Defining the Science of Rope Arrests – Hojojutsu (Part 3)

Besides hojojutsu, there is also the methodology of rope hooking, how to initially restrain the enemy’s movement, or if one happens to encounter the occurrence of a fugitive escaping. Later on this developed into categories and structures: the Generals rope is for the Generals, the officers and soldier rope for the officers and soldiers, and of course the servant rope is applied to the servants. This is a way to recognize the social status and rank. Thus there was a standardized method of nawagake (Hooking with the Rope; 縄掛) for recognizing this. Finally, this was not only used for their status and class, how someone was tied was also defined by their trade position: a samurai was tied like a samurai, a commoner as a commoner, a monk as a monk, a priest as a priest, mountain priest, ascetic, woman, child, blind person, beggar and so on. The methodology of how the rope is applied in nawagake hō is consistent to each style, and in matters of criminals, the method of binding has become standardized in relation as to how severe the crime committed is, so this can be determined at a glance. Therefore it is good to follow a standard method of tying with the rope, and for the person who applies a method that differs from the standard method is at fault, and to do so is shameful for the person who applied the tie.

These are the general methods for binding with rope in the Tokugawa era :
Samurai – Nijū Hishinawa (Double Diamond Rope).
Commoners and crude people – Jūmonji (Cruciform), Waribishi (Split Diamond), Chigaibishi (the Different Diamond), and Jōnawa (Upper Rope).
Monks and Priests – Kaeshinawa (Reverse Rope) and Takahane (Hawk Feather).
Shrine servants and Shintō priests – Shimenawa (Sacred Shrine Rope) and Torii Agata (Shintō Shrine Archway suspension).
Mountain Priests – Kyūkyōnawa (Large Oak box for traveling merchants).
Women – Chichigakenawa (Breast Hooking Rope).
Children – Chigonawa (Pageboy Rope).
Blind person – Zatōnawa (Blind man’s Rope).
Confrontational Person – Taiketsu Hanetsuku Nawa (Wing Restricting Rope).
Strong Men – Sokutōnawa (Fighting the Legs Rope).
For those that are skillful at escaping rope – Tome Nawa (Stopping Rope).
For banished criminals – Kainawa (Shellfish Rope), Okunawa (Presenting Rope), and the Watashinawa (Delivery Rope).
For exposing objects – Sarashinawa (Bleaching Rope).
For house crimes (breaking in) – Kubikirinawa (Head Cutting Rope), Kirinawa (Cutting Rope), Kinawa (Beheading Rope), Gennawa (Presentation Rope), Rakka (Falling Petals), Sutenawa (Discarding Rope), Hatsunawa (Punishment Rope).
For Arsonists – Hitsukinawa (Arson Rope).
For Vagrants – Hininnawa (Vagrants Rope).
From these standard methods many methods arose and so on. Consequently because of the various ryūha, there were many different ways of binding with the rope.


Seiko, Fujita. Zukai Hojōjutsu. (1986).


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: