Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Art

Creepy Photos of Japanese Butoh

Butoh is a Japanese avant garde dance form that draws from Kabuki and Noh and other traditional art forms, imagined in post-WWII Japan by Hijikata Tatsumi and Ohno Kazuo. In a country ravaged by fire and steeped in radiation, this dance embraced the distress the nation was feeling and gave it the pale white face of death. The dancers embody the macabre and the grotesque, wading through a thick atmosphere in slow motion. They are painted head to toe in white, and their faces and bodies contort and shudder in a way that mimics a living corpse. Sex and death, violence and insanity, demons and possession are all a part of the dance; it is weird and uncomfortable to behold.  Check out the documentary Dance of Darkness below, as well as some awesomely creepy photos of dancers performing butoh in the 70s and 80s. Thanks to one of our readers for sending in this idea!

Banner photo: Nourit Masson-Sekine

Photos and Captions via historyofourworld

Kazuo Ohno, Water Lilies, 1987. Photograph by Nourit Masson-Sekine. “Steps of the dead carrying love, bewilderment of the dead searching for love.”


Kazuo Ohno, Dead Sea, 1985. Photograph by Nourit Masson-Sekine. “The dead start running…”


Tatsumi Hijikata, Shizukana le, 1973. Photograph by Makoto Onozuka. “I keep one of my sisters alive in my body when I am absorbed in creating a Butoh piece, she tears off the darkness in my body and eats more than is necessary of it…when she stands up in my body I sit down impulsively.”


Tatsumi Hijikata, Shizukana le, 1973. Photograph by Makoto Onozuka. “My mother used to say: Run with the heart of the blind.”


A Dairakuda-Kan member after a performance in their theatre, 1983. Photograph by Nourit Masson-Sekine.


U. Amagatsu, Unetsu. Photograph by Masafumi Sakamoto.


Unetsu. Photograph by Masafumi Sakamoto.


Sebi. Photograph by Mitsutoshi Hanaga.


Ariadone. Photograph by Mitsutoshi Hanaga.


Natsu Nakajima, The Garden, 1982. Photograph by Nourit Masson-Sekine.


Renai Butoh-ha, choreographed by Tatsumi Hijikata, 1984. Photograph by Masato Okada. “Our bodies love tradition; I feel Butoh when I face my traditional body…Avant-garde is an intense love affair with tradition.” – Min Tanaka.

Written By

Meghan MacRae grew up in Vancouver, Canada, but spent many years living in the remote woods. Living in the shadow of grizzly bears, cougars and the other predators of the wilderness taught her about the dark side of nature, and taught her to accept her place in nature's order as their prey. She is co-founder of CVLT Nation.

12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Yiorgos Karatzis

    December 1, 2014 at 1:55 pm

  2. Lina Kastoumis

    December 1, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    Lucas Delgado fkn love this!

  3. Gori Aragon

    December 1, 2014 at 8:43 am

    Megaforce Omar

  4. Karen LaPreziosa

    December 1, 2014 at 6:43 am

    Watch the Japanese movie Himiko. Butoh plays a significant role in that film.

  5. MyDamnedFutileHope

    December 1, 2014 at 5:46 am

    Thanks Meghan, I’ve been researching Butoh in the last few weeks, very fascinating.

    Great timing!

    Best,

  6. Lucas Delgado

    December 1, 2014 at 5:35 am

    Lina Kastoumis

  7. Val Lee

    December 1, 2014 at 5:20 am

    he the legend

  8. Howlin Albino

    December 1, 2014 at 12:40 am

    Lia Vé

    • Lia Vé

      December 1, 2014 at 3:16 am

      Sublime dans son sens profond. Y a un collectif sur Lyon qui pratique le Butoh, ça peut etre des perfs vraiment fortes à vivre en live!

  9. Justin Ton

    December 1, 2014 at 12:26 am

    Paul Missirlian David Blutarsky

  10. Justin Ton

    December 1, 2014 at 12:26 am

    Davey Joseph

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Relapse 9-19” height=
Sentient 112217

You May Also Like

Art

When I was a little girl, I couldn’t have imagined movies like Wakanda Forever or The Woman King, where women lead with strength, integrity,...

Art

Since we’re fans of fetish and Japanese culture, we’re super excited Gata Magazine introduced us to Japan’s BIZARRE MAGAZINE. Manga publisher Tsukasa Shobo put...

Cvlture

Text via Providentia / Romeo Vitelli On May 18, 1936, Sada Abe strangled her lover, Kichizo Ishida, to death. After laying with the body...

Art

RIP Namio Harukawa 4/24/2020 The mysterious Japanese artist Namio Harukawa (born either 1932 or 1947 in Osaka) had a very clear niche market in mind...

WP Twitter Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com