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TDR: The Drama Review 44.1 (2000) 29-33

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Hijikata Tatsumi Chronology

compiled by Kurihara Nanako


Hijikata Tatsumi: The Words of Butoh


1928 9 March: Born Yoneyama Kunio in Akita Prefecture.

1940 Graduates from an elementary school affiliated with Akita Prefectural Normal School and enters Akita Prefectural Technical High School.

1945 Graduates from high school and enters the Akita Steel Co.

1946 Takes modern dance lessons from Masumura Katsuko, disciple of Ishii Baku.

1949 Moves to Tokyo. Impressed by Ono Kazuo's recital at Kanda Kyoritsu Kodo. Moves back to Akita.

1950 Does forestry work. Gives his first performance, Tsuki no hamabe (Moon at the Beach), at a movie theatre in Akita city. Tours with Masumura Katsuko's performance group, to entertain people in local cities and villages.

1952 Moves back to Tokyo. Stays at a flophouse, working as a longshoreman and a junk dealer. Studies various forms of dance including ballet, flamenco, and jazz.

1953 Takes classes at the Ando Mitsuko (now Noriko) Dance Institute. Performs in TV music dance shows choreographed by And o Mitsuko.

1954 Returns briefly to Akita when his mother, Suga, dies. Under the stage name Hijikata Kunio, gives his first performance in Tokyo, Tori (Birds), dancing with Ono Kazuo and Yoneyama Mamako as part of Ando Mitsuko's dance recital. Continues until about 1958 to perform in the recitals of Ando Mitsuko/Horiuchi Kan Unique Ballet Group.

1957 His father, Ryuzo, dies.

1958 June: Stage manages the Masumura Katsuko dance recital. December: Choreographs and dances a small part in Haniwa no mai (Dance of Burial Mound Figurine) at the Gekidan ningen-za/Gendai butai geijutsu kyokai god o koen (Theatre Human/Contemporary Theatre Arts Association United Concert), under new stage name, Hijikata Tatsumi.
1959 May: Creates Kinjiki (Forbidden Colors) and performs it with Ono Kazuo's son, Ono Yoshito.
September: Performs a revised version of Kinjiki in 650 EXPERIENCE no kai (650 Experiences Recital) for six avantgarde artists.
December: Choreographs Banzai onna (Banzai Woman) for Onrai Sahina, who performed it with Ono Kazuo and Hijikata [End Page 29] at Daiikkai joryu abangyarudo no kai (The First Women Avantgardists' Dance Recital).

1960 July: First recital, Hijikata Tatsumi DANCE EXPERIENCE no kai (Hijikata Tatsumi Dance Experiences Recital). Works include Hanatachi (Flowers), Shushi (Seeds), Div inu sho (Divine) which was a solo for Ono Kazuo, and Shorijo (Disposal Place).

October: Choreographs and performs Sei koshaku (Saint Marquis) at Dainikai 650 EXPERIENCE no kai, Rokunin no zen'ei o enshutsu suru kai (The Second 650 Experiences Recital, Showcase for Six Avantgarde Artists).

October: Directs Motofuji Akiko's Emiri no bara (Emily's Rose) for the Motofuji Akiko Dance Recital.

1961 September: Choreographs and performs Han'in han'y osha no hiru sagari no higi sansho (Secret Ceremony of a Hemaphrodite in the Early Afternoon, Three Chapters) and Sato gashi (Sugar Candy).

1962 June: Choreographs Leda santai (Three Phases of Leda) for Leda no kai (Leda Recital) with dancer Motofuji Akiko, writer Yagawa Sumiko, and set designer Nonaka Yuri, at Asbestos Hall.

August: Dances a solo in Haisen bansankai (Lost War Banquet) organized by art critic Yoshida Yoshie and visual artist Akasegawa Genpei.

1963 November: Choreographs and dances Anma: aiyoku o sasaeru gekijo no hanashi (Masseur: A Story That Supports Passion) for the Hijikata Tatsumi DANCE EXPERIENCE no kai (Hijikata Tatsumi Dance Experiences Recital).

1965 September: Returns to Akita with photographer Hosoe Eik o. The three-year project produces a book collaboration, Kamaitachi (Sickle Weasel).

November: Choreographs and dances Barairo dansu: A LA MAISON DE M. CIVEÇAWA (Rose-Colored Dance: To Mr. Shibusawa's House).

1966 July: Choreographs and performs Seiai onchogaku shinan zue: Tomato (Instructional Illustrations for the Study of Divine Favor in Sexual Love: Tomato).

1967 July: Choreographs and performs Keijijo-gaku (Emotion in Metaphysics) for recital of his female disciple, Takai Tomiko.

August: Choreographs and performs Butoh June (Butoh Genet) for recital of his disciple, Ishii Mitsutaka.

1968 Marries Motofuji Akiko and, taking her last name, changes his legal...


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