Some Common Knots & Frictions

Below is a collection of some of the more common knots and frictions you’ll encounter in rope bondage that follows the Japanese style. We hope this will serve as a glossary of terms and a handy reference.

General Terms

Bight 縄頭 (nawagashira) and Tails 縄尻 (nawajiri)

“Bight” typically refers to the midpoint of the rope when folded in half. However, note that a “bight” is really any full bend in the rope, so you can create a bight at any location in the rope.


Lark’s Head

… for extending rope

… flipped lark’s head

Reverse Tension

Cinch (kannuki)

Inline Cuff / Hojo Cuff

Friction 留め縄 (tomenawa)

Turn / Direction Change

Half-Hitch 竹止め (takedome)

Munter Hitch の止め (nodome)

Reverse Munter Hitch うらの止め (uranodome)

Upside-Down Munter



Half-Moon Friction

Knot 結び目 (musubime)

Square Knot / Reef Knot 本 結び (hon musubi)

Japanese-style rope bondage uses very few knots, and it could be argued that this is the only “true knot” traditionally used. You’ll sometimes hear this referred to as a “boola boola” knot (a term coined in jest by Numinous in 2002) or a “yuki” knot (in deference to Yukimura Haruki). The direction that the standing end of the rope is flipped determines whether the resulting knot is technically a reef knot or a granny knot (see variants and discussion here).

Somerville Bowline

This knot is typically attributed to Topologist, and the name certainly comes from him. Esinem has speculated that there is a Japanese legacy behind this knot, found in the “fence knot” or otoko musubi (男結び). Regardless of origin, its compact nature and sturdy construction have made it a popular choice for securing cuffs.

Hojo Quick Tie (half-hitch on a bight)

Also see: Knots Terminology