Nippon Budokan ( Nippon Bud?kan), often shortened to simply Budokan, is an indoor arena located in Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan. Budokan was originally built for the judo competition in the 1964 Summer Olympics, hence its name, which translates in English as Martial Arts Hall. Its primary purpose is to host martial arts contests and for a time was a popular venue for Japanese professional wrestling. It has hosted numerous other sporting events such as the 1967 Women's Volleyball World Championship and other events such as musical concerts.
A number of famous rock music acts have played at Budokan. The Beatles were the first rock group to play there, in a series of concerts held between June 30 and July 2, 1966. Several live albums were recorded at Budokan, including releases by Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Cheap Trick, Dream Theater, John Hiatt, Mr. Big, and Ozzy Osbourne.
The Nippon Budokan is located in Kitanomaru Park in the center of Tokyo, two minutes' walking distance from Kudanshita Subway Station, and near the Imperial Palace and Yasukuni Shrine. The 42 m (140 ft) high octagonal structure holds 14,471 people (arena seats: 2,946, 1st floor seats: 3,199, 2nd floor seats: 7,846, standee: 480). The building is modeled after Yumedono (Hall of Dreams) in H?ry?-ji in Nara.
The 57th Japan National Kendo
Championship (November 3, 2009)
The Nippon Budokan during the cherry blossom
Although it also 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, kendo, karate, aikido, etc.) are held annually at the Budokan. The Budokan has also been associated with professional wrestling's big shows, typically from All Japan Pro Wrestling and Pro Wrestling Noah. However, due to declining business following the death of Mitsuharu Misawa and the retirement of Kenta Kobashi, professional wrestling has ceased running regular shows in the Budokan. During Wrestle Kingdom 12, New Japan Pro Wrestling announced that its yearly G1 Climax tournament's finals would be held at the Budokan.
The Muhammad Ali vs. Antonio Inoki hybrid rules fight held at the Budokan in 1976 is seen as a forerunner to mixed martial arts. K-1, Shooto and Pride Fighting Championships have all held events at the arena.
A concert stage at Budokan
The Beatles were the first rock group to perform at Budokan in a series of five shows held between June 30 and July 2, 1966. Their appearances were met with opposition from those who felt the appearance of a western pop group would defile the martial arts arena.
In July 1973 Japanese television recorded the Santana performance at Budokan.
The Budokan gained worldwide fame when American artists Cheap Trick and Bob Dylan used the arena to record their performances, Cheap Trick at Budokan (1978) and Bob Dylan at Budokan (1979). In explaining the popularity of the venue for live albums, Eric Clapton described the Tokyo audience as "almost overappreciative" in interviews promoting Just One Night (1980), his own live album recorded at the Budokan.
The record for the most Budokan music concerts is held by Eikichi Yazawa, 142 times as of December 19, 2017.
Artists that have released live recordings from the venue include:
- Led Zeppelin; September 23 and 24, 1971 and October 2 and 3, 1972.
- Chicago; June 8, 1972.
- Uriah Heep; 1973, (Live concert filmed on 16mm for television. DVD versions available)
- Deep Purple; 1972; for the last of the three concerts making up their Made in Japan live album.
- The Carpenters; June 7-9, 1974; Live in Japan
- Queen; 1975 and 1979.
- Rainbow; December 16, 1976; On Stage Rainbow performed here both afternoon and evening shows at 3:00pm and 6:00 p.m.
- Aerosmith; 1977 (Jan-Feb); see the Japanese record "Rocks Budokan" label Calm&Storm.
- Fleetwood Mac; December 5, 1977 and February 3, 4th and 5, 1980
- Bay City Rollers; 1977; Rollerworld, Live at the Budokan 1977, released as Rollerworld: Live at the Budokan 1977 in 2001.
- Kiss; 1977 and 1978.
- Cheap Trick; April 27, 28 and 30, 1978; Cheap Trick at Budokan
- Ian Gillan Band; 1977-1978; Live at the Budokan (Vols. 1-2).
- Eric Clapton; December 1979; Just One Night.
- Diana Ross; 1977; "An Evening with Diana Ross" concert was videotaped during her 1977 tour.
- Eikichi Yazawa; 1977; Super Live Nippon Budokan, recorded his Budokan concerts of 1977.
