Gote takatekote

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後手高手小手 (Japanese)

The gote takatekote is one of the principal tying techniques in modern Japanese kinbaku. It has many alternative names including takatekote (高手小手) and gote shibari (後手縛り). It also has more than one way to read the name, for example: gote takatekote, ushirote takatekote and ushirode takatekote.

Gote takatekote

Alternative "Readings"

  • Gote takatekote
  • Gote takategote
  • Ushirode takatekote
  • Ushirode takategote
  • Ushirote takatekote
  • Ushirote takategote

Alternative names

  • Box tie (English)
  • Chest harness (English)
  • Gote munenawa shibari (後手胸縄縛り)
  • Gote shibari (後手縛り)
  • Kotetaka (小手高)
  • Munenawa (胸縄)
  • Takakote (高小手)
  • Takatekote (高手小手)
  • Takatekote shibari (高手小手縛り)
  • Ushiro takatekote (後高手小手)
  • Ushiro takatekote (後ろ高手小手)
  • Ushiro takatekote Shibari (後高手小手縛り)
  • Ushirote takatekote (後ろ手高手小手)
  • Ushiro kote shibari (後小手縛り)
  • Ushirode shibari or ushirote shibari (後ろ手縛り)


On the Beauty of Kinbaku in Gote Takatekote. Kitan Club. Apr 1953

Gote indicates that the wrists are tied behind the back. Takate is an old word referring to the area of the upper arm. This word can also be understood to represent a high position of the arms. Kote means wrist.

USAGE 1: Bondage that positions the wrists behind the back and rope is wrapped above and below the breasts where upper arms are fixed (see figure). The wrists are not necessarily in a high position.

USAGE 2: When takate is interpreted as a high position, the wrists must be in a high position. In this case, gote shibari (or ushirote shibari) is used to represent the state in which the wrists are not in a high position.

USAGE 3: Bondage that positions the wrists on the back, and the rope from the wrists is wrapped diagonally over the shoulders to form an "X" shape on the chest. The hands in this usage are often lifted into a high position.

USAGE 4: For most tying in hojojutsu, takate, kote and neck are key positions that must be tied. In this sense, they can belong to gote takatekote (see for instance, Tsujimura's early shibari). They don't necessarily contain chest harness ropes. However, it is not clear whether the term "gote takatekote" existed in ancient times or not (probably not). It could be a new word invented in the 1950s to the 1970s. The word "takatekote" can be seen (at least) in writing in 1923, but it is not known whether it represents hojojutsu style or modern style. Modern style shibari with chest harness appeared in artwork in 1888 (Meiji era). It is highly possible that people at that time practiced a modern style gote takatekote in kabuki plays but it is not clear what it was called. Police in the Edo period (1603-1868) didn't use a chest harness (with limited exemptions).

Gote Takatekote in magazines

Chimuo Nureki's How-to-tie Classroom 2: One Rope Takatekote. (Shosetsu SM Select, 1985)

Gote Takatekote in art works

Gote Takatekote in novels

  • 1923. The word takatekote appeared in the writing of Yoshikazu Manabe.
  • 1950. The phrase bound in takatekote with straw rope appears in Seiu Ito's Torment Research.