The , often shortened to just "Budokan," is an arena in central Tokyo, Japan.
For many Westerners, the Budokan is synonymous with large-scale rock concerts. It was here that The Beatles made their Japanese debut and the location where many "Live at the Budokan" albums were recorded. The Nippon Budokan, however, was originally built for the judo competition in the 1964 Summer Olympics, hence its name, rendered into English as Martial Arts Hall.
The Nippon Budokan is located in Kitanomaru Park in the center of Tokyo, two minutes' walking distance from Kudanshita Subway Station
, and near Yasukuni Shrine
. This 42 m (140 ft) high imposing octagonal
structure holds 14,201 people (arena seats: 2,762, 1st floor seats: 3,199, 2nd floor seats: 7,760, standee: 480) and is modeled after Yumedono (Hall of Dreams)
Though it still functions as a venue for big musical events, its primary purpose is for Japanese martial arts
. The national championships of the different branches of the martial arts (judo
, shorinji kempo
, etc.) are held annually at the Budokan. For wrestling fans the Budokan means professional wrestling
's big shows. Now, the Budokan is mostly used by Pro Wrestling NOAH
, who often hold major events there.
The Beatles were the first rock group to perform here, in a series of shows in June/July 1966; their appearances were met with suitable opposition who felt the appearance of a western pop group would defile the martial arts arena. In March / April 1978, KISS
performed five sold out shows in this arena. However, the budokan gained worldwide fame when American
artists Bob Dylan
and Cheap Trick
used the arena to record their concert albums, Bob Dylan at Budokan
(1978) and At Budokan
(1979), respectively. In March 1980, ABBA
performed there six shows as part of their world tour 1979/80 . British heavy metal band Judas Priest
recorded their 2006 live DVD Rising in the East
at Budokan. Other rock artists to appear at this venue include Deep Purple
(for the last of the three concerts making up their Made in Japan
live album), Led Zeppelin
, Yngwie Malmsteen
, Fleetwood Mac
, Linda Ronstadt
, Toto (band)
, Guns N' Roses
, Ozzy Osbourne
(who filmed "Live at the Budokan"), The Smashing Pumpkins
, and progressive metal band Dream Theater
(2004) who recorded a live 2DVD/3CD Live at Budokan
. On September 4th, 2006, R&B artist Beyoncé Knowles
performed a number of songs off her B'Day
album at the Budokan. Avril Lavigne
has also performed at the Budokan, and has released a DVD of her performance there entitled "The Bonez Tour: Live In Budokan". Butch Walker also filmed a DVD "Live at Budokan" in 2005 as did Ozzy Osbourne in 2002. On February 3
, February 14
, February 15
, and February 16
, Canadian star Celine Dion
performed her four Falling into You Tour
concerts here. On May 29
, New Jersey rock band My Chemical Romance
performed one of their The Black Parade World Tour
concerts at budokan. Most of the bands who play Budokan do more than one night and so far Kiss has done the most nights with 5 straight sold out shows in 1978 during their Love Gun/Alive II Tour. In 2007 Korean boy band TVXQ
who debuted in Japan as Tohoshinki held a two day sold out concert here and from thereafter, shot to immeasurable fame in Japan. After TVXQ
debuted in Japan in the Budokan in 2007 a band from the same company (SM Entertainment) Super Junior
held their 1st premium event in Japan.
American crossover band SOD did not record their 1992 album Live at Budokan here, instead they recorded it in NYC. English rock band Oasis played a series of gigs there in 1997, one of which was broadcast by MTV.
Some famous Japanese acts that have played at Budokan are AAA, Porno Graffitti, PUFFY, Pink Lady, B'z, L'Arc~en~Ciel, Dir en grey, Nightmare, Mucc, Cornelius, Love Psychedelico, Glay, The Gazette, Asian Kung-Fu Generation, Hikaru Utada, Hyde, Yellow Magic Orchestra, Morning Musume, m-flo, Do As Infinity, X Japan, Ringo Shiina, Tokyo Jihen, Mizuki Nana, Janne Da Arc, Siam Shade, Princess Princess, YUI, Plastic Tree, ACIDMAN and many more. Malice Mizer also recorded a DVD for their 2 Day tour at the Nippon Budokan, which contained a massive cathedral prop and a choir of singers, veiled and dressed similar to that of Nuns.
On Nov 2002, all-time HK canto-pop superstar Faye Wong held her concert Faye Wong Japan Concert here. It was reportedly her best performance yet.
A national ceremony to mourn the Second World War
dead is held with the attendance of the Prime Minister
, the Emperor
and the Empress annually in Budokan on August 15
, the day of Japan's surrender.