Tatu aka Tatunawa
Tatu is a "Rope Artist" and has hosted workshops and classes on Japanese Rope Art since the mid 90's. His classes are known under the banner of:
Nawa do (TM) / The Way of Rope (TM)
Tatunawa is his performance name.
Tatu has been actively involved with rope and other kink play since around 1977/8 when he came across some Japanese and DID Bondage magazines in New Orleans while in graduate school. Rope has always been his first love. Tatu came out to the visible community around 1993; which was about the time he also discovered videos from the famed Japanese Bakushi, Randa Mai. He traveled to Japan in 2007 and did lessons with not only Randa Mai, but also with one of the most notable Bakushi in Japan, Arisue Go, as well as Benio Takara, a female Rope Artist.
Tatu is assisted in his classes by his partner of Japanese ancestry, Sumi Fujiwara.
In September 2011, Tatu was honored to become the first North American asked to teach classes at the "London Festival of the Art of Japanese Rope Bondage." There he also participated in the Master classes with two of Japan’s most notable Bakushi - the amazing stage performer Hajaime Kinoko and the notable Ranki Kazami. Also featured at this event were some 20 Japanese rope performance rope artists and their models. Interacting with them and partaking in some 12-15 hours of professional performance art was nothing less that extraordinary and greatly inspirational.
Tatu was part of the initial concept and planning of the first Shibaricon. He was honored to have given the keynote address at the 2nd Shibaricon in 2005. He also previously served on the Program Advisory Board & helped organize three pre-Shibaricon sanctioned excursions to Anderson Japanese Gardens (2006-2008), which attracted fifty to seventy-five participants each year.
Japanese Culture & History
Tatu enjoys sharing with the community insights and experiences into Japanese culture. He has been a long-standing member of a local Japanese cultural center, museum and gardens since the late 80’s. He took Chado lessons (Japanese Tea) in 1999 & 2000 from a Japanese Tea Master. He demonstrated and served Chado at several previous lifestyle events known as “Tea with Tatu.”
While on his trip to London in September 2011, he was honored to have participated in a Tea Ceremony demonstration, lecture and tasting; led by the previous Grand Master of the Uresenke school of Chado, Dr. Genshitsu Sen. He recently passed on the leadership to his son.
He has always enjoyed the study of history and culture given his educational background and has researched Shibari / Kinbaku extensively since the mid 90’s. In 2005/6, he developed a unique PowerPoint presentation covering the history of Japanese Rope Bondage and sexual culture.
As an ordained minister Tatu has served as officiate for numerous weddings; and with the help of his life partner, Sumi, who is of Japanese ancestry, he performed Japanese Shinto styled wedding at in 2009 at a major lifestyle event;
Tatu's first bondage website was on AOL about 1997. Over the years it morphed to its own domains at www.ds-arts.com and www.JapaneseRopeArt.com; each with the simple goal of researching the rope arts and sharing his discoveries with the community.
He opened the “Adult Rope Art” Yahoo Group list in August 2001, which became the largest rope education group in the world with over 14,000 members. Since the demise of the use of Yahoo Groups, he has opened several groups on Fetlife focusing on the Japanese rope arts, culture and aesthetics. He also has a “secret” private group on Facebook where many talented rope artists in Europe and North American interact with a number Japanese Bakushi.
Local Lifestyle Involvements
Tatu was one of the founding board members (1997) and past president (2005) of SPICE a local BDSM Support and Education group. He served as Membership Chairman in 1997 & 1998 and founded and led OTC (Off the Cuff), a kinky discussion group in 1998 & 1999.
He founded “The Palm Beach Munch” in 2000, which he passed on to new leadership in 2007. He founded “Shibari South Florida” aka “SILK”, a rope Special Interest Group in 2000 which to this day attracts 20-40 rope lovers each month.
Outside of rope, his next interest is administering OTK spankings. While has participated in “Leather” and BDSM community activities, he prefers to think of himself in a more rope based genre which he refer to as the “SILK Community.”
Tatu has been teaching, counseling and giving public addresses all his adult life – almost 40 years. His BA (1976) was in Social Studies Education (History, Psychology & Sociology) with a minor in Speech. His Master’s degree (MDiv1979) followed suit. He has a total of 88 hours post graduate work. For some 20 years he gave on average 3 public addresses each week and was professionally involved in counseling services almost daily.
He began teaching in the alternative lifestyle genre about 15 years ago. Annually, he has been invited to present at eight to ten regional, national or international events. He has presented at forums such as Shibaricon, Beyond Vanilla (Ft Lauderdale), The London Festival of the Art of Japanese Rope Bondage, Beyond Leather (Dallas), Black Rose, LIL (Living In Leather), SELF (South East Leather Fest), BMSL (Beat Me in St Louis), Atlanta Bound, The Florida Bash, TEASE-Ontario, Boston Rope Group, Mad Town Kink Fest, Mizucon (Miami), Kinky Kollege and Sinsations in Leather as well as numerous local or regional support groups.
For the past 12 years he has taught monthly rope gatherings known as Shibari South Florida / aka SILK. Presently he teaches a monthly Kinbaku Dojo styled class in south Florida presently with about 35 students. He also routinely has several students for private tuition who for personal or professional reasons wish not to be known in the public scene.
He has taught a number of weekend intensive workshops on Japanese Rope in locations such as Michigan & Boston.
Tatu was a featured performer at the Fetish Factory Anniversary in May 2012, an event that draws approximately 2000 participants. He has performed in settings such as Butoh for Shibaricon in 2011, opening ceremonies at various national events such as Kinky Kollege, Art & Adult entertainment events such as Exxxotica and even opened for the world known metal/industrial rock band, the Genitorturers.
He has been featured in news articles, most recently the Miami New Times after presenting and performing at the Mizucon Anime Convention in 2012.