Butoh was created in Japan in the late 1950s. Its cultural and economic life was strongly influenced by the westernization, triggered by the opening of the country after three hundred years of isolation at the end of the nineteenth century and the lost Second World War. In the 1960s there was a growing feeling of uneasiness about this unconditional modernization of Japanese society based on Western principles. A strong student movement was the result. During this turbulent time, marked by political upheavals and the search for new values, Butoh was born.
The revolt of Butoh was directed against contemporary modern dance for the first time, which gives the illusion of overcoming gravity and delights in the beauty of a rationally controlled body. But it was also directed against a power and consumption-oriented society that, with its self-created compulsions, puts the body in a corset. A rebellion of the body. Hijkata Tatsumi (1928-1986), the founder of Butoh, tore the outer skin of modern civilization, penetrated into the depths and darkness of the body, and thus created a sensual dance focused on pure body expression. A dance that uses its own subjective world of experience as the basis, expressing the universal behind the subject. Butoh does not arise as a creative act, but as a "sacred display" or "mystical realization" in which the invisible, imperceptible of the dancer takes shape.