The world of Noguchi Taiso

Noguchi Taiso (Taiso means gymnastics in Japanese) was developed by Michizo Noguchi (1914-1998), born in Gunma Prefecture in Japan. After working as an assistant professor at Gunma Normal School and Tokyo Physical Education College, he became a professor at Tokyo University of Arts. As a professor emeritus he taught and developed his technique until his death. Noguchi Taiso was particularly popular and well-known among Japanese actors in the 1960s and 1970s. Since some of them later came to the Butoh, his technique has left its mark there too.

Noguchi about his work

  • Gymnastics is the process that examines nature, man and the self.
  • Noguchi Taiso is all about the philosophy of the body, which I created based on my own view of man and nature.
  • Whether consciously or not consciously, the way people live and turn to their bodies changes due to their understanding of the body and their values.
  • In Noguchi Taiso, research is carried out on this body view, value concept and sense of aesthetics not on the basis of the human definition but on the basis of the principles of nature.
  • The value concept of Noguchi Taiso refers to the time before the birth of the value concept and sense of aesthetics of the human being.
  • Gymnastics means finding the previously undeclared sensory abilities, developing them and defining them according to their content.
  • Gymnastics is the process of tracing the creation of words (including the abstract), which always leads to a direct experience connected to the body, and thus reforms the meaning of the words based on finding the true feeling of this direct experience.
  • Gymnastics is the process of the previously undoubted and usual place of the individual body parts and their function (role) and relationship, completely amputated, and the so completely confused body parts and their role, totally irresponsible and carefree, reassemble. To examine the body parts put together in this way and their role individually based on the movement of the body and to create fresh, profound models on the basis of this work.

Noguchi Taiso in practice

In Noguchi Taiso (Taiso means gymnastics in Japanese), the self and nature are explored based on one's own movement as a reference point and thus one's own personal perception. The goal is not the consciously controlled execution of a movement, but the individual perception of the changes inside the body. The resulting sensitization of the senses improves the automatic control of the fundamental movements in everyday actions. Using various models such as hammer, whip, spring or materials, we research the natural principles (spiral, wave, gravity, etc.) on which the movement is based. This allows us to move comfortably, with a feeling of being good to the touch. The main actors in this movement are not the muscles, but your own body weight and its counter-reaction due to gravity. The resulting force is fundamentally different from the usual definition of force; namely the ability to oppose the forces of nature (such as gravity). Rather, power is the ability that brings the whole self as close as possible to actual nature.

Noguchi about the movement

  • The number of working (tense) muscles of a certain movement occurring at this moment is the necessary minimum, although the time and the degree of tension should also be the necessary minimum.
  • The total amount of tension energy of the muscles should not only be small, but as time progresses, many muscles should alternate and work together, whereby the model (one after the other, one after the other) of the work timing is extremely important.
  • The prerequisite for fulfilling the above conditions are: be well loose, that is, the body should be broken down into tiny particles so that the connection can be free.
  • The result should be a movement with the following properties: Comfortable, light and not tiring, and as an effective stimulus it should lead to activation of the muscle fibers and also as the best stimulus to the desired so-called strength.
  • Movement consists of the flow of weight.
  • The movement is (hard, angular, jagged) means that the model of place (space), time and energy between part A and part B inside the body cannot change this relationship.
  • While holding on to a particular body shape, it is difficult to come to a really good state through the movement of dissolving. The question of whether the body's content is fluid or not contains the essentials (drooping-drooping state). At the moment when the content has become liquid, the content can be recorded for the first time on the basis of the weight, in a positive / friendly sense.