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Satsuei-kai In Los Angeles
In Japanese the phrase satsuei-kai describes a “photo club or photo–art gathering and when Kinbaku is added it can be quite an exciting event. 

Hashira 1 - Photo by James A. Franklin.
Such was the case recently when I joined my good friend and partner zElement in presenting one of our semi-annual Spring Tiger Ryu satsuei-kai events, this time held at the beautiful dojo space constructed within the well known Lair BDSM club in North Hollywood.

Over the years Spring Tiger Ryu has presented numerous art oriented events at various venues throughout LA but I think I enjoy these “camera club” gatherings best of all.

Fortunately, here in the US we try to do smaller, more intimate events in order to give the artists the opportunity to move around the models at their own discretion in order to exercise the maximum amount of individual creativity. 
For my part and in this particular satsuei-kai, I wanted to do a variety of different poses and techniques. I’ve done many of the basic Kinbaku ties and suspensions in previous meetings so this time I thought I would contrast some clearly “artistic” poses with a few ties that are seldom seen and involve different types of Buddhist inspired knots.  

As you’ll see in the accompanying selection of photographs (and with a major assist from our beautiful models amelie and Renee and the lovely Lair dojo space), our talented photographers were able to capture some lovely, artful and dramatic long shots and detailed close-ups of such Kinbaku ties.

Ganzi garame 1 - Photo by sjstudio1.  
A satsuei-kai. Photo by zElement.
For this most recent event we had a group of talented folks that included: half a dozen photographers, a graphic artist and even a videographer making a short film of abstract Kinbaku images. An eclectic and exciting group! 

The artists pick their moments. Photo by zElement.
Hojo - Double Coin 1 - Photo by sjstudio1.

A hojojutsu inspired kneeling prisoner tie utilizing a double coin knot. 

A classic kata-ashi zuri.

A composition featuring the great Yukimura Haruki sensei’s signature gote, a beautiful kimono and a decorative lamp.

For instance, a simple wrist and ankle seme pose done between two hashira.

The lantern 1 - Photo by James A. Franklin.

Kata-ashi zuri 1 - Photo by Yoshi Murakami.

And finally, perhaps the most unusual tie of the group, a complex ganzi garame (full body tie) that is quite a serious piece of bondage and features a complex pattern inspired by the ancient sauvastika knot of Buddhism.
A wonderful time was had by all and we are excitedly looking forward to doing our next Spring Tiger Ryu satsuei-kai soon! 

(For more details and photographs of this event please visit The Beauty of Kinbaku website here.)
Sometimes there can be upwards of 20 or 30 shutterbugs, each vying to get a great picture in a limited time frame from the appointed “sweet spot” as dozens of colleagues breath down their necks eagerly waiting for their chance! 

I have attended several of these in Tokyo over the years and usually there are one or two models, a skilled rope master and the club's photographers, who are often told where to stand to get the best shots. 

(For more details and photographs of this event please visit The Beauty of Kinbaku website here.)