Translating Japanese

Kazuko Mogami 2

Second translation entry of inspiring tweets from Kazuko Mogami, a Butoh practitioner.

31st May

The act of touching is also interesting. When we touch, that moment just before we actually touch something, not yet touched but almost there, hardly touching but slightly touching… that state is when you can capture most the entirety of the object. Once it’s touched, the information becomes limited to the area you have touched it.

Not to say that touching is bad, but I think this act of touching is a process. Before touching, the moment of touching, when leaving the touching, and after the touching.

When we touch a flower, when you actually touch it, what you can know is limited, but in that subtle moment just before touching, even the stem and roots of the flower are conveyed. The memory of the flower when it was still under the earth as roots is communicated even through a cut flower.


31st May

Yo-in (echo, aftertaste) normally refers to the air that remains in the space after some action is done. In the case of dance, not only after dancing, but also before dancing, that yo-in is still there. Perhaps I should call it Yo-choh (omen). This Yo-in that is born before is also enchanting.

It is the very best experience to just stand in the yo-in of dance inside the body. It is almost erotic than the erotic.

Good dance takes away the soul of the spectators to unknown soil. Enchanter. This is also quite erotic.

Even mundane actions have the potential of, if you dive into it completely in extreme slow condition with your entire body, then an utterly new sphere appears. That I think is the inner sphere of things. There you will find eternity and death in any actions. Like, walking, wearing clothes, sipping tea, bowing…but you need to be thoroughly and radically “aware”.


30th May

Traditional Asian dances typically have overly decorative costumes. The dance that hails from Western theatrical expression intends to show the body itself, close to naked. This difference is not just a matter of taste or liking, but a fundamental difference of their physical world view.

Why do they cover their body with so much costumes? I think it is to let the inner body, not the physical one, stand up. More broadly speaking, it is whether to see the world with the inner eyes or with the physical eyes.

Creative dance has no limit in the choice of costume, and there is no end in questioning who you are and who is the person that dances on stage. This is very tough. Naturally, the dancer becomes more and more philosophical. “Who am I?” I have always been stumbled by this question in each public performance. But there are also many who never think this kind of things.

Also in the case of Asian dances, it is not the usual “I” who dances, but it is the gods and animals and… so the transformation requires complicacy in costumes.


30th May

There are so many beautiful things in the universe already, and whatever humans do cannot reach their level. Yet still, humans cannot help themselves to keep creating. Dance for me is a flower that human soul can bloom into. Not the flower in the nature already existing, but that which I myself bloom. A flower that happens because of human involvement.

It is flower, earth, wind and the universe because we relate to it. It is the radiance of animal fur, the radiance that erects like a whirl from inside of the flower.

You see the flower and get entranced by it, but you don’t think the flower is you. That’s when the difference starts. The beauty of the flower is not outside me, it is inside me; that is the understanding that Butoh takes. To live “that flower is I”.



No Comments

    Leave a Reply