title - butoh/itto




Butoh Dance Method Online

"Body Learning based upon Butoh techniques"

- Itto Morita/ Toshiharu Kasai -

[Butoh lesson in Japan] [studio map]


T. Kasai has been studying somatic psychology since 1983 as a full time researcher/lecturer, including Noguchi Taiso (Michizo Noguchi's physical exercise or Noguchi Gymnastics). He started his Butoh dance life in 1988 as Itto Morita. Since then, he has written papers concerning Butoh Dance Method from the psychosomatic point of view to explore the relationship of mind-body. He is probably only one Butoh dancer/ dance-therapist/ psychologist in the world.

*He started teaching dancetherpay and body works, as professor of Department of Clinical Psychology, Sapporo Gakuin University in Japan, since April 1st in 2004.
*Board member of Japanese Dance Therapy Association, the director of Sapporo Dancetherapy Institute, and member of the Japanese Society of Hypnosis.

If you are interested in his Butoh Dance Method and psychosomatic exploration by this method, please get in touch with him by email: . Several Butoh dance lessons and dance therapy sessions based on this approach are held regularly at Mika Takeuchi Butoh Institute in Sapporo.

Mika Takeuchi has daycare programs of "relaxation", "dance therapy" at mental clinics since 1999 in Sapporo, and was certified as a Registered Dance Therapist of Japan Dance Therapy Association in 2005.
Toshiharu Kasai was certified as a Registered Dance Therapist of JADTA in 2008.
Itto Morita/ Toshi Kasai was staying in UK till the end of March, 2010, near London, offering Butoh and body-oriented psychotherapy workshop, lectures and performance.
For reference : http://relak.net/toshi-kasai/



  1. "A Butoh Dance Method for Psychosomatic Exploration" (English/ French/ Polish)
    A psychological paper of Memoir of H.I.T., published in March, 1999

    The content is a basic training for enhancing psychosomatic awareness based on Butoh Dance Method. Explanations of Takeuchi Lesson and Noguchi Taiso (physical exercise) are included.

  2. "A Note on Butoh Body" (English/ French/ Polish)
    A psychological paper of Memoir of H.I.T., published in March, 2000

    Butoh body means a state of mind while performing Butoh although the word 'body' is used. The multiplicity of our consciousness and a philosophical idea 'non-objectification' are discussed in the paper in order to grasp the essence of Butoh. Discussion on Internationalized Butoh is included.

  3. "Perception in Butoh Dance" (English/ French/ Polish)
    A co-authored paper with Kate Parsons, an American philosopher, for Memoir of H.I.T. Published in March, 2003.

    Dance is usually thought to be a way of expression, but this is not alwaysthe case in Butoh dance. 'Perception' and 'expression' is contrasted, and it is shown that the dancer who 'perceives' the mind-body rather than 'expresses' the mind-body is engaged in dance that is more authentically Butoh. The use of eyes is explained along with an analysis of Butoh's unique stance against excessive use of visual perception.

  4. "Arm-Standing Exercise for Psychosomatic Training" (English/ )
    A manual of how to carry out the arm-standing exercise for perceiving your arm weight well and enhancing your sensitivity of subtle muscle control, for Bulletin of Sapporo Gakuin University. Published in March,2005.
    while lying on your back

    This exercise has been pioneered by T.Kasai and Mika Takeuchi, a Japanese Butoh dancer, through Butoh dance workshops and day-care programs held at mental clinics. The extremely slow and elegant movements need sublte muscle control and mind-set in Butoh dance. The Arm-Standing Exercise, "ude-no-tachiage" exercise, one of 20-30 exercises utilized in their Butoh workshops, has been described fully in English with some practical suggestions.

    This exercise has been cited in a newly published Butoh book "Hijikata and Ohno"(Routlege,2006) wirtten by Sondra Fraleigh and Tamah Nakamura.

