Hijikata Tatsumi ~ Father of Butoh Performance


Hijikata Tatsumi – 1968
“Revolt of the Body (Red Dress)”

Keio University Art Center


March 9th was the birthday of Japanese choreographer and founder of the genre of dance performance art called Butoh. In a tribute to him, many Butoh performers from the Bay Area held an event yesterday at Ohlone Park in Berkeley, California.       

Ohlone Park – March 27, 2022
photo by Styrous®

The event was organized by Butoh performance artist, Hiroko Tamano, in celebration of the Life and Death of Hijikata Tatsumi.       
photo by Styrous®
Hiroko and her husband Koichi Tamano have been major influences in the Bay Area Butoh scene and around the world. They performed in a couple of the Sandra Sakata fashion shows for her art to wear boutique, Obiko (link below).     
Tom White, Professor Emeritus of the California College of Arts & Crafts, incorporated Butoh movements and concepts into his art and named it, butohDrawing, which he taught as part of the curriculum in his classes there and they held performances as part of the completion of the classes.      
People call it Butoh Dance; I prefer to call it Butoh movement as dance implys a formal, structured, pretty and controlled act. Butoh is the complete opposite of Western concepts of “dance”. In its pure state, it is usually improvised with no planned theme or agenda (there are exceptions) other than to express what is in the heart of each performer at that particular moment. In no way is it “pretty” by Western standards! It can be ugly and distorted . . . 


. . . it can be comical . . . 

Christina Braun & Dean Santomieri

. . . often it is excruciatingly SLOW! 

But it is beautiful in its own distinct way!
Unfortunately, I don’t know the names of all the performers I photographed during the event but where I do, I have given them credit. If you recognize someone, please let me know and I will add their name. Thank you.    
The Performance 
photos by Styrous®


 Mark Deutsch
 Kyoko Takenaka 
 Bob Webb (above & below)
There is a jungle gym in the park near the performance area; when I was a kid in the early forties, I thought it was called a “Jungle Jim.” I recall hanging by the back of my knees on the top bar one time; my legs slipped and I landed on my head! That might explain a lot. Memories of those days long gone flashed through my mind and it was delightful to watch the kids scrambling around on it . . . 

. . . but they did take time out to watch the performance.   

Kyoko Takenaka



Mark Deutsch & Martha Matsuda (above & below) 

Luku Netherthot & Mao Homie 
Annie Hallatt & friend (above & below) 
The performance closed with a chant that everyone, including the audience, participated in reciting.            

Viewfinder links:       



Sandra Sakata         
Dean Santomieri        
Koichi Tamano          
Tom White        
Net links:       
Christina Braun         
Mark Deutsch & Martha Matsuda            

Dean Santomieri         

Hiroko Tamano        

YouTube links:       

Christina Braun ~ various videos        
Mark Deutsch & Martha Matsuda at TYG

Dean Santomieri ~ various videos                 

Tom White, Betty Jo Coatanzo & Styrous ~ Butoh Oval   
Koichi & Hiroko Tamano ~ various videos       
Bob Webb ~ Butoh        

Styrous® ~ Monday, March 28, 2022        



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