Oda Hisashi (織田久先生) – The Emissary

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By NuitdeTokyo

The other day I was at a Yakitori restaurant in Roppongi just below the C’est Bien shop (run by the Mistress Bar empire). It used to be one of the customary stops with Osada Steve (長田スティーブ) on our way to Roppongi Jail.

I was rather startled to suddenly see Osada Steve himself appearing in front of me, saying he saw me through the window. The bill was promptly settled and five minutes later we landed in Jail, so to speak . . .

At the bar we encountered Oda Hisashi (織田久先生), the owner of the nationwide Jail empire. Steve and Oda-sensei are going back a long time and were soon reminiscing about the old days when Oda Hisashi was a regular at Studio SIX to enjoy grandmaster Osada Eikichi’s (長田英吉, 1925 to 2001) live shows.

After Osada sensei collapsed one night on stage, he spent almost a year in a home for the elderly. It was during that time when Oda Hisashi took a leading role as emissary and advisor on keeping the Osada lineage alive by promoting Steve (at that time going by the name of Dr D Vice) to become the officially designated successor to the Osada empire. Asked why he had staked his reputation on routing for Steve he replied that Steve had “heart”. “Heart is something rare and special in shibari. You can’t be taught it, you can’t buy it, you can’t beg for it. Either you have it or you don’t; and Steve had it.” He also said that Steve struck him as the most likely person to keep the Osada name alive. “Steve is a guy who knows the spirit of budo – that’s very rare to find among Japanese these days. Just look at the ever-increasing number of sport riggers.”

When I asked Steve later what a sport rigger was, he explained that as the pyramid grows at the bottom the percentage of people who don’t know what they are doing increases as more and more people do shibari because it’s “cool”; and not because of any particular deep conviction or “heart”.

Now, according to Steve, all he ever wanted was tie up pretty women, but through the untimely departure of his mentor and benefactor he was gently nudged into becoming the successor of Osada Eikichi; an event that was sealed and officially ratified at a special Memorial Event in Roppongi Jail in November, 2001; attended by the who is who of the shibari world, including Akechi Denki (明智伝鬼).

Coincidentally, I had just come across the August 1999 issue of Speculum, a magazine rather hard to find, with a prominent feature on Oda Hisashi and the Kansai SM world. As coincidences keep piling up, Oda Hisashi is also featured in this month’s Mania Club, published by Sanwa Shuppan.

Oda Hisashi is one of those guys who have been around for decades. He helped Steve break into large stages in Osaka and around the country, and taught Steve a lot about shows. According to Steve he never saw him drive the same car or wear the same brand-name watch twice. It’s hard to say how large his fleet is, but by latest count he owns six Porsche cars.

Walking back into the Tokyo night I told Osada Steve about an interview of Akechi Denki (明智伝鬼) by Randa Mai (乱田舞) in the same August 1999 issue of Speculum, and promised to translate and share this here on TokyoBound.

NdT

TieBreaker says: If you click here you will be able to see a photo gallery that has nothing to do with the article above. I’m just throwing it in for the heck of it.

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6 Comments

  1. Thank you dear Sensei and NuitdeTokyo for sharing those intense and wonderful moments with all of us who are geographically far away, but feel spiritually near. I’m really looking forward for NuitdeTokyo’s translation from the Akechi Denki’s interview by Randa Mai!

  2. What makes Steve-dono unique, and makes him so loved by many around the world; a quote from the article:

    “Asked why he had staked his reputation on routing for Steve he replied that Steve had “heart”.
    “Heart is something rare and special in shibari. You can’t be taught it, you can’t buy it, you can’t beg for it.
    Either you have it or you don’t; and Steve had it.”

    Steve-dono, you are an outstanding, life-changing, and profoundly admirable Man. Your work, doings, and ways within kinbaku and the affects on the lives of so many people, cannot be told in words.

    My heart is with you for ever, with gratitude and happiness for having been allowed to ‘get closer to life’ by you 🙂

  3. Pingback: The Eikechi Legacy | ESINEM ESINEM

  4. Steve-dono, my deepest respect to your profound way of teaching. I have seen first hand how you approach and grab each student individually where she/he foremost needs help and insight to develop further, both personally and technically at the same time. In your profound way of teaching, this seems two sides of the same coin that cannot be separated. Who we are. How we tie.

    Having been invited to sit in during your private lessons during two weeks, it became clear that deep mutual respect should always run together with each and every rope that is applied.

    For what you so generously shared I can never thank you enough. By far, you have been the greatest and most giving teacher of my life during our long lasting friendship.

    As Oda Hisashi said, Steve’s way of rope runs through his heart. But there’s much more to it, because, this is exactly how you teach as well. From your heart to each individual student. You seem to always catch us where we most need it.

  5. Thank you for this article, it is with a heavy heart that i inform you on Oda sensei’s passing last spring. He was my mentor of many years. May he rest in peace.
    Vivianne (aka satomi Zpira)

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