Fundamental Elements & Philosophy of Semenawa - Naka Style

18may(may 18)11:0019(may 19)18:00Fundamental Elements & Philosophy of Semenawa - Naka StyleLGBTQIA+ & FRIENDSSold Out!In-House Event11:00 - 18:00 (19) FacilitatorNaoko (formerly Subay) (she/her)Categoryshibari

Health Guidelines for this Event

Event Area Sanitized


18 (Saturday) 11:00 - 19 (Sunday) 18:00



Event Details

This workshop is an introduction to the fundamental elements and philosophy of Naka Style, as interpreted by Naoko. Naka Style follows the tying style of Naka Akira sensei, who recently appointed Naoko as his third deshi (disciple). Naoko will also share her personal approach to semenawa.

We will build understanding on three important aspects of tying in the style, balancing both the “how” and the “why”:

– Techniques (structures and safety)
– Progression in feelings and connection
– Traditional aesthetics

“Rope is free” – as what Naka-sensei and Naoko believe. Semenawa is often misinterpreted as being shape-driven, and therefore rigid. While basic forms in Naka style will be covered, this workshop will place specific emphasis on adjustments that can be made within the style, i.e. how to adapt ties to individuals who are unique in their physique, flexibility, and expressions in semenawa, including exploration of different tying possibilities in addition to the high hands Naka style of gote that participants may have had experience with.

We will learn together through discussion, observations of demonstrations by Naoko, and exercises on both hard and soft techniques. Naoko will adapt her teaching to the students; exercises may be floor ties or suspensions depending on the level, progression, and interest of the students.

Naoko’s education in Naka Style is solely from private lessons with Naka-sensei in Tokyo. This means her teaching style, techniques, and philosophy are more Japanese-influenced which may differ from the interpretation by other teachers. Please keep an open mind and be ready to explore a different approach.


Application process

Places in this workshop are very limited so we are working with an application process.

We suggest applying as quickly as possible as we will work on a rolling basis. This workshop primarily centers on LGBTQIA+ and other marginalized people but is open to Friends as well.

We can provide financial assistance in the form of installment payments that can be somewhat customized to your needs. We are also offering one full scholarship (100% waived workshop fees) to a pair of LGBTQIA+ or other marginalized people in need. Please only apply for this scholarship if you have absolutely no other means. 

If you would like to participate, please email us ( a short application telling us about

1) your and your partner’s rope journey

2) reasons/intentions to participate in this workshop

3) provide photographic or video evidence showing you can fulfill the minimum requirements

4) let us know if you need financial assistance via installment payments and how many installments would work for you 

5) let us know if you are applying for the scholarship

6) let us know if you want to book accommodation in the house (tell us how many people, how many nights)


Event Details

Date & Time: May 18-19, 2024, 11-6 pm (lunch break included)

Format: Workshop


Language: English

Minimum Knowledge Level: 

For the ones tying / riggers:

You must have a good understanding of fundamental techniques and concepts in Shibari / Kinbaku.
You must be able to tie a solid gote suitable for suspension, in any style. Some basic understanding of Naka Style of gote will be helpful but not essential. If you tie the Akechi style of gote, you must master the 3-rope variations (a 2-rope gote will not meet the pre-requisites)
You must have a basic understanding of suspension line management
You must have a good understanding of rope safety
You must be open to exploring Naka Style and traditional Japanese concepts

For the ones getting tied / models:

You must feel comfortable being tied in a gote
You must have some prior experience in suspensions
You must have a good understanding of safety in Shibari, especially the difference between nerve compression and blood circulation loss
You must be open to expressing, communicating, and exploring vulnerabilities in rope
You must be open to exploring Naka Style and traditional Japanese concepts

Please note that switching is not possible due to time constraints and a cumulative teaching style.

What to Bring: 

– Jute ropes (at least 8-10 lengths of ropes, 5-6mm in diameter). We also suggest having varying lengths of ropes (some longer and shorter ones are always helpful)
– Safety shears or any other suitable cutting tools
– Notepad and a pen (phones are not allowed for note-taking, we request a phone-free environment for the weekend. If note-taking on your phone is a matter of accessibility, please let us know in advance of the weekend.)
– Comfortable clothing
– Snacks and drinks
– Aftercare items
– Respect, kindness, and an open mind 🙂

Ticket: 380 Euros. Price is per PAIR

Awa and Mei will model for Naoko and are happy to share their experience in Shibari.

