DOI link for Butoh’s Genders
Butoh’s Genders book
This chapter looks at particular artists and considers their performative gendering and what choices they made in their time/place contexts and their relationship to earlier or contemporary butoh performers' legacies. The male butoh artists from the 1960s and 1970s, who rebelled against the tyranny of the Americanized gender dynamics and post-war Japanese gender re-prescriptions, clearly chose radical hyper-gender acts to satirize, disrupt, and transform the social norms. The male artists aimed to provoke and fracture the gender, sex, and sexuality coordinates, forcing spectators and beyond them, society, to question bodily prescriptions. The development of homosexuality and feminization, which connects to early butoh by Hijikata Tatsumi and Ohno Kazuo, was coupled with the emergence of the gei boi in entertainment featuring cross-dressing and transgender performance. Most butoh women, negotiated their gender processes under male direction, but arguably were able to choose their degree of female gender radicalization.