFF the Magic May Bundle, a $270 value.