Butoh Dancer Performs at Udo Island Temple

Our visit to Udo, or Cow Island off Jeju Island was totally unplanned and spontaneous. We had travelled almost 1.5 weeks around Jeju Island, South Korea by bicycle with our son. Suddenly rain struck, so we were stuck in Seongsan-ri for the next day. We tried to research things to do, and remembered the Jeju Island tour guide’s advice to check out the small islands off Jeju Island.   A trip to Udo was born.

After catching a ferry to the island from Seongsan-ri, we explored the island by foot and came across a Buddhist temple surrounded by windswept peanut fields. Intrigued, we visited the temple and met the lone monk of Udo living there and enjoyed several cups of tea and coffee.  The monk also introduced us to his friends, a Haenyeo (female ocean diver) and a Japanese Butoh dancer staying at the temple.

This is the interview with the remarkable Japanese Butoh dancer Masamichi Shibasaki.  Butoh is a Japanese contemporary dance-form that first appeared after World War 2. Shibasaki lived in the temple on Udo Island for over a month, preparing for a performance festival on the Island, “The Earth Station”.

The interview is part of our film Jeju Island by Bicycle.  The film tells the story of our 2 ½ week journey around Jeju Island with a focus on the amazing people and places we discover along the way.  Keep in touch with the Korean Rooftop community and subscribe or like our facebook page.