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The Body as a Vessel

by Mikami Kayo

translated by Rosa van Hensbergen

When Hijikata Tatsumi’s “Ankoku Butō” appeared in 1959, it revolutionized not only Japanese dance but also the concept of performance art worldwide. It has however proved notoriously difficult to define or tie down.


Mikami Kayo was a disciple of Hijikata for three years. In “The Body as a Vessel”, which is partly based on her graduate and doctoral theses, she combines the insights from these years with earlier notes from other butō dancers to decode the ideas and processes behind Hijikata’s novel form of theatre.


This book is the first full translation of Mikami’s work, and also contains fresh material not published in the Japanese edition, including copious colour photographs.


Published 12 April 2016
ISBN 978-0-9559219-4-2
Pages 246
Format B5 (7x10 inches), full colour hardback
Cost £ 29.99 / $ 39.99 / € 39.99

Here is a video of Mikami Kayo performing "SAI" with Torifune Butoh Sha:

Another video of Mikami Kayo performing "Kenka" with Torifune Butoh Sha at Kyoto's Kamigamo Shrine in 2014:

For more details of performances, workshops and the like, please visit Torifune Butoh Sha.


"The Body as a Vessel" is available from all good booksellers or directly from:

Ozaru Books

Street Acre

St Nicholas-at-Wade




Tel: +44 1843 847701


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