Visiting of Butoh : Kamaitachi Butoh filming project in Tashiro



Butoh, the gestures of the dead, to die again, to make the dead re-enact once more their deaths in their entirety. – Tatsumi Hijikata

Originally referring to the Western dance styles during the Meiji era, butoh emerged as a new expression of a grotesque body during the 1960s-1970s. The movement gradually coming to the ground over time in Japan, while spreading its branches overseas, there has been a sparse but steady revival movement of butoh dance observed around Japan. One of them is the opening of the Kamaitachi museum and Kamaitachi art festival in Tashiro, named after the legendary butoh photo album by Tatsumi Hijikata and Eiko Hosoe.

This project is an attempt to film today’s butoh in Japan from a foreign eye, by following a butoh dancer’s genealogy trip in Tokyo and in Tashiro for 7 days. By listening to stories, practicing with other dancers, and experiencing the culture and history of the roots of butoh, the documentary attempts to capture the moment of a birth of a new butoh piece, to be performed within the snow white nature of Tashiro.


Goal: Making a documentary film that traces the roots of butoh in Tokyo and Tashiro, and eventually performing a new piece of butoh dance inspired by its culture and history.

Conditions for application:

  • A foreign butoh dancer that has published original butoh pieces
  • Agreement with the filming process, appearance in the film & the publicization of the documentary
  • Full availability throughout the 7-days program
  • Participation for an in-depth survey  after the trip
  • Applicants with no visiting experience to Japan will be prioritized

Duration: March 3th~10th, 2019 (provisional)

Location: Tokyo & Tashiro, Ugo town, Akita Prefecture

Fee: Free (incl. transportation fee from overseas, accommodation, meals, workshop fee etc.)

Participants: one foreign butoh dancer, one Japanese butoh teacher, one translator, one filmer + others

Selection process: Application date is during January 30th ~ February 8th. More than one video interview will be held, and the final participant will be announced on February 10th.

Provisional schedule:

Day 1 (3/3): Arrival at Tokyo, visiting Hijikata archive & Ohno Lab

Day 2 (3/4): Arrival at Tashiro, visiting Kamaitachi art museum

Day 3 (3/5): Workshop 1, experiencing Bon dance, homestay

Day 4 (3/6): Workshop 2, experiencing local food

Day 5 (3/7): Off day at hot spring

Day 6 (3/8): Workshop 3 & 4, preparation for recital

Day 7 (3/9): Rehearsal & recital, return to Tokyo

Detailed schedules to be published soon.


Apply here