Tissue (Updated: 09/19/18)

Figure 1, Hidden Joints


Dance as if there were only bones and joints. Lose as much of the muscle control factor that is possible. Bone dance may be of similar qualia as puppet on strings dance.

With de/reterritorialized bones, we form bones (or calcification) where there originally is not in the human. This can appear naturally within the rigor mortis stage of death and so is a form of stone/statue resonance.


Maximize your awareness of joints and move them like padlocks. Also be aware of joints that have very little movement such as feet joints or wrist joints, the hidden joints, e.g. the intermetacarpal joints and the intercarpal joints, see Figure 1.

Upper & Lower Extremity Deep Initiation Points

For the upper and lower extremities, instead of initiating from the shoulder or hip, one can go much deeper and initiate from the sternoclavicular joint for the upper extremity and the sacroiliac joint for the lower extremity. In this way, the extremities will be both less disembodied and possessing wider ranges.

When we engae in de/reterritorialize joints, we create joints where there aren’t any in the human body. This must obviously take some imagination, but can substantially enrichen movement dynamic.


Contract and relax as many muscles in the body as you can. Exaggerate the degree of muscle use with every movement. You may even gather inspiration from the movements of body builders at a competition. Also make use of muscle twitch. Experimentation with the muscles will eventually lead to experimentation with pulsation, shock, and freeze.

Large exterior muscles are for large movement, whereas deeper and smaller muscles are for more subtle movements such as twisting, standing (psoas), and fine motor movement. We are to be aware of all our muscles.

When we de/reterritorialize muscles, we shift the function/location of the muscle, e.g. muscles have found their way into the emotional channel.


The fascia is a net-like system surrounding all of the muscles. When you extend/constrict/stretch your body in certain ways, you can feel the fascia.

Exercise: Extension

One example of feeling the fascia includes extending your arms while pulling up on the hand to show the palms. If you feel a dull pain along the entire arm, this is the fascia being stretched. You can feel this with your entire body. Try an outstretched dance where you are constantly feeling this.


The skin is the outer covering of your container. Do not hesitate to use touch in some form or other, which does not need to be the hands.

The de/reterritorialized skin is the hidden skin. One of the hidden skins is what Rhizome Lee calls the placenta layer. This is similar if not the same as the subtle body in eastern anatomy.¹ The hidden skin can extend far beyond the proximity of our person, but can fill the entire space and out into the world.


Tatsumi Hijikata makes heavy use of the qualia of nerves in his butoh-fu. Here is a list of his butoh-fu that contain the qualia, the majority translated from Waguri.²

Plum Tree and Flower

Flower Nerves

Wild Flower

Hanako Basked In Light From Behind Her

The Choir Girls

The Blind Girl

Prince of Smoke

World of Abyss

Walking Just As Pure Measurement4

Various Places

World of Birds and Beasts

Tsuru, The Japanese Crane

Strange Man With Frog On His Head

Sleep Walker

A Strange Neurotic

From The Forest To The Swamp

The Strange Prince

The Appearance Of The God Maya Made Of Nerves

The Nerve Walk

See Through The Crystal

One Finger

Michaux’s Ink Bottle

World Of The Neurology Ward


Thin Wall of Pus Shining In White

Gaki, The Hungry Demon

Flowers In The Wall

A Flower Is Stuck On The Mirror

Quiet House³

Beardsley No. 1 Thru 44


¹ Lee, Rhizome. Behind The Mirror: A Butoh Manual For Students.
² Waguri, Yukio, Butoh-Fu CD-Rom. 2006.
³ Lee, Rhizome. The Butoh. 2017. Pages 120 – 137.
Mikami, Kayo. “Tatsumi Hijikata: An Analysis of Ankoko Butoh Techniques”