It was summer of 2017 at the Indian Himalayan mountains of Dharamsala, home to the Dalai Lama. The monsoon was in full swing, yet it did not impede any motivation to guide butoh for a month at the Subbody Butoh School.
The school (which I also attended as a student in Fall of 2013 and Spring of 2014) was run by the elderly Japanese butoh guide Rhizome Lee who was himself in the past guided by Motofuji Akiko (Tatsumi Hijikata’s wife) and Katsura Kan. He was outside of India that summer.
Shortly before, I had come back from my first taste of guiding intensives in Europe after being invited to do so in Ukraine, Greece, and Serbia.
The summer program at Subbody was the very start of what would become this butoh manual. Initially there was no intention to form a manual. I had simply been writing down notes for what to guide in class, but the number of notes grew to such an extent that I found myself categorizing everything so as not to overwhelm myself in chaos.
A manual had naturally formed itself. To this day, it is alive and breathing as it undergoes perpetual updates.
As I grow in the art, so does the manual. Keeping up with this manual has been an integral part of my butoh journey now for the past 5 years, and it is still very much utilized in both my classes and self-study.
Also, this manual does not speak for all butoh. This is my style just as Kung Fu has their varying styles. Shadowbody is my style.