慶應義塾大学アート・センター Keio University Art Center

The 36th Anniversary of Hijikata Tatsumi’s Death: Talking Together about Hijikata Tatsumi

The event “The 36th Anniversary of Hijikata Tatsumi’s Death / Talking together about Tatsumi Hijikata” will be held on Friday, January 21, 2022. Attendance will be by reservation only, with a limit on the number of participants.

In 2022, 50 years after the landmark performance of “Twenty-seven Nights for Four Seasons”, we will welcome butoh artist Akaji Maro as our guest. Maro was mentored by Tatsumi Hijikata subsequent to his visit to the Asbestos Hall in 1966, and founded the Dairakudan troupe in 1972, establishing his footing in the world of butoh.
At the “Talking together about Tatsumi Hijikata” event, we will reappraise the 1970s, which can be considered the nascent era of butoh, and use this as an opportunity to weigh the significance of the last half-century.  (It is also planned to stream the event online) 

Bookings can be made at: https://bit.ly/3JN2OvC  
Please note that we are no longer accepting applications as we are now fully booked. Please watch the online streaming.
( If you wish to cancel your booking, please fill in the form below. https://00m.in/EivBV )

Flyer Download
★Recorded video Youtube

Photo: Ryozen Torii

Date

Friday, 21 January 2022, 17:00-20:30 (doors open 16:00, come and go anytime)

Venue

Keio University Mita Campus, North Research Building

Audience

Open to everyone / Come and go anytime

Cost

Free participation

Enquiries and bookings

Keio University Art Center (Ishimoto)
Tel. 03-5427-1621 Email:  

Discussion[Talking together about Tatsumi Hijikata]

Date

Friday, 21 January 2022, 17:00-20:30 (doors open 16:00, come and go anytime)

Venue

Keio University Mita Campus, North Research Building

Audience

Open to everyone / Come and go anytime

Cost

Free participation

Booking

Admission free / Reservation required / Online stream available

Lecturer/Performer

Akaji Maro (butoh dancer/actor)

Butoh dancer/actor. Born in Nara Prefecture in 1943. After meeting Juro Kara at the age of 20, joins the Jokyo-gekijo(“Situation Theater”), where he enjoys increasing popularity as an indispensable player on stage at the Aka-tento (“Red Tent”) performances by the troupe. Encounters Tatsumi Hijikata on a visit to Asbestos Hall on New Year’s Day 1966, thereafter looking up to him as his mentor. Plays the lead protagonist “Kinzo” in the Ko Nakahira-directed feature Yami no naka no chimimoryo (“A Soul to Devils”), co-starring alongside Tatsumi Hijikata.
Though as an actor he embodies Juro Kara’s dramatical ethos of the “Theory of the Privileged Body”, transfixing audiences with his appearance and demeanor, he withdraws from the Jokyo-gekijo in 1971. The following year of 1972 he goes on to launch the butoh group Dairakudakan. Comprised of butoh dancers including Bishop Yamada, Ushio Amagatsu, Isamu Osuga, and Ko Murobushi the Dairakudakan plays a part in the butoh boom of the 1970s, advocating its signature tenputenshikidancing style. Tatsumi Hijikata is a guest performer in Yobutsu shintan (“Myth of the Phallus”), staged in 1973, in what would become his final stage appearance.
With his bold conception, rarefied execution, and eminent leadership, Maro has led the Dairakudakan for half a century, to realize world-class performances at the cutting edge of Butoh. In 2021, he staged performances throughout Japan, including in Dark Matter at Setagaya Public Theater in February, and performing in duet with François Chaignaud in GOLD SHOWER (Setagaya Public Theater, and other venues).


[Akaji Maro Talking about Tatsumi Hijikata]

Then he abruptly asked me “don’t you have sticky fingers?” staring at me with a face betraying neither humor nor seriousness. Oddly enough, I answered “Yes, I do.” “Thought so,” was all he said. A brief silence followed—then, he sprinkled soybean flour on a rice cake and handed it to me. Receiving it reverently with both hands, I wondered at the fact that this was the legendary “Tatsumi Hijikata” I had heard tell of—a man with all the appearances of a yokel in the big city; a man cloaked in the landscapes of the countryside [...]. Around four years after I came to Tokyo, buffeted by the bustle of city life, and relying purely on my physical vigor, nose, and intuition, I somehow experienced a palpable relief in front of Tatsumi Hijikata. While I am an only child, it felt as though I had somehow reunited with a long-lost older brother. Abundant kindness always permeated the depths of Hijikata’s piercing gaze. (“The Autobiography of Akaji Maro” 2017; Retitled from “Akaji Maro: Adventures of a Dandy Apprenticed to a Sorrowful World” 2011)

Here I am reminded of the words of my mentor Tatsumi Hijikata about “The Weakened Body.” He died at the age of 57, but first gave voice to this idea when he was 50. It is my belief that “The Weakened Body” is an all-encompassing methodology which expands on the theories of butoh he had nurtured for over 20 years. His razor-sharp sensitivity was honed to distinguish and anticipate subtle physical transformations and translate these into movement: a philosophy of butoh not limited to his deeply personal experiences of the weakened body; and informed by his belief that human aging and deteriorating faculties are as a grace bestowed on butoh. (“The Weakened Body” The Nikkei, November 26, 2020)

Tatsumi Hijikata “appeared” in front of us as a terminator of “time,” and gave to us butoh dancers both glories and tragedies in the form of bliss. Know that those who believe in Hijikata will perish, just as those who do not believe in him will perish. (“The Body Exists in the Wild” flyer 1998)

Enquiries and bookings

Keio University Art Center (Ishimoto)
Tel. 03-5427-1621 Email:  

Organiser(s)

Host: Keio University Art Center (KUAC)
Planning: Keio University Art Center Tatsumi Hijikata Archive
Cooperation: Tatsumi Hijikata Asbestos Hall, Butoh Laboratory, Japan, Dairakudakan


Online (Zoom Webinar)
https://keio-univ.zoom.us/j/89341811609
ID:893 4181 1609

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https://keio-univ.zoom.us/j/89341811609
ID:893 4181 1609

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Tatsumi Hijikata “The Story of Smallpox” Photo Exhibition
Photographed by Makoto Onozuka

On the day of the event, Makoto Onozuka’s photographs of the 1972 butoh performance “Twenty-seven Nights for Four Seasons” will also be exhibited. This exhibition is open to everyone.

Venue: Keio University Mita Campus, North Research Building