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From Yūbin Hōchi Shinbun 484. Art by Yoshitoshi Tsukioka.

Hojojutsu (aka Torinawajutsu) is the Art of Rope Capture. Originally developed as a part of Jujutsu during the Warring States period of Japan, it was later adapted as a method to capture, restrain and control criminals during the Edo period. In the Meiji period, Hojojutsu was inherited by Metropolitan Police Departments. In the twentieth century, it has also provided great influence on the development of erotic SM play in Japan up until today.


Hojojutsu has two main divisions. The first is called Hayanawa (Fast Binding) and is used for the capture and restraint of a resisting opponent. The second is called Honnawa (Formal Binding[1]) and is used for the transport, escort and punishment of a prisoner.


From Zukai Hojojutsu by Seiko Fujita (1995)

Warring States Period

(15th-17th centuries)

During a period when centralized imperial control collapses and regional domains fight for control, the Takenouchi jujutsu school is founded in 1532, and it teaches rope capture among its techniques. It has been credited as the first hojojutsu school.

Edo Period

(1603 - 1868)

As Japan is pacified and brought under the authority of the Tokugawa shogunate in the early decades of the 1600s, hojojutsu moves into law enforcement in the larger towns and cities.

Meiji Period

(1868 - 1912)

After a struggle between forces claiming loyalty to the emperor and those to the Tokugawa, the Tokugawa shogunate is brought to an end and a new government is established. Law enforcement practice is reorganized along European models, and hojojutsu gradually becomes more simplified and limited in use.

20th Century

21st Century

Hojojutsu in Literature

  • Eigoro Omaeda (1921)
  • Female Ninja Constable Diaries (Manga)

Hojojutsu in Art

Illustrations and Prints

Hojojutsu in Movies

  • Zenigata Heiji Detective Story: Heiji Covers All of Edo (1949)
  • Zenigata Heiji Torimono Hikae: Bijin-gumo (1960)

Hojojutsu in Television


  1. According to Zukai Hojojutsu by Seiko Fujita, Hon is an abbreviation of honshiki.

References (※)

External Links