Hijikata Tatsumi and Ohno Kazuo: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Hijikata Tatsumi and Ohno Kazuo

1st Edition

By Sondra Fraleigh, Tamah Nakamura


178 pages

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pub: 2017-12-19
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Now re-issued, this compact book unravels the contribution of one of modern theatre’s most charismatic innovators. Hijikata Tatsumi and Ohno Kazuo combines:

• an account of the founding of Japanese butoh through the partnership of Hijikata and Ohno, extending to the larger story of butoh’s international assimilation

• an exploration of the impact of the social and political issues of post-World War II Japan on the aesthetic development of butoh

• metamorphic dance experiences that students of butoh can explore

• a glossary of English and Japanese terms.

As a first step towards critical understanding, and as an initial exploration before going on to further, primary research, Routledge Performance Practitioners are unbeatable value for today’s student.

Table of Contents

PREFACE TO 2018 RE-ISSUE, Sondra Fraleigh



Kaze Daruma: the origins of butoh

Hijikata’s butoh

Nature, mud, and butoh morphology

Butoh alchemy in global circulation

Hijikata: a corpse standing desperately upright

Yoneyama Kunio

Studying Neue Tanz

The drug of Ohno


New names

Dancing life: Ohno Kazuo

Born to dance

Together and apart

Together again

Ohno’s international stage

Ohno is a bridge

Butoh, community, and healing



    The criminal and the fool: writing/living darkness

    Body as spirit: writing/speaking the butoh body

    Being a corpse

    Hijikata’s butoh-fu: what is an image?

    Words that dance: Ohno’s images

    Spiritual darkness: inside Ohno’s studio and Konpaku

    How Ohno prepares: words for the speech of the body

    The Ishikari river’s hooked-nose salmon

    Body as universe: Kazuo and Yoshito speak of love and care



    Two butohists: why they dance the way they do

    Dance as experience: shedding the social body

    Challenging modernization

    Kinjiki (Forbidden Colors, 1959)

    Barairo Dansu (Rose Colored Dance, 1965)

    Nikutai No Hanran (Rebellion of the Body, 1968)

    Note on Natsu No Arashi (Summer Storm, 1973)

    La Argentina Sho (Admiring La Argentina, 1977)

    Suiren (Water Lilies, 1987)

    Interview with Ohno Yoshito – on Suiren

    The future of butoh


Introduction to metamorphic explorations

Nakajima Natsu: becoming nothing/ becoming something

Ohno Yoshito: the patience of not starting

Yoshioka Yumiko: body resonance

Morita Itto and Takeuchi Mika: psychosomatics of butoh

Takenouchi Atsushi’s Jinen Butoh

Frances Barbe and the practice of butoh-fu

Harada Nobuo: butoh is everything

Waguri Yukio and Butoh-Kaden CD-Rom

English glossary of terms Japanese glossary of terms

About the Authors

Sondra Fraleigh is Professor Emeritus of dance and somatic studies at the State University of New York at Brockport. She chaired the Department of Dance at SUNY Brockport and has been a Faculty Exchange Scholar for the State University of New York. Her innovative choreography has been seen in theaters in New York, Germany, and Japan, and she is often a guest lecturer in Europe, America, and Asia. Fraleigh is the founding director of Eastwest Somatics Institute for the study of dance and movement therapy, a member school of ISMETA, International Somatic Movement Education and Therapy Association.

Tamah Nakamura is a professor at Chikushi Jogakuen University, Fukuoka Japan. Her areas of expertise are contemporary Japan, popular culture and gender. Research interests include artistic inquiry, and butoh. She has published articles and presented on butoh in Japan and internationally.

About the Series

Routledge Performance Practitioners

Routledge Performance Practitioners is an innovative series of introductory handbooks on key figures in twentieth-century performance practice.
Each volume focuses on a theatre-maker who has transformed the way we understand theatre and performance. The books are carefully structured to enable the reader to gain a good grasp of the fundamental elements underpinning each practitioner's work. They provide an inspiring springboard for students on twentieth century, contemporary theatre and theatre history courses.
These compact, well-illustrated and clearly written books unravel the contribution of modern theatre's most charismatic innovators, through:

  • personal biography
  • explanation of key writings
  • description of significant productions
  • reproduction of practical exercises.

As a first step towards critical understanding, and as an initial exploration before going on to further, primary research, Routledge Performance Practitioners are unbeatable value for today's student.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PERFORMING ARTS / Dance / General
PERFORMING ARTS / Dance / History & Criticism
PERFORMING ARTS / Theater / General