shiboriSome fifty or more years in the past, Westerners returning from a visit to Hakkoryu’s So-Hombu Dojo in Omiya, Japan brought back with them a term they had heard used by someone to describe the unique pressing and twisting of the body’s Shinkei, Shinpokei and Haikei meridians in the Yondan-gi teachings. That term, “shibori” has been incorrectly stuck in the West ever since, even in publications and translations.

If you’ve ever wondered why a native Japanese speaker gives you a strange look when you use this term to name this particular technique, it’s probably because he or she is thinking “why is this person talking about tie dye?

Granted, the kanji for “tie dye” and “to twist or wring out” are different though pronounced identically; nevertheless, according to the Hakkoryu Soke the word “shibori” should not be used as a name for this action as it seems to have been for so long in the West. Instead, the word “gakun” (雅勲, elegant merit) is the appropriate name for this technique, as it also describes other aspects unique to Hakkoryu’s grip.

In the meantime, some excellent shibori here.

And now you have the rest of the story.