Hokijiri 箒尻 – The Punishment Cane

The hokijiri (箒尻) is a Edo-period (1603-1868) punishment implement used for disciplining criminals. It was either used alone on the criminal who was bound and either lain prone or on his knees, or it was used in conjunction to other torture and punishment methods such as pressing and suspension.

From the Ueda City Digital Archive website the following description of the hokijiri can be found:


From it’s appearance, the hokijiri is a bar used for beating (tataki; 敲) and torture in the Edo era. Two wrapped bamboo lengths are rolled over in paper string (kanzekoyori; 観世紙繕).

The kanji that are used to describe the hokijiri actually link to it’s history.

‘Houki’ (箒), literally means “bamboo broom”, as it is made up of the components for ‘broom’ (帚) and ‘bamboo’ (竹), making the kanji for “bamboo broom.” The second kanji requires a bit more of an inference: read as ‘shiri’ (尻), it is made up of the number ‘nine’ (九), of which the form implies impacting something in a verbal sense. While the second radical, ‘shikabane’, or ‘katashiro’ (尸) refers to a “corpse” in a modern sense, but in the edo period referred to the sacrum or buttocks area of the body. Thus the noun ‘hokijiri’ can be understood to be referring to “a bamboo broom that was wrapped for the purpose of striking the body.”

Closeup of the braiding detail on the Hokijiri.

At some later time, the bamboo broom appears to have been substituted with a bamboo cane, and thus the softer fabric at the end sticks out as opposed to the bristly end of a bamboo broom. I cannot say for sure why this was substituted, possibly due to making the item particularly for this purpose instead of being an adapted item. The information on this is rather scarce.

In Edo-period punishment and torture, the process of discipline had four stages, of them the first was to have the criminal bound and flogged in a practice called Muchiuchi (Flogging; 笞打ち). This hokijiri was used to beat the suspect on his shoulders or back until the blood flowed, at which point an assistant would rub sand into the wound to stop the bleeding. Then the beating would be continued at another spot on the back, lower down. The other three torture practices will be written about at a later time. (Cleaver 1999)

There were other arrangements of punishment, but they are either situational, varied, or poorly documented.

Nowadays, one of the only places that one may see the hokijiri in use, would be in a certain kind of Japanese rope bondage (Kinbaku; 緊縛) derived from these punishment and torture methods called semewaza (torment skills; 責技) as practiced by contemporaries such as Akira Naka. Though this is an exceedingly rare practice, and even within that, it is rare to see this sort of performance.

Place your order while they are still in stock on our Etsy Shop!


Cleaver, Richard. In The Good (?) Old Days. (1999)

The Grand Finally Morpheus Bondage Extravaganza (MBE)!


After some ups, downs, and other crazy noise (which also led to some needed slowing down and reflection), I have been accepted into the final Morpheus Bondage Extravaganza (MBE) on October 1st!

Though teaching and performing bondage wasn’t the reason why I had gotten into shibari or suspensions. But after being approached about pairing up, I began my interest in suspensions and performing. So MBE soon became a bucket list item. However, for 2015 I was rejected, but then accepted for the 2016 Montreal MBE, which although awesome I had too much crap in my personal life that was detracting from my ability to perform.

So this is my last chance to mark off this bucket-list item, and naw that I have discovered my inspiration again, I’m confident that I can properly compensate for my Montreal performances!

My MBE performances for the night are:

And as I’m a little ridiculous like this, if anyone wishes to meet up for rope and/or general hangouts, before or after MBE, please don’t hesitate to contact me!

MBE Specials

There are two specials going on for MBE:

  1. We are down to the last 5 bundles of Osaka Jute Rope! Prices are currently:
    – 1 for $35
    – 3 for $100
    or MBE Special:
    – All five for $150!
  2. Special MBE 2016 – Toronto pricing between September 30th – October 2nd! 1 hour private class fro $30/hour, anything you want to learn! Contact us to schedule it in!


With HeatHawk13, AlexChance13, and CutieTie. Photos by iambic9 at @mbextravaganza

A photo posted by Shibari Dōjō (@shibaridojo) on Oct 6, 2016 at 8:52am PDT