- Bob Dylan; 1979; Bob Dylan at Budokan, recorded during his 1978 world tour.
- Bryan Adams; 2000; Live at the Budokan.
- Morning Musume; 2000; DVD Morning Musume First Live at Bud?kan: Dancing Love Site 2000 Haru (Also Sayaka Ichii's graduation from the group)
- Malice Mizer; 2-night stint at the Budokan in support of Bara no Seidou, which yielded their live video Bara ni Irodorareta Akui to Higeki no Makuake.
- Bay City Rollers; 2001; Rollerworld, Live at the Budokan 1977, released as Rollerworld: Live at the Budokan 1977 in 2001.
- Ozzy Osbourne; 2002; filmed CD/DVD combination Live at Budokan.
- Pearl Jam; 2003; recorded an official bootleg at Budokan during their Riot Act Tour (for further information see: Pearl Jam#Riot Act: 2002-2005).
- Duran Duran; July 11 + 12, 2003; played at Budokan; shows recorded live
- Mariah Carey; 2003; performed 3 concert shows, part of her Charmbracelet World Tour on July 6, 8 and 10.
- Incubus; March 3, 2004; performed at Budokan and show recorded as CD Live in Japan 2004 on June 1, 2004
- Dream Theater; 2004; 2DVD/3CD Live at Budokan.
- Hikaru Utada; July 28, 2004; video Utada Hikaru in Budokan 2004: Hikaru no 5.
- Judas Priest; 2005; DVD Rising in the East.
- Nana Mizuki; 2005; DVD Nana Mizuki Live Rainbow at Budokan.
- Avril Lavigne; 2005; DVD Live at Budokan: Bonez Tour, Bonez Tour.
- Hikaru Utada; 2006; video Utada United 2006 (Hikaru Utada discography#Video Releases)
- Nana Mizuki; 2006; DVD Nana Mizuki Livedom -Birth- at Budokan.
- Morning Musume; 2006; DVD Morning Musume Concert Tour 2006 Aki: Odore! Morning Curry
- The Gazette; 2006; DVD Standing Live Tour 2006 [Nameless Liberty. Six Guns...] Tour Final at Nippon Budokan.
- TM Network; 2007; video TM Network -Remaster- at Nippon Budokan 2007.
- TVXQ; 2007; Tohoshinki 2nd Live Tour 2007: Five in the Black.
- Perfume; 2008; "Budokaaaaaaaaaan!!!!!".
- Joe Hisaishi; 2008; Joe Hisaishi in Budokan - 25 years with the Animations of Hayao Miyazaki.
- Flow; 2008; Flow Live Tour 2007-2008 'Isle' Final at Nippon Budokan
- Chatmonchy; 2008; [Restaurant Main Dish] Live at : Budokan 2008.
- Nana Mizuki; 2009; Blu-ray/DVD Nana Mizuki Live Diamond x Fever.
- Mr. Big; 2009; live CD/DVD Back to Budokan.
- Dir En Grey; 2009; live DVD Uroboros: With the Proof in the Name of Living... At Nippon Budokan.
- AKB48; 2009; AKB104 Senbatsu Members Sokaku Matsuri
- The Pillows; 2009; live DVD Lostman Go to Budokan.
- Backstreet Boys; February 18, 2010; recorded live DVD Backstreet Boys: This Is Us Japan Tour 2010 on the This Is Us Tour.
- Nico Touches the Walls; March 12, 2010; "Walls is Auroras" LIVE.
- Polysics; March 14, 2010; Budokan or Die!!!! 2010.3.14
- One Ok Rock; 2010; live DVD This Is My Budokan?!.
- Morning Musume; 2011; Ai Takahashi's graduation concert "Ai Believe ~Takahashi Ai Graduation Memory Special~.
- F.T. Island; 2011; Live In Budokan Summer Mesengger Tour.
- 2PM; 2012;2PM Six Beautiful Day Live in Budokan
- Milky Holmes; 2012; Milky Holmes Live in Budokan
- Lee Seung-gi; 2012; First Japan Live in Budokan Kidou (Hope).
- T-ara; 2012; Live in Budokan, recording of a concert performed as part of their Jewelry Box tour
- Dream Morning Musume; March 10, 2012; Dream Morning Musume Special Live 2012 Nippon Budokan~Dai 1 Shou Shuumaku 'Yuusha tachi, Shuugou seyo'
- U-KISS; 2012; live DVD U-KISS Live In Budokan.
