The Butoh ――A dedication to Tatsumi Hijikata

6 Weakened Body

Weakened Body is the last stage of his butoh body for Tatsumi Hijikata.

In 1968, he performed "Nikutai no Hanran" as his solo butoh dance. He performed with changing so many aggressive dance styles. He attacked to the audience with surprising at, with changing from a dance style to another style, finally he flyed away in the space with hanged by strings. Some of his students immitated this performing style.

But he stopped this style at all after this year, and he shifted into the investigation in weakened body. it was his last stage of his creation of butoh. He performed this weakened body at the early half of 1970's in several butoh pieces as his solo, and 1973 he stoped to perform by himself at the last performance ; 'The quiet house'.
He could not teach this weakened body to any students at all. Of course he had tryed to teach at least to his best student; Yoko Ashikawa, but at that time she was so young that she could not understand. She confessed long time after that she could not have interest in the death at that time at all, though the weakened body was swaying between death and life. Then the weakened body has been disappeared from this world.

There were only two videos of his weakened body performance, because he hate shooting by movie camera. He performed a lot, but only two camera man was allowed to shoot it. One of them was 'Hosotan' shot by Ouchida Keiya. Another one was 'Summer Storm' shot by Touru Nakajima.

We can learn what is weakened body only through watching these videos、and reading his few words about weakened body. I had some film meetings to watch Hijikata's movie of 'Hosotan' in Kyoto, 1990's. I continued to invistigated in weakened body through these few films and his words.. But the weakened body had so deep secret. I could not get it for long years. After moving to Himalaya, slowly I understand it step by step.

In this year I could have a chance to teach the weakened body method at the subbody butoh school, because some earnest long term students hope to learn it strongly.

Now I can open the method of weakened body to the world through this website. When we solved a important secret, we have to open it to the world immidiately. This is the princile of creation. We must not hide it as a private property. If someone did so, it means he has not created the real new thing at all.

Transformation for weakened body

At first, learn these general methods until you get what is the swaying between death and life through the body, not by the head. One step and next step, step down to the dead land.When you contine this practice for long years, one day your drakness of body start dreaming of weakened body.Just wait the timing without thinking about weakened body. It is long process. Hijikata needed for ten years to get it, he weared his dead sister's clothes; Japanese kimono in every morning with keepng long hair like a woman, and tryed to become her everyday.

Swaying between this world and another unkown dimension

Each part of the body sways into different directions with different timings. This is the basis of physical technique to transform to the weakened body. You trandform into a thin membrane swaying between now here world and nowhere dimension. Try to controll every part of your body to sway into every direction with ddifferent timing wiht very subtle various qualia.

You have twenty seven small bones in your foot. Each bone sway, twist, and shake into different dimensions. The sensations transfer to other part of your body wit hpassing through unknown tunnels in your darkness of body.  In each part of your body, different kinds of sway of qualia seem to appear and disappear. You catch strange feeling which is completely different from daily living body passing through your body.

Every subtle event appears and dis appears immidiately. And change qualia in the darkness of body. Then nobody cannot catch what is happening by conscius watching.

Unexpected part of the body is moved by unkown power, the your whole body have to change position and place without using normal human walking way.

Whole body transforms from now here world to no where dimension, fade out and fade in with becoming as a quiet dead body.

Find your own hidden weakened body

After practice the general method enough, oneday your subbody give you a subtle signal that the subbody wants to come out with your own the most misserable qualia of life.

The most misserable or ugryest qualia of life open the mouth. They were not allowed to live in this world, then they hided themselves into a tiny hole of the darkness of your body. They who are dying or almost dead already, come out and transform to strange creatures like as monsters or goblins.

They are called 'not-me', 'dissociated ego',' lower characters', 'unconsciousness', 'trauma', inferiority complex', 'shadow' and so on, by different phychologist. Also they are bound by so many kinds of archtypes which C.G. Jung investigated.  Release them throuhg your weakest subbody movement, just follow them and amplify them with riding by your whole body/mind/brain. They may want to possess your body, just let them freely, 'Please use my body freely as you like.' When your consciusness become the weakest level, they can possesse your body freely. These fenomena are just life resonance. No need to afraid.

Hide these process from the others. If some eyes catch the scene, the transformation become defferent. In the invstigation process you need to guard the whole process from others including your life partnar. You need to be completely alone.

Physical training for weakened body

Our daily bodies are bound by large and rough movement, as the same as the daily mind is bound by rough dualistic language thinking.
When you could take off the rough daily body and mind, the subtle subbody will appear.
You can contact the subtle sub-signal from your darkness of body.
Try to segment your body into as small part as possible infinitely, in walking, rolling, and crawling as the following;

Infinite segmentation in WALKING

There are different methods and images for walking in Butoh, such as the Ash Walk, Size Walk, and Bug's Walk, but all have the same basic principles:

Begin with the One-Point Stand. Constantly shift the weight of your body onto different parts of your feet: the joints of your toes, the inside and outside edges of your feet (Knife Edge), the heels. In reality, you may be standing on more than one point, but try to keep as much of your feet lifted off the ground as possible, as if you are standing on razor blades.

Now carry your body as slowly and quietly as possible, as if you are made of ash. Walk with this fragility by using your hidden muscles, which are twisted behind your daily muscles. Instead of walking as you normally would, shift your weight onto one foot in order to let your other leg lift up slightly. Each step is a very subtle movement.

Feel a sway coming up from your feet as you change their points of contact with the ground. Each time you change a point of contact, your whole body constellation changes. The resonance pattern of your body's cells also changes. Instead of walking, let this subtle, shifting sway move you. Let this sway twist your body delicately in different directions and dimensions.

Imagine your body is divided into an infinite number of segments. Begin by letting the movement travel from bottom to middle to top (feet, torso, head) and back (head, torso, feet). Then you can divide each segment into smaller parts (e.g. feet, knees, pelvis, stomach, chest, neck, head). You can continue this process of segmentation infinitely.

If a subtle signal or life tendency comes, follow it and amplify it to the maximum; meet your edge. Then make a reverse twist; this is your new creation.

Infinite segmentation in ROLLING

When rolling on the ground, you can also follow the One-Point Stand technique by shifting your weight from one point of your body to another.

Infinite segmentation in CRAWLING

Learn to crawl as if you are a newborn. Try putting weight into different parts of your body without the strength you have developed in your muscles. Learn to move with the weakness of one who has never moved before. Without strength, you will collapse. Even so, try to move. Try to lift yourself up, even if gravity is pulling you to the ground.

These are the basic of basic pysical method for weakened body in butoh. Continue to deepen the segmentation everyday until subtle cell's life level.
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