In Memorium... Mr Aketchi Denki
In Memorium... Mr Aketchi Denki was the greatest living 'nawashi' that I have ever met. Though we could not speak well together because of our mutual lack of each others languages, we still had a very good understanding. I felt we shared the same feelings. Even though he was so famous, he gave you his time, and was certainly generous and kind to me. I always felt comfortable in his presence. I gave him some of my original photographs, and he gave me some of his, which you can see below.
He had astounding rope skills that touched the heart and the emotion. I have seen old men cry at the sheer beauty of his work. We met some six times. It was a great honour and priviledge for me to have worked in his presence. One time after working at his own salon, he even paid me, which truly I never expected. I felt very humbled.
Another time, he came along to one of my working bondage/photo sessions. I recall this was at the 'Nakano Queen' up the street from the Nakano railway station in Tokyo. Mr Gogh, the fabulous transvestite promoter of the 'Department H' club [usually held at 'On Air West' Shibuya] had arranged it for me. Naturally, I felt a 'bit intimidated' when Mr Aketchi walked in. Somehow he had found out, and had taken the trouble to come along. I just got on with the kinbaku and photography and did my best for my 'mjyo' [masochistic slave girl] to create beauty and joy for her, and hopefully come up with some good pictures. He had to leave while I was midway through my last session. I meanwhile, was so absorbed with my concentrated task that I was unaware of his departure. I heard later that his only comment was..."Well, at least he did better than the last time"
I was relieved, but knowing his dry sense of humour, it made me laugh out loud, and at myself. I still laugh when I think about that moment, but at the same time it brings a tear to the eye, because I wont see him next time I am in Tokyo. In truth, his presence was an inspiration. Mr Aketchi liked a joke. He also liked a drink, and a good laugh! I recall we sat together in his Shibuya salon one friday afternoon, and polished off two bottles of wine, in company with his dedicated mjyo. Her name was Yumeji Kyojyo. I am sure she was heartbroken by his demise. I could tell they loved each other, because their kinbaku performances together showed such powerful emotional feeling. The likes of which I have yet to see again. Kinbaku was their perfect relationship.
The last time we were together was at an 'SM Valentine Party Night' held at 'Loft Plus One' in the heart of Shibuya. It was on the evening of 14th February, 2003. Also in the very same place, in the afternoon of that very same day, Mr Yasuji Watanabe and his english speaking editor, Mr Tetsuaki Sakurai, both of 'SM Sniper Magazine' made an interview with me at another one of my working bondage/photo sessions. Also by coincidence again, I had worked at 'Loft Plus One' just one week earlier as the guest of Mr Ranki Kazami. After my performance he had got out a microphone and interviewed me on the stage to ask me how I had learnt kinbaku.
That night there were lots of performers. Infact it was an evening of non-stop shows. The tiny dressing room at the top of a poky narrow staircase was so crammed with all of us, with hardly anywhere for all of us to sit, or relax. So it was difficult to chat. I gave Mr Aketchi a print of one of my Japanese drawings. I had given him something like that every time that we had met.
Naturally, he was the top of the bill that night, and made a fantastic show. It got very late, as everyone over ran their schedule. Me included! I was on just before him, I could not believe they had given me second billing as there were others there who I thought were far better than me. Consequently, all our final departures were somewhat hurried and there was not time to say thankyou and goodbye to everyone.
So, that was to be the last time that I saw him. He looked tired. His small thin frame passing like a shadow through the doorway. All of us just wanted to go home to sleep. I dont think I will ever find anyone to replace him and his unique mixture of character, humour, discipline and sheer artistry. He was an inspiration. And so now there is a corner of my heart that is gone forever.
May the gods bless his soul and bring him eternal happiness.
Aketchi Denki, born 9 November 1940, died 17 July 2005