The Sea of Time
At the mercy of the wind from inside myself,
I continued my journey through the darkness of Butoh.
I can see so many towns in my mind’s eye,
where 30 years have passed by.
I am now on the shore of the ocean inside myself,
standing against the wind blowing from the unseen distance.
The sea is the mother of time and space.
After the long journey from the horizon of time, therefore,
it is a great relief to me to put out to sea
as if I were in a cradle gently rocked by my mother.
Visionary corps, lower a sail!
Tighten up the rope!
On the photo: Tamano Koichi
Photographer: Inada Takushi
from the book “BUTOH. Dancers in Shades of Darkness”.
Many thanks to Yumiko Yoshioka.
Natsu Nakajima, the oldest female Butoh dancer, who dedicated all her life to Butoh. She was one of the founding members of Butoh movement and its foremost pioneers abroad. At the age of 19, she entered the Kazuo Ohno Dance Studio and only one year later started to work with Tatsumi Hijikata. Training under both great Masters, Nakajima went on to establish her own dance company, Muteki-sha, in 1969, with whom she has been performing and choreographing internationally since the early 1980s. In addition to her performance and choreographic work, Ms. Nakajima has over 40 years of experience as a teacher, and has been one of the forerunners of dance for the disabled in Japan. Her stunning biography you can read here.
With the permission of Ms. Nakajima, we post extracts from her lecture “Feminine Spirituality in Theatre, Opera, and Dance” delivered at Fu Jen University decade conference, Taipei in 1997.
1. The Birth of Ankoku Butoh: It’s history and cultural background.