Yukio Waguributoh

Yukio Waguri, Butoh dancer and choreographer, passed away on Oct. 22nd, 2017, at the age of 65 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.

Yukio Waguri was born in Tokyo in 1952 and studied Butoh dance under Tatsumi Hijikata. His dance was as solid as crystal, limp and smart as a leopard, and subtle and fine as willow.

His works were constructed rather than improvisational, and his various expressions based on the idea of transformation were cultivating new possibilities in Butoh. He used and further developed the “Butoh Fu” notation system, the poetic words orally taught by Hijikata, which are used to awaken the dancer’s images. In 1998, Waguri published a CD-ROM, “Butoh Kaden”, now known internationally, to respond to numerous interests and unveil the essence of Butoh. He collaborated with many artists from different artistic and cultural backgrounds, held workshops, especially at research institutions and universities nationally and internationally, and also showed a deep passion for teaching foreign students in his last years.

“Butoh Kaden”
Website opened

Now you can access “BUTOH KADEN” on the web, following Waguri’s last testament, so that Hijikata’s notations and descriptions would stay up to date.

Creation of Butoh-Kaden

Images evoked by words include not only visual ones but also feelings that are further led by sound, smell, and our sense of touch. I think that, perhaps, we can call this a kind of world. Butoh dancers are residents of this world, as are the eyes that look upon it from the outside. This duality may be what is called “art.” I believe that an existence positioned between opposites, such as between subject and object, emptiness and fullness, or fantasy and reality, is where Butoh dancers stand.

In Japan there has been, since ancient times, an idea that the human body is merely a temporal house where the soul rents a room. In Japanese classical art, this idea is still alive in a highly refined form. Butoh also draws on this idea. Butoh, however, has walked a different path.

To Butoh dancers, images are not merely unidentifiable objects that float up like bubbles. Rather, they are solid and specific events that directly affect the dancers’ bodies. The challenge in being a Butoh dancer is found in turning imagination into reality. And that, in essence, is what it is to continue living inside an imaginative space.

To this end, I regard BUTOH-FU as a valuable partner. When I released CD-ROM “BUTOH KADEN” expressing the 7 worlds of “BUTOH-FU” in 1998, the public barely knew of the existence of BUTOH-FU, let alone its research. By producing Butoh-Kaden as a website, I hope that it can act as a tool for promoting further research into BUTOH-FU, while allowing viewers to experience, indeed play with, BUTOH-FU. Why? The real thrill of Butoh lies in its very playfulness.

I would like to express my deep appreciation for the support extended by our friends to create “BUTOH KADEN”.

Summer 2017

This is the outside package of the CD set “BUTOH KADEN” published 20 years ago. “BUTOH-FU” has come to be known in general as Hijikata’s original style of choreography notation describing physical images and movements using poetic words.

“BUTOH KADEN” consists of 88 Butoh-fu which Waguri selected from his notebooks, arranged as “Seven Worlds of Butoh-fu.”
They are as follows:
1-World of ANATOMY
2-World of FLOWERS
4-World of WALLS
7-World of ABYSSES.
according to Waguri’s own interpretation.

Requiem Event for Yukio Waguri
21st April, 2018

Waguri’s last performance
The presence of Butoh

Waguri was a Butoh Dancer all his life. His last performance was given just three days before his death.

14:00open house
15:00Part 1
greetingTanigawa Atsushi
Kobayashi Saga
MusicYAS-KAZ, Wong Wing Tsang, Ino Nobuyoshi
Film1972 ""Hoso-tan" (Hijikata Tatsumi work)
1989 "Sleep and reincarnation" (Nakajima Natsu work)
1994 "Wedding on Field" (Waguri Yukio Work)
ButohYamamoto Moe
Talk"Waguri and Butoh-f" Morishita Takashi, Goto Mitsuya
16:30Part 2
WadaikoTomida Kazuaki & Tokyo Dagekidan (Tsuyuki Kazuhiro, Fujimoto Kyohei)
DanceSeki Noriko "Maria of Magdala"
ButohKudo Taketeru
Film2007 "solo celebrationg Kazuo Ohno's 100th Birthday" (Waguri)
2017年 "Sick Dancer" (the last stage of Waguri)
ButohKawamoto Yuko, Yamazaki Maiko, Itagaki Asuka, Kato Minori, Okamoto Hikaru, Okada Miharu, Chiba Ikuko
Projected mages: Tetsu
Music: S.O.G.A.
18:00end of the stage


Dancers: Saga Kobayashi, Moe Yamamoto, Seisaku, Taketeru Kudo, Noriko Seki, Yuko Kawamoto, Yukio Waguri (video screening) and others
Music: YAS-KAZ, Wong Wing Tsan, Nobuyoshi Ino, Kazuaki Tomida, Kazuhiro Tsuyuki and Kyohei Fujimoto of Tokyo Dageki Dan and Masaru Soga
Art works: Shozo Yoshie
Photo Exhibit: Makoto Onozuka, Hiroshi Iwakiri, Masahiko Taniguchi and Michitaka Kuno
Costume Exhibition: Kaori Waguri