When Hijikata Tatsumi's "Ankoku Butoh" appeared in 1959, it revolutionized not only Japanese dance but also the concept of performance art worldwide. It has however proved notoriously difficult to define or tie down. Mikami Kayo was a disciple of Hijikata for three years. In "The Body as a Vessel", which is partly based on her graduate and doctoral theses, she combines the insights from these years with earlier notes from other butoh dancers to decode the ideas and processes behind Hijikata's novel form of theatre. This book is the first full translation of Mikami's work, and also includes fresh material not published in the Japanese edition, as well as numerous photographs, many in full colour.