Mito Tōbukan Reconstruction Works 水戸東武館移築建築工事

Tōbukan prior to relocation 東武館移動前

Tōbukan prior to relocation 東武館移動前

The Mito Tōbukan was written about previously on this site. Since then it underwent a more than year long relocation and reconstruction. Dismantling of the original structure took place from January 2014 to March 2014. Reconstruction then took until March 2015. The Tōbukan reopened its doors to keiko on 5 April 20151.
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Kōdōkan Taishijō 弘道館対試場

Koōdōkan taishijō 弘道館対試場

Koōdōkan taishijō 弘道館対試場

While not properly speaking a dōjō, the last post briefly mentioned a space known as a taishijō (対試場). Often seen in chanbara (Japanese swordplay) films, this is an outdoor area for budō demonstration and competition. They were part of a feudal lord’s mansion or palace placed next to a viewing room. Kōdōkan, one of the many hankō (藩校) in feudal era Japan, taught the bugei (samurai) class both academic subjects as well as budō. This ended with education reforms during the Meiji Period. Three dōjō previously existed as part of Kōdōkan. Today however, these are gone and only the taishijō is left as a spatial reminder of budō training at this institution. Continue reading

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Kyōto Butokuden 京都武徳殿

Kyōto Butokuden Main Entrance 京都武徳殿玄関

Kyōto Butokuden Main Entrance 京都武徳殿玄関

Dōjō Name: Kyōto Butokuden (京都武徳殿); now officially Kyōto City Budō Center (京都市武道センター)
Arts Practiced: various
Location: adjacent to Heian-Jingū, Sakyō-ku, Kyōto City, Kyōto Prefecture
Construction Type: large scale timber frame
Completion Date: Meiji/明治 32 (1899)
Summary: A large scale dōjō that borrowed from past formal precedent to set the new formal precedent for all butokuden to follow.

Introduction
The Kyōto Butokuden was originally constructed as a demonstration hall for the Dai-Nippon Butokukai, a prewar quasi-governmental organization whose aim was the preservation and dissemination of Japanese martial arts. This organization was disbanded by the Allied occupation authorities after the Second World War due to its association with Japan’s militarism. Before the war the Kyōto Butokuden was the first of many butokuden halls to be erected throughout the Empire of Japan including some in overseas territories like Taiwan and in China. Before the war every prefecture in Japan had a butokuden, several of these surviving to this day. Continue reading

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(original) Noma Dōjō Part 4 (旧) 野間道場 パート4

(original) Noma Dōjō (旧) 野間道場

(original) Noma Dōjō (旧) 野間道場

Part 4 – Death and Rebirth
When plans to demolish Noma Dōjō were announced in 2007, a great many voices both in the West and in Japan pleaded for an effort to preserve this historic hall. Nevertheless, once the structure was lost Japanese voices were much less sharply critical compared to some Western voices. This fourth and last piece in the series on the architecture of Noma Dōjō will attempt to explain some possible cultural reasons for this. First will be a look at historic developments that may explain some differences in attitudes between the Japanese and Westerners towards the built environment. There will also be a brief look at Japan’s policies for protecting heritage buildings. Finally, new life for some parts of Noma Dōjō will be presented. Continue reading

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(original) Noma Dōjō Part 3 (旧) 野間道場 パート3

genkan 玄関

genkan 玄関


Part 3 – Architectural Features
The original Noma Dōjō hall was constructed largely in the fashion of traditional Japanese mokuzō1 construction. It therefore had predominantly pre-industrial Japanese architectural characteristics. Nevertheless, having been first erected in Taishō 14 (大正14年/1925) there were some relatively modern features as well. This post will look at a few of features, traditional, modern, on the exterior and on the interior, of this once formulative dōjō. Continue reading

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(original) Noma Dōjō Part 2 (旧) 野間道場 パート2

keikojō looking towards jōdan’noma
上段の間へ稽古場

Initially constructed in Taishō/大正 14 (1925), Noma Dōjō’s enormous popularity quickly lead to significant expansions in Shōwa/昭和 5 (1930) and Shōwa/昭和 8 (1933). A final extension in Heisei平成 9 (1997), expanding support facilities, brought it to its final state. This second post in the series will look at the layout of the original Noma Dōjō as documented prior to demolition. Continue reading

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(original) Noma Dōjō Part 1 (旧) 野間道場 パート1

north side 北の方

A previous post looked at the current Noma Dōjō, which opened in 2007. This post will be the first in a series that will look at its famous and much beloved predecessor, the original Noma Dōjō. It was the last of Tōkyō’s “Four Great Dōjō1” prior to its demolition.

Before the original Noma Dōjō became history, several architect members of the dōjō donated Continue reading

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Budōjō Kamidana 武道場の神棚

budōjō kamidana 武道場の神棚

In Japan one is likely to come across a kamidana in various places such as someone’s home, an office or in a family owned shop. They can of course also be found in a dōjō. Kamidana are an element of Japan’s indigenous Shintō belief system. They enshrine a deity or deities within them thus offering protection for the place in which they are set up. There are many ways to arrange a kamidana so they can Continue reading

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“Tokusatsu Museum” at MOT 特撮博物館 於 東京都現代美術館

exhibition poster 展覧会のポスター

The Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (MOT) now has a temporary exhibition running since Tuesday 8 July until 8 October 2012. This exhibition entitled Director, Hideaki Anno’s “TOKUSATSU” Special Effects Museum-Craftsmanship of Showa & Heisei eras seen through miniatures is in collaboration with the celebrated Studio Ghibli, famous for many loved animated films such as My Neighbor Totoro, Grave of the Fireflies and Princess Mononoke, and director Anno Hideaki (庵野秀明), best known for Neon Genesis Evangelion. This is the 10th collaboration between Studio Ghibli and MOT since 2003. Being a fan of both Studio Ghibli works as well as Evangelion, I went to have a look this morning. Continue reading

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24th Tōkyō Prefectural Jōdō Taikai 第24回東京都杖道大会

24th Tōkyō Jōdō Taikai 第24回東京都杖道大会

Yesterday, Sunday 8 July 2012, saw the 24th Tōkyō Prefectural Jōdō Taikai held at Sugamo High School. A jōdō ikkyū shinsa (grading) was also held. I am happy to report that not only do I now hold the ikkyū rank in jōdō, my taikai partner and I won first place in the ikkyū division of the tournament. In addition to the taikai and shinsa, this event also saw the 13th Tōkyō Jōdō Festival (第13回東京杖道祭) with demonstrations of not only seitei jōdō but also kenjutsu, tanjōjutsu, juttejutsu, kusarigamajutsu and (of course) jōjutsu from Shindō Musō-ryū (神道夢想流). Thanks to all the sensei and members at Totsuka Jōdō Club.

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