What we do

The development and release of new materials from Butoh’s original period of creativity

  • Organization : Butoh Laboratory, Japan
  • Section : Project for improvements in the creative environment
  • Type of Grant Program : Single
  • Art Forms : Dance


In recent years, there has been increasing interest in dance notation by Butoh founder Hijikata Tatsumi, but research on Butoh’s original period of creativity is still insufficient. This project involved the preservation, development and study of valuable material on dance and Butoh which has been discovered in recent years, with the aim of contributing to research on dance in 1960 and Butoh by Tatsumi Hijikata.
The project uncovered the music manuscript for Tatsumi Hijikata’s 1958 work “HANCHKIKI.” Since no material exists for “HANCHKIKI” apart from the performance brochure and a few photographs of the performance, music is a valuable resource for understanding the work. Tatsumi Hijikata originally had piano and wind instruments in mind for the music, but at the insistence of the arranger, the music ended up being closer to the original Ainu source and featured piano, violin, percussion, baritone, and recitation. The music is full of the power and joy of a work set in the land of the Ainu.
Next, project organizers were able to uncover the rare and short-lived dance criticism and research magazine, “THE 20TH CENTURY DANCE” (volumes 1-3 published in 1960). Mimeographed versions of volumes 1-5 published in 1960 were completely reset and edited/published as a new edition. Offering articles on avant-garde 1960s dance and contemporary music as well as writing by Tatsumi Hijikata in one volume, it has become an indispensable resource for research on Japanese dance. In addition, Tatsumi Hijikata’s performance music and other open reels have been digitized under the project (10 reels in total).


Butoh Laboratory, Japan
In cooperation with the Hijikata Tatsumi Archive established at Keio University Art-Center, The Butoh Laboratory, Japan is charged with collecting, preserving and publishing Butoh material related to Tatsumi Hijikata, the founder of Butoh. In addition, based on these Butoh materials the organization researches and studies Butoh by Hijikata, engaging in activities designed to widely communicate and share the results. It also strives to popularize Butoh by planning and producing Butoh-related exhibitions, symposiums, workshops and Butoh performances.


Takashi Morishita
Butoh Laboratory, Japan
Elegance-Tamagawa501, 2-25-10,Tamagawa,Setagaya-ku,Tokyo


Keio University Mita Campus North Hal