Since long time ago many things have been said about the actual process Japanese nawashis use to prepare their ropes before they start to tie. Many people have written, spoken or even posted videos on this subject, and so did I devote lots of time trying to find the origins and fundamentals of many of the process I’ve heard and I’ve been told about. There are those people who wash their ropes (even in laundry machines or dish washers machines), those who boil them, who let them dry at the sun, those who dry them in tension, those who cook them in the conventional oven or in the microwave oven, and some of them dye them in the process. Truth is that as far as I know and as far as what my Japanese masters told me, they were not aware of such process there in Japan.
First answer I’ve received from Osada Steve Sensei on this matter was that the professional Japanese asanawa he sells comes ready to use. He always told me that rope quality depends on its raw materials quality (not all jute or hemp are the same), the way jute or hemp were prepared and combed and the way they were plied together among many other things. He taught me how to compare rope qualities by seeing, touching, and feeling them by seeing the way rope flies while tying.
Truth is that we didn’t have any video of the Japanese process of preparing rope until now. There are plenty westerners tutorials on the way they assume is the best to prepare rope before use. But no Japanese nawashi had open the process to our eyes until now.
Today I have surprisingly found this awesome and funny video uploaded by the very Nawashi Kanna (one of the most renowned Japanese living bakushis today). He shows us the way he prepares the ropes. I’ve already had the chance to witness part of this same process at the end of one of the classes during the workshop he gave in Barcelona 2014. It’s quite a simple process that, as Osada Steve Sensei already taught me, keeps ropes away from any kind of wash, cooking, baking or straining. Each one is free to prepare ropes the way he or she likes most. But at some point I feel this video reinforces what I’ve told my students and rope friends many times about the rope preparing process. I’ve found this material today and I wanted to share it with you as this is a recurrent question in all rope fanatics.
I hope this post and the embedded video have been helpful for you. We’re always open for any kind of questions at our many contact ways. Our mission as KinbakuMania Shibari Dojo is to solve your doubts in shibari at my best knowledge and teach it in the same way it was taught to me in Japan.