    Arm Standing Exercise was introduced in ECArTE conference on Sep.17, 2009 in London.
    (European Consortium for Arts Therapies Education)
    [presentation and handout materials]


  5. "New understandings of Butoh Creation and Creative Aotopoietic Butoh
    - From Subconscious Hidden Observer to Perturbation of Body-Mind System"
    (English /)
    Bulletin of Faculty of Humanities, No.86, 21-36, 2009 Sapporo Gakuin University
    (January, 2010)
    Keywords:Butoh, autopoiesis, Hijikata, Ohno, performing art, creativity, psychosomatic, mirror neuron, somesthesia, dance therapy, posthypnotic suggestion, hidden observer, state bound memory, affordance, catastrophe, butterfly effect, chaos, perturbation, antagonistic movement, choreography, improvisation, primary process, individualization, Cartesian dichotomy


[Show the butoh paper site]


*1 Toshiharu Kasai greatly thanks Mario Veillete, Quebec, Canada,
for his voluntary translations of two papers for French readers.(Apr.19, 2000)

*2 Toshiharu Kasai greatly thanks the Polish firm Centrum Kultury Japonskiej w Szczecinie (Japanese School & Culture Centre) (tel/fax (0-91) 43-43-815 )
for their voluntary translations of the first paper 'Butoh Dance Method...' for Polish readers. (added. June 2, 2001)

*3 *1 Toshiharu Kasai greatly thanks Mario Veillete, Quebec, Canada, once again
for his voluntary translation of the third paper for French readers.(Jun.12, 2003)

*4 Toshiharu Kasai greatly thanks Kasia Julia Pastuszak, Gdansk,Poland,
for her voluntary translation of Butoh papers (2,3) for Polish readers.(Oct.1,2003)


You can request by sending email to:





Butoh Dance and Psychosomatic Studies in Japan

Itto Morita
* A Butoh dancer, starting Butoh dance in 1988 by the name of Morita Itto. GooSayTen is a new Butoh dance group which Itto started in 1996 in Sapporo city. One of the ultimate purposes of his Butoh dance activities is soul healing of his own, and hopefully of others through Butoh performance.



itto Morita Toshiharu Kasai
*Professor of Department of Clinical Psychology, Sapporo Gakuin University, Japan, teaching Dancetherapy based on Butoh and doing research into the mind-body relationship as a psychologist. His experimental papers are concerned with difficulty of arm relaxation: The idea of de-socialization of socially conditioned bodily reactions by using Butoh Dance Method comes from these experimental studies.

Related papers:
  • Kasai,T. & Zaluchyonova,E.A. "An Experimental Study of the Difficulty in the Arm Relaxation Task" The Japanese Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 195-202, Vol.14, No.2, 1996a

  • Kasai,T. "The reconfirmed difficulty of the arm relaxation task" Japanese Journal of Hypnosis, 34-40, Vol.41, No.1-2, 1996b

  • Kasai,T. "The Psychological Strategies in Arm Relaxation" The Japanese Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 212-219, Vol.12, No.2, 1994
    (The aboves are written in Japanese with English abstract.)



Butoh workshops and Psychosomatic Workshops
by Itto/Kasai

Butoh workshops by Itto and Mika in 2012

We had three intensive butoh workshops in Sapporo, Japan, with participants from U.S.A., U.K., Holland, France, and etc. Mika's psychosomatic approach based on butoh therapy was found very effective also for members of mental clinics, and was always busy having sessions for those people, while missing several opportinities of butoh events abroad. She obtained an art prize for her butoh performance "Princess Mermaid" of 2010-2011.
Itto was busy working for teaching butoh students, and also for his college (department of clinical psychology) and Japan Dance Therapy Association. Inquiries from abroad about butoh workshops increased a lot, and Itto and Mika were preparing to offer more opportunities to study butoh.
Please check workshop information !

Butoh workshops by Itto outside Japan in 2011

Japan was suffering from the damages by those big earthquakes and tsunami, killing about 20 thousands people in the north-east prefectures facing the Pacific ocean on March 11th. Four nuclear power reactors there were broken and "melt-through" of nuclear fuel followed.
We cancelled several Butoh workshops in Japan although we did not have any direct damages in Sapporo: We were totally devastated mentally by those merciless tragedies.

We had Mika's Butoh live performance and a Butoh workshop by Itto in Lucca, Italy in 2011 for ECArTE (European Consortium for Art Therapies Education) where four types of professional therapists such as dance therapists, art therapist, drama therapists, and music therapists gathered every two years.

