Butoh 舞踏: The Kanji of Bu toh means dance stepp, stomp dance or earth dance

Ankoku Butoh 暗黒舞踏: Dance of Darkness. Hijikate called his dance Ankoku Butoh
(An = Darkness, Koku = black), following the term Ankoku Eiga, (Black Film) / Film
Noir. Darkness stands fort he unknown area to man, either within himself or in his
surroundings. Hidden layers beyond consciousness of human beeings.

The Butoh dance was created in the late 50s after World War II, when Japanese artists
refused traditional forms, as well as influences of the Western mass culture. They turned
towards inspirations of their native agricultural mythology, from early Kabuki of the Edo
period as well as from the idea of the theatre of cruelty of Antonin Artaud, Surrealism
and German Expressionism. Their revolt was manifested in works of such artists as the
writer Yukio Mishima, Shuji Terayama and dancer and choreographer Tatsumi Hijikata.
These artists were lightening the officialy ignored, dark aspects of life of Japanese

Butoh startet with the presentation of Kinjiki (Forbidden Colours) 1959 in Tokyo, based
on the homoerotic novel of Yukio Mishima. Performing Tatsumi Hijikata and 20year old
Yoshito Ohno, son of Kazuo Ohno.

Tatsumi Hijikata (1928 – 09-March 1986) and Kazuo Ohno (1906 -1. June 2010) were
the founder of Butoh. They first encountered 1954. Both worked very close together
for a period for eight years (1960-1968). Then they parted for a period of ten years
(1968-1977) and started again a very close collaboration. Hijikata directed Ohno in the
performance of Admiring L Argentina. (1977)

Hijikata and Ohno represent two opposites of a yin / yang magnetic polarity.
The energymix of these extrem polarised personalities of Tatsumi Hijikata and Kazuo
Ohno produced the original Ankoku Butoh.