Tatsumi Hijikata became concerned with developing notation for his Butoh, and some of these Butoh-fu notations remain, largely in the form of notebooks transcribed by his disciples.


Tatsumi Hijikata, Costume en Face: A Primer of Darkness for Young Boys and Girls, Trans. by Sawako Nakayasu Ugly Duckling Presse, 2015.

Tatsumi Hijikata (1928-1986) is a founding father of the radical dance form that he called Butoh, whose choreography required dancers to internalize complex and often grotesque images, experiences and perspectives in order to produce precise movements. Though influenced by Western artists and writers—the expressionist dance of Mary Wigman, the writings of Artaud, de Sade, Bataille, and Genet, and the drawings and paintings of Goya, Picasso, Toyen, Beardsley, and others—he was dedicated to the particular experience of the marginalized, Japanese suffering body after World War II. In the mid-1970s, Hijikata became concerned with developing notation for his Butoh, and some of these Butoh-fu notations remain, largely in the form of notebooks transcribed by his disciples. COSTUME EN FACE is the first publication of one of Hijikata's notebook notations in either English or Japanese. In it we can see, for the first time, the profound interconnectedness of language and body in Hijikata's process of composition.

Hijikata’s language implies meanings and feelings that logical language cannot convey. His words are fingers between which sand slips.—Kurihara Nanako, The Drama Review

Excerpt:
Peacocks already in place when curtains rise /Children /Stand up with dead cylindrical tree / Dissecting Picasso with face of idiot / Line: "You know it" /Come around and confess / Yajirobe



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