- Morning Musume; 2012; Risa Niigaki and Aika Mitsui's graduation concert Ultra Smart.
- Scandal; March 28, 2012; Japan Title Match Live 2012: Scandal vs Budokan
- Sonar Pocket; August 3, 2012; Sonapokeizm Special - Natsu no Jin - in Nippon Budokan
- Acid Black Cherry; 2012; "Live DVD Acid Black Cherry Tour ?2012?".
- Spyair; December 18, 2012;
- Morning Musume; 2013; Reina Tanaka's graduation concert, Michishige?Eleven Soul.
- °C-ute; 2013; Queen of J-Pop ~Tadoritsuita Onna Senshi~.
- AKB48; 2013; AKB48 Group Rinji Soukai "Shirokuro tsukeyou janai ka!"
- T-ara; 2013; T-ara Japan Tour 2013: Treasure Box.
- Morning Musume; 2013; ~Chance!~
- Berryz Kobo; 2013; Berryz Koubou 10 Shuunen Kinen Budokan Special Live ~Yappari Anata Nashi de wa Ikite Yukenai~
- AKB48 Group Research Students; 2013; AKB48 Group Kenkyuusei Concert ~Oshimen Hayai Mono Gachi~
- Super Junior KRY; 2013; Special Japan tour Super Junior K.R.Y. Special Winter Concert'
- Avril Lavigne; February 4 and 5, 2014: The Avril Lavigne Tour
- Babymetal; March 1 and 2, 2014 ; Live at Budokan: Red Night & Black Night Apocalypse
- Dir En Grey; March 8-9, 2014; Dum Spiro Spero at Nippon Budokan
- S/mileage; July 15, 2014; S/mileage Live 2014 Natsu Full Charge ~715 Nippon Budokan~
- Junho(from 2PM); August 12 and 13, 2014; "Feel" Solo Tour in Japan 2014
- Dish; January 1, 2015
- Silent Siren; January 17, 2015; Silent Siren Live Tour 2014-2015 Fuyu ~Budokan e Go! Siren Go!~ at Budokan
- Oldcodex; February 11, 2015; "Capture" in Budokan
- Kalafina; February 28, 2015; Kalafina Live Best 2015 "Red Day". March 1, 2015; Kalafina Live Best 2015 "Blue Day"
- The Gazette; March 3, 2015; 13th Anniversary Nippon Budokan
- Kana-Boon; March 31, 2015
- Morning Musume; May 27, 2015; ~Gradation~.
- (Kiryu); July 31, 2015
- Hatsune Miku; September 4-5, 2015; Magical Mirai.
- Eir Aoi; November 2, 2015; Eir Aoi Special Live 2015 World of Blue at Nippon Budokan
- Angerme; November 29, 2015, Angerme First Concert Tour 2015 Aki "Hyakka Ryouran" ~Fukuda Kanon Sotsugyou Special~
- Morning Musume; December 7-8, 2015; ~Prism~.
- Dish; January 1-2, 2016; 4 Monkey Magic.
- Wagakki Band; January 6, 2016; Dai Shinnenkai 2016 Nippon Budokan -Akatsuki no Utage-.
- Scandal; January 12-13, 2016; SCANDAL ARENA TOUR 2015-2016 ?PERFECT WORLD?