About Awa

AwA (She/her), originally from Hong Kong, is now based in London and primarily models for Naoko.

She was drawn to Shibari by the tight, binding feeling, and the headspace created through the embrace of the rope and the close relationship with the one tying. The non-verbal elements between the two: the interaction, the trust, and the vulnerability are what make every moment so precious to her.
As a hyperflexible model, adjustments often need to be made (e.g. tension) for the tie to be sustainable for AwA. This may pose additional challenges for the one tying, but is crucial for her to fully sink into rope. Coming back to reality after being in rope and organising her thoughts may take some time, but she is always open to sharing her experiences, so please do feel free to speak with her at any point during the weekend.


About Mei

Initially, her experiences with rope were expansive, exploring a wide range of tying styles and types of connections. Her background in aerial arts facilitated a more acrobatic style of rope, with a greater focus on form, and dynamic transitions. Whilst her original interest in shibari was primarily focussed on aesthetics, over time she developed a deep love for the intimate moments, and the intense emotions brought through sharing so much trust together.

Currently, she mainly models for Naoko in London, tying in Naka style. Semenawa is very dear to Mei, as it creates a space for her to be truly vulnerable and honest with her feelings. The gradual progression throughout the tying is something she has come to appreciate and love. She is very comfortable sharing her thoughts about how she feels in ties, and about her prior experiences in Shibari too.


Mandatory Covid-19 rules

If you would like to inform yourself about other safety measures we have in place, please consult our Covid-19 measurements here.


Accessibility Note

The workshop is held in spoken English. German can also be provided. The space, KARA, is on the ground floor but has three steps to enter the house. A ramp for wheelchairs is available at all times. There is also a parking space available right in front of the door if needed. KARA has an accessible bathroom available. There are no thresholds in the entire house. The garden is only partially accessible at the moment. During the workshop, we will sit on the floor. Sitting in a chair can also be provided. Adaptations for physical needs will be shown and can also be provided upon request. If you participate in this workshop and need more assistance please message us at beforehand.



For people coming to this workshop from out of Berlin, we can offer you accommodation in our space (mattress, bed linens, cushions, bathroom, shower, and kitchen) in the common area. If you are interested, please message us at


Who is this event for?

LGBTQIA+ describes the full spectrum of non-mainstream sexual orientation and/or gender identity, meaning: lesbian, gay, bisexual, pansexual, transgender, non-binary, genderqueer/fluid,

Friends describes people of any and all kinds of gender and sexual identities who are aware and respectful of the necessity, needs, and boundaries of a queer safe(r) space and its marginalized community.

When you consider yourself a friend you show acknowledgement to and are respectful of everyone’s self-expression and do not assume, presume or project non-consensual ideas onto others. You actively request and use people’s chosen pronouns. You remain mindful of the fact that Karada House is first and foremost a space for queer people that you are also invited to attend. You have a genuine concern for the well-being of LGBTQIA+ people and remain in awareness of heterosexual and gender straight privileges.

Friends don’t have to be perfect. None of us are. We request that we all pro-actively work and strive to be good friends and allies to marginalized people.


Naoko (formerly Subay) (she/her)

Born and raised in Hong Kong, Naoko is a Shibari artist, performer and educator based in London. She is the founder of Studio Yukari (London, 2022) and Kokoro Studio (Hong Kong, 2015). She is part of Nawa Naka Kai 縄奈加会 and in 2023 was recognised as the third deshi of Naka Akira 奈加あきら sensei. Around 2011, Naoko was introduced to Shibari as a Shibari model. Deeply fascinated by its aesthetics, eroticism and emotions, she began studying the art of Japanese rope bondage in Japan. Being drawn to the raw expression of vulnerability in semenawa 責め縄, Subay found her teacher Naka Akira sensei and has been formally studying with him since. Naoko’s style of semenawa is described to be “feminine and inclusive”. She draws great inspirations from her short encounter with Yukimura Haruki in 2014. Using rope to engage in an empathic conversation forms the heart of her style in Shibari. Having had extensive experience in multiple tying styles, and vast exposure to different rope communities in Asia and in the West, she has developed a unique, adaptive and evolving approach to tying and teaching. Naoko has taught and performed in over 20 cities, and has had the honour of assisting Naka Sensei at his Nawa-kai, Satsuei-kai and Kenkyuu-kai in Tokyo, alongside his international workshops in San Francisco and Copenhagen. /

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