By Stephen Barber
Tatsumi Hijikata (1928-86) invented the innovative functionality paintings 'Ankoku Butoh' - now celebrated world wide as the most cutting edge and haunting modern paintings kinds. Hijikata is the best determine within the final half-century of Japan's experimental tradition, and is still a seminal and inspirational presence there for artists, choreographers, film-makers, musicians and writers. His effect is additionally generic in Europe, North and South the USA, and, more and more, in different East Asian international locations. Hijikata's 'dance of darkness', respected by way of Yukio Mishima, types an ever-more prescient and revelatory functionality paintings. This crucial examine of Hijikata is the first-ever account of his lifestyles and paintings in English, and is predicated on large interviews together with his surviving collaborators. particularly, it seems to be on the engagement in Hijikata's paintings with ecu literary assets similar to Artaud, Genet and Sade, and at his functionality art's try and reconfigure the character of reminiscence and of the human anatomy. The e-book additionally strains the social turmoil of Tokyo throughout the interval during which Hijikata used to be lively within the urban, and explores the ways that his functionality paintings used to be rendered into such types as movie and images. Illustrated by way of 20 revealing pictures, HIJIKATA:ˆREVOLTˆOFˆTHEˆBODY can be of significant curiosity to all readers engaged with functionality paintings, theatre and picture, in addition to with jap tradition mostly.
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Extra resources for Hijikata: Revolt Of The Body
After both Hijikata and Motofuji had been divorced from their first partners, they eventually married, in 1968; since Motofuji’s father had no male heir, and Japanese property law prioritised male succession, Hijikata would then change his name to Kunio Motofuji. Hijikata was no longer itinerant, and would use the Asbestos Hall as the essential base for exploring his conception of Ankoku Butoh, for the next twenty years; without it, the development of that performance art would have been impossible.
7) Hijikata performed a second, expanded variant of Kinjiki, with more dancers, in September of that year; a group of dancers, with rapidly-fluctuating members, often from the social margins of Tokyo, began to collect around Hijikata at the Asbestos Hall. The notoriety of the first Ankoku Butoh performances, together with Hijikata’s pervasive presence in the Tokyo clubs and cafes where artists, poets and choreographers gathered at that time, enabled him to generate contacts and collaborations with the crucial figures in the city’s experimental culture; in 1959, and into 1960, Tokyo was undergoing immense corporeal and urban upheavals.
The American Occupation had been over for seven years at the time of Hijikata’s Kinjiki performance, but American military and cultural power over Japanese life continued, consolidated by the new constitution which General MacArthur had imposed upon the country, and by the US-Japan Security Treaty, which many young Japanese perceived as institutionalising their country’s permanent subservience to the USA; Japan could no longer have a conventional army, and had renounced all military power. Resistance to that influence grew, focusing on the two years 1960 and 1970, when the Security Treaty was up for renewal.