Butoh workshops by Itto in UK and Europe 2010

Butoh workshops by Itto in UK and Europe 2009


Butoh workshops in Sapporo, Japan 2008

Butoh performance and workshops in Boston, Amherst, U.S.A. 2006

Butoh Live and workshop scenes in Bilbao,Spain 2005

Psychosomatic Learning and Butoh Workshop in Poland 2003


Psychosomatic Learning and Butoh Workshop in 2001

  • May 9-11 in Szczecin,Poland at Kana Teatr.

  • May 13 Lecture about Butoh dance in Szczecin, Poland at Kana Teatr.
  • Oct.7-0 in Kalamazoo, (MI) U.S.A at Wellspring Theater.
  • Oct.11-12 in Asheville, (NC) at Asheville Contemporary Dance Theatre.

  • Oct.14 in Raleigh, (NC) for 36th Annual Conference of American Dance Therapy Association.
    experiencing autogenic reactions while rolling at ADTA2001 experiencing the peripheral visions

Psychosomatic Learning and Butoh Workshop in 2000 outside Japan

  • Oct.28 in Seattle, WA for 35th American Dance Therapy Association.
  • Nov.3-4 in Vancouver, Canada for Vancouver International Dance Festival.
  • Nov.6-7 in Asheville, NC, for Asheville Contemporary Dance Theatre.
  • Nov.8 in Asheville, NC, at Warren Willson College

* Every workshop is based on Itto's Butoh Dance Method.

Seattle Butoh Workshops of Itto's Butoh Dance Method in 1999

Seattle, U.S.A., May 13-14, 17, 1999

Ex...it! '99 - 2nd International Butoh Symposium & Dance Exchange Project


Schloss Broellin,Germany. Aug.1-31, 1999

Psychosomatic Learning and Butoh Workshop by Itto's Butoh Dance Method

A month long integrating event of Butoh was carried out in Schloss Broellin and Berlin. Fourteen Butoh dancers (German, French, Russian, English, American, Canadian, and Japanese) exchaged their methods and ways of Butoh dancing each other for one week. Around fourty participants were trained and choreographed by the Butoh dancers for Butoh demonstrations.
An international symposium on Butoh was held, and journalists, philosophers and Butoh dancers/choreographers had a hot discussion.
Intensive performance events in Berlin and in Szczecin(poland) were held and attracted German and Polish audiences.



In 6th International Conference on Conflict Resolution

St.Petersburg, Russia. May7 - May14,1998

"A peaceful dimension of mind-body through Butoh dance method"

This was a Butoh dance workshop (4 hours) given by Kasai, with introductory relaxation methods called "Karada Hogushi (body untying)" and several basic exercises of bodily movement used in Butoh dance. As shown by the fact that two additional workshops were held at participants' request after the conference, Kasai's Butoh dance workshop was welcome and successful in St.Petersburg, Russia.


In 4th International Seminar for Humanistic Pyschology and Pedagogy

Rivne, Ukraine. Jun.14 - 18,1998
"Congruence of mind-body through Butoh dance method"
Kostiuk Institute of Psychology in Kiev organized the seminar in Rivne city, located between Kiev and the historical city Livov. Most of the participants were from Ukraine, Russia, Poland, and one from Japan. After reading the paper, Kasai had Butoh dance workshop with 30-40 participants and more than 100 audience, showing relaxation method called "karada hogushi" and Butoh dance exercises. Another Butoh workshop was held at Kostiuk Institute, Kiev. Both were successfull and very much welcomed. As Butoh dancer, Ippei Yamada, taught Butoh dance and choreographed in Kiev Ballet Theater this year, my visit seems to be the second presence of Butoh in Ukraine, an introduction Butoh from the psychological point of view.


Butoh dance is not only a form of performing arts,
but a way to recover the long lost your SELF that has been buried deep
in your unconscious sphere under various traumatic experiences.
As Buddha said that 'Life is difficult', but he had also realized that
'Life is sweet' over his tremendous agonies when he was dying... Itto

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