- Dir En Grey; February 5-6, 2016; Arche At Nippon Budokan
- iKon; February 15-16, 2016; iKoncert 2016: Showtime Tour
- Symphogear; February 27-28, 2016; Symphogear Live 2016
- YuiKaori; March 12, 2016; RAINBOW CANARY!! ~Brightest Stage~
- Shouta Aoi; March 13, 2016; Wonder Lab. ~Bokutachi no Sign~
- Kalafina; September 16-17, 2016; Kalafina Arena LIVE 2016
- Suzuko Mimori; October 27-28, 2016; Mimori Suzuko Live Tour 2016 "Grand Revue" Final at Nippon Budokan
- Eir Aoi; November 4-5, 2016; Eir Aoi 5th Anniversary Special Live 2016 ~Last Blue~ at Nippon Budokan
- My First Story; November 18, 2016; We're Just Waiting 4 You Tour 2016 Final at Budokan
- ClariS; February 10, 2017; ClariS 1st Bud?kan Concert ~Futatsu no Kamen to Ushinawareta Taiy?~ (ClariS 1st Bud?kan Concert: Two Masks and the Lost Sun)
- Versailles; February 14, 2017; Chateau de Versailles at Nippon Budokan
- Taemin; July 1-2, 2017; TAEMIN The 1st Stage Nippon Budokan
- Blackpink; July 20, 2017, Japanese Debut Showcase
- After the Rain; August 9-10, 2017; AtR -Clockwise / Anti-Clockwise-
- Aimer; August 29, 2017; Live in Budokan "blanc et noir"
- Nana Mizuki; January 11-21, 2018; NANA MIZUKI LIVE GATE 2018
- Kalafina; January 23, 2018; Kalafina 10th Anniversary LIVE 2018 at Nippon Budokan
- coldrain; February 6, 2018; FATELESS JAPAN TOUR 2017
- Winner; April 28, 2018; WINNER Japan Tour 2018 ~We'll always be young~
- Mariah Carey; October 31 and November 1, 2018; #1's Tour (Two sold out shows)
- Maaya Uchida; January 1, 2019; UCHIDA MAAYA New Year LIVE 2019?take you take me BUDOKAN!!? (Sold out concert)
- Milky Holmes; January 28, 2019; Milky Holmes Final Live Q.E.D.
- Janet Jackson; February 10 and February 11, 2019; State of the World Tour (Two sold out shows)
American crossover thrash band Stormtroopers of Death released a live album titled Live at Budokan (1992), though the title was in jest and the album was recorded at famed New York City venue The Ritz.
The original Beatles concert is heavily bootlegged on audio and video; the first night's concert video was officially released by Apple in Japan only as Beatles Concert at Budokan 1966, and excerpts are shown in The Beatles Anthology, while the second Anthology album included the first show's performances of "Rock and Roll Music" and "She's A Woman". The venue is one of the stages in The Beatles: Rock Band video game.Chatmonchy currently holds the record for the largest crowd at Budokan.
South Korean Girl group T-ara was the first Korean female artist to perform in Nippon Budokan in 2012 and the only Korean female artist to perform there twice in 2013.
South Korean Girl group Blackpink became the second Korean female artist to perform in Nippon Budokan after T-ara in 2017.
The National Memorial Service for 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.
As well as holding the Live Concert in appreciation of the Popular Anime series Lucky Star:Live in Budokan (Anata No Tame Dakara)
A concert was held in honor of Studio Ghibli's 25th anniversary at the Budokan, hosted by Joe Hisaishi. It included repertoire from most of the films Hisaishi composed for Hayao Miyazaki's Studio Ghibli filmography.
Diana Ross performed and taped her "Here and Now" television special in 1991 to a sold out audience.
The Japan Record Awards took place in the arena from 1985 to 1993 where all of the artists from around the country receive these awards.
Muhammad Ali won a unanimous decision over Mac Foster in their 1972 heavyweight boxing match.
On August 27, 2011, Japan's three biggest professional wrestling promotions; All Japan Pro Wrestling, New Japan Pro Wrestling and Pro Wrestling Noah came together to produce a charity event titled All Together at the arena. On August 10, 11 and 12, 2018 New Japan Pro Wrestling will have the final 3 days of the G1 Climax in Budokan and that will mark the first time in 15 years New Japan has promoted an event there.
Professional wrestler and legend in Japan Kenta Kobashi wrestled his final match in Budokan on May 11, 2013, at an event titled Final Burning in Budokan. Kobashi is synonymous with the arena along with fellow wrestlers Toshiaki Kawada and the late Mitsuharu Misawa.
In November, the Budokan is a 2 day-venue for the annual Japan Self-Defense Forces Marching Festival, a yearly tradition and the nation's military tattoo first held here in the fall of 1963. Aside from JSDF bands, foreign armed forces military bands are also invited to join the event.
A fictional concert hall based on Nippon Budokan appeared in the music video game Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock under the name "Kaiju Megadome." The Beatles' appearance at Nippon Budokan was featured in The Beatles: Rock Band.
Another fictional hall based on the Nippon Budokan appeared in the Japanese pro-wrestling video game Virtual Pro Wrestling 2d? Keish?.