Before getting on that jet plane, I wanted to post this coverage of the beginnings of Studio SIX, the venue for Osada Steve’s Kinbaku Live shows as well as a host of photo and video shoots.
Studio SIX is located in an office tower somewhere in Ikebukuro, Tokyo. It’s not far from the east exit of the Ikebukuro JR station. Rumor has it that Steve dropped a million big ones to purchase the space he occupies in this building. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s the single largest tenant. He also has offices here and his own production studio.
He’s come a long way from those days of walking around Tokyo with an empty stomach!
The photos of Studio SIX linked to in this report and the report from German bondage master, Matthias (aka Ryu-jin, aka Drachenmann) depict Studio SIX as it appears today at its current location. It’s still in the same building, just on a different floor.
However, I also put up a gallery of photos which were graciously supplied by Matthias and they show the original Studio SIX. These photos were taken by Matthias on his first trip to Tokyo at the grand opening of Studio SIX back in 2000.
I don’t remember exactly how I first stumbled upon Osada Steve and Studio SIX. I’m pretty sure it was soon after I arrived in Tokyo and got set up with Internet access. I know I came across Steve thanks to the Internet. I just don’t remember exactly how that occurred. I guess like everyone else: surfing bondage pics!
In keeping with the theme of this coverage of Studio SIX, I conducted the following interview with the master himself:
Osada Steve, when did Studio SIX begin?
Studio SIX opened its doors in April, 2000 to become the home base for my sensei, Osada Eikichi.
Was that in the same location as it is now?
Today’s Studio SIX is still in the same building, albeit on a different floor.
How did you come up with the name Studio SIX?
Before turning it into a theater I had used the space as photo studio. My sensei’s activities were branded as Osada Seminar, but I also wanted a name for the actual space. Initially I fancied something like Golden Diamond Lucky Dragon Stardust Galaxy Resort Hotel & Casino, but then settled for something more simple that would also be easy on Japanese ears.
How long did Osada sensei operate there before retiring?
Osada Eikichi had a stroke and collapsed on stage in 2001.
Who’s the most famous model and/or spectator to attend a Studio SIX performance?
Among the more recognizable visitors are Akechi Denki, Chiba Eizoh, Naka Akira, Nawashi Monko, Nawashi Kanna, and Oda sensei. The most famous actress yet was Serina Komuro. By far the most popular star of the new generation is Asagi Ageha, a Studio SIX regular.
As far as live performances are concerned, these are only held on Saturdays. On other days the studio is used for photo and video shoots, classes, practice, rehearsals, Shibari coaching, private sessions, auditions, you name it.
Are there any “special” nights?
For me, every Saturday night is special. Mainly because a different model is featured every time.
The “amateur” nights are crowd favorites. I guess because you don’t always get a chance to watch a new woman being broken in. The first experience for a sub is always very intense. Anything can happen on such nights.
How long does the typical show last? How many sets are there?
Actually these are not “shows” in the sense of things being staged, or rehearsed or anything. It’s more like real play in front of an audience.
I am usually doing four to five sets per night, with each session lasting 40 to 60 minutes.
I usually start off with newaza (floor work), continue with a few tsuriwaza (suspension sets), then finish with some semewaza (torture).
Has there ever been any debauchery during or after a show?
As the woman becomes increasingly aroused, so does everyone else. Thus, there is constant temptation to satisfy desires through other means than rope.
However, as Yukimura Haruki sensei puts it, a bakushi needs strength and discipline to follow the way of the rope. Only by resisting temptation, by adding another rope, and another, and another can you expect your rope work to reach a certain level.
If I were to crank out my whips every time a woman craves pain, I wouldn’t be where I am today in terms of bondage skills. The same holds true if I were to perpetuate my lineage every time a women craves sex.
Of course, we are all human. So if by debauchery you mean orgasmic action going down at Studio SIX, well, as I said, anything can happen on a Saturday night.
What is the weirdest thing that has ever happened at Studio SIX?
Quite a few submissive women (well, those that seek me out anyway) are having emotional issues. So, when put under pressure, like being intensely topped or dominated, there comes a point where things might just boil over.
This can manifest itself in different ways. Like an otherwise docile person suddenly going berserk. Or a woman falling into the abyss, totally going autistic.
Then there are the more common reactions like panic attacks, the model unable to breathe, etc. All these reactions are not directly induced by specific types of play or any particularly hard or painful action. And most of the time you don’t see them coming. So the challenge is to recognize them swiftly.
These come with the job, and I don’t see them as weird. But I am sure some in the audience do.
Do any particularly good (or bad) performances stand out?
Kinbaku Live Nights at Studio SIX, being characterized as private play with people watching, and coupled with the fact that a different woman is featured every time, each performance is a tremendous challenge and a very intense experience for all parties involved; the sub, the audience, and me.
Some visitors are getting so tense while watching, that they end up with sore shoulders. So from the standpoint of raw, unadulterated intensity I would say these nights are all pretty close to reaching peak level.
What does differ from night to night are the contents of play. With certain types of models I might focus more on suspension work, while others may get acquainted with my pain delivery systems.
I am often asked whether I still enjoy what I am doing. The way it works is, the more experience I gain, the more variety of plays I obtain, the more enjoyable sessions I can provide. In short, as my skills increase, so does my joy in applying those skills.
After doing this for so many years, I am still learning to read each new individual. Only if I know what is going on in the woman’s head, can I open more doors for her and push her limits without a trip to the emergency room.
How much does it cost to attend? Is there a membership fee?
Studio SIX is a dojo-like theater. There is no staff, no bar, no chairs even. You sit on the floor. There is no membership scheme.
Admission is $150 for the peanut gallery, and $300 for the box seats. That’s pricey even by Japanese standards. But then it’s also the only place where you can see Osada Steve up-close for four jaw-dropping hours.
Any particular direction you’d like Studio SIX to go in the future?
By necessity, in order to maintain the level of intensity of the Kinbaku Live Nights, Studio SIX needs to be a small place. But sometimes I wish it were a bit bigger, especially for my photo and video shoots.
I am happy with the current format, but wouldn’t mind moving to a slightly bigger space within the same building.
Thanks to Osada Steve for taking the time to provide another illuminating interview. As always, if you’re Tokyo bound, Studio SIX is only a phone call away.