Six years ago, at the infancy of my professional career I was going through a crisis. I was not not sure which direction my bondage was going. Looking for inspiration I came across a video that challenged the foundations of what I believed bondage needed to be. After some research I discovered that the kinbakushi in the video was called Akira Naka. I started to watch obsessively all the videos from him that I could find; I wanted to tie like him, I wanted my bondage to look like his. Of course I had no idea of how to tie his patterns, so I attempted to emulate the same emotional reactions and moods.
A year later, in 2013, I met Naka Sensei in person during a festival in Moscow. Our connection was instantaneous despite the language barrier. That encounter changed my bondage and my whole life. I devoted myself to learning his style and one year later I started visiting him in Tokyo to learn directly from him. He made me his Ichiban Deshi (primary disciple). He gave me the name 利 狩 人
Naka Sensei became very soon more than a teacher for me; he became a mentor, a friend, family. He allowed me to build a successful career and helped me through my hard times. He made many of my dreams come true like performing at Nawa Naka Kai or at Maniac Festival in Tokyo. He introduced me to Sugiura Norio Sensei, the legend of bondage photography, and I was lucky enough to establish a good relationship with him.
I owe Naka Sensei a lot.
Being the Ichiban Deshi of such a legend is no easy task, there is honour and pride certainly, but also a great responsibility to remain faithful to his teachings. I try to keep up with Naka Sensei's high standards, to promote the human values he taught me, in bondage and in life. I try to make the style live and evolve and spread the love for it throughout the world.
I created this book to celebrate 5 years of meeting Naka Akira Sensei.
I am not a photographer but I decided to shoot the images myself as the use of a photographer would have showed their vision and not mine. I did not want to simply imitate the work of the great masters, have people say “great work, it looks like the one of XXX”. Therefore I avoided using their lighting schemes and all the props that are so typical of Japanese bondage photography. I used one simple light on a side, not to be moved around, allowing me to concentrate just on the tying. I also avoided Japanese clothes on the non Japanese models. There was no discussion about what the models would wear, they all wore what they felt most comfortable or creative in because I wanted to show their individuality and their own innovative input to this book.
Post-work has been minimal. I wanted the rope-work to be about the models and to be real, so no image is posed. I wanted to have that recognizable Naka Style feeling and yet give the rope a clear personal nuance.
I followed no plan in creating the ties, I let the models inspire me. Some rope came up messy, some neat, some erotic, some sadistic and some very cuddling. I tried to tie with an empty mind, one rope at the time, enjoying the process, to celebrate each model's uniqueness and beauty.
The result is in these pages, that celebrate five years of having met my teacher and friend. I felt that it was time to document how far along in my rope journey I have come, not a beginning or an end, rather a period of reflection.
Riccardo Wildties 利 狩 人