Shibaricon 2004


Torinawa "Rope from road" used in order to tie prisoners often called Hojojutsu

There is a good bit of discussion, some of it is even polite, regarding the birth and evolution of Hojojutsu. Most of this came from books written Japanese and translated by a native speaker. The point is that there were many different schools and they kept their courseware secret so what may have been right in one school may have been wrong in another. There is no one true way.

Hojojutsu is the art of using a rope to capture, restrain and transport prisoners. In Japan during the Middle Ages and Early Modern periods rope restriction and suspension were used as punishment. Some of the techniques are still used by modern police.

The teachings of the art were limited to the warrior class between 400 and 500 years ago during the Shinkoku period. The techniques were secrets of the over 150 different schools where the officers were trained - due to the secrecy and intervening wars and or destruction, much of the art has been lost but some examples have been found at Matsumoto Castle and elsewhere in the form of scrolls, straw dolls, and paper dolls that were used to demonstrate and practice the art.

One purpose of hojojutsu was to keep a prisoner alive so that they might later be persuaded to part with information or if they were thought to be valuable in an exchange or to bring a criminal to trial. In none of these instances was the long term health of the prisoner of particular concern. A fellow could talk a lot before gangrene took his life and in the event of exchange – you were going to cut that hand off to send with the ransom note anyway.

Another was to punish either as an aid to persuading the prisoner to share information or for their crimes. The prisoner often suffered permanent damage or death in the process. Its restrictive use was extremely painful and would often result in long-term nerve and circulation damage or death. Its punishment was psychological too, bending people into positions of humility, tightening around the neck if the victim struggled and hanging prisoners suspended in positions of complete helplessness.

Safe - No it is not. RACK not SSC

Communicate, communicate, communicate

Be in proper shape – Flexability and Muscle tone

Plan for the unexpected – be ready to release quickly (however)

Quick releases will – don’t use them where it is critical that they not slip

Stay alert

Use knots you know - stick to what you know.

Use clean ropes

Restraint Asphyxia and Positional Asphyxia are real problems beyond the scope of this presentation but certainly something that needs study.

Cord Handling


Locking loop

Chest Tie


FAST TIE (Backpack)

Diamond Tie

Add Kite Tie

Double Diamond Tie

Double Diamond Tie