Kasumi Hourai biography :
Born in 1980, Hourai Kasumi is a highly respected Japanese Kinbakushi from Nagoya, Japan.
Initially self taught, at 19 years old Kasumi decided to go to Tokyo in order to study under Akechi Denki in 1999. Since then she has has learnt from a variety of highly respected sources. Kasumi spent time training with Hajime Kinoko as a member of ‘Ichinawakai’ where she learnt a lot about the discipline itself, with a particular focus on modern Kinbaku. Then in ‘Salon Kitagawa’ she received instruction from Kitagawa on carabiner-less techniques and many different locks and knots as part of a logical, beautiful and efficient system.
Having had the opportunity to have an exchange with Akira Naka, Kasumi then developed a strong fascination with his work and in 2015 dedicated herself to study Naka Ryu with a passion.
From the beauty of Akira Naka’s rope work and his attention to detail, Kasumi sensed what she felt was the soul of a traditional japanese ‘craftsman’ – the ability to give complete attention to detail focusing not only on aesthetics but on intention as well. This caused her fascination with him to grow even more.
From these experiences, Kasumi developed a strong desire to create a personal archive in order to keep a record of her own experiences as a rope bottom (bottoming for Akira Naka for DVD, performances and photoshoots in collaboration with Norio Sugiura).
Since then Kasumi has spent more and more time learning from Akira Naka and then started being called on by Norio Sugiura to help in his studio as a rigger. This inspired her further towards the more classical and traditional form of Kinbaku.
At the end of 2016, Kasumi was officially recognised by Akira Naka as his second disciple. Kasumi followed Riccardo Wildties to become one of only two people in the world to become officially certified to teach Naka Ryu.
Moving into the future, Kasumi’s focus is to not only teach the form of Naka style but to also transmit its soul: the warmth, the humanism, and the love that we can feel through his ‘seme’ (his threats) in his rope.
Kasumi also incorporates her own style of rope. A fusion of Kinbaku with more traditional Japanese personal tastes. Established in her own passion for traditional Japanese culture and her own understanding and sensitivity to it. Kasumi endeavours to teach this, not only with words but in real life with demonstrations.
Currently, Kasumi is using all of her experiences as a rigger, working for photo studios on collaborations with the goal of expanding the sense and beauty with three-dimensional photography. She also travels the world to share her passion for Kinbaku.
(translation : Aizen Kaguya / Copy editing : Precipice Malum)