Nippon Budokan, a well-known concert arena in Japan. Located in the heart of Tokyo. The building is modeled after Yumedono (Hall of Dreams) in Hōryū-ji in Nara. It has a capacity of 10,000. Nippon Budokan (will referred as Budokan later) was built and opened at 1964 for Judo Competition of 1964 Summer Olympic. It still used as the venue for Martial Art competition but why this venue become one of the most prestigious venue in Japan? Of course it’s not about the facility, Tokyo Dome City Hall is better in facility, of course not about the size, Tokyo Dome is bigger, and also not about the capacity, the Olympic Stadium is the number. So, why? It’s all about the “Magic”. So let’s see this “magic” of Budokan.
Venue is all about history, so let’s go back 1965, the first time this venue used as music concert by Leopold Stokowski, he conducted an orchestra, but this isn’t the concert that make this venue so prestigious. It was 1 year later, at 1966, The Beatles did the concert here, there are a lot of controversies that the anti-riot police was stationed near the concert venue. The conservative people said that these concert will defile the holy martial arts arena. But, despite the opposition, the concert was a success. After the Beatles, there were many musical acts that held live in Budokan, a lot of them was recorded their performance and released their “Live at Budokan”. Almost all of the “Live at Budokan” recording and the Live concert itself was a big hit. At first it’s just famous between musician from overseas, and it’s not until late 90s, the Japanese music act started used Budokan as a prestige venue.
It’s actually because all of the successes of the Budokan performer that it became a bottomline for success, if you can fill Budokan, then you are qualified to success, something like that. And according to Eric Clapton, it’s all because the audience in this venue is “over-appreciative”, that’s why the concert feel livelier and the “Live at Budokan” recording is almost always a big hit. It’s all about the momentum, it’s special because it is Budokan, where it is special since it’s opened for musical acts for the first time. WIth all of the success of “Live at Budokan” recording from many western artist, it attract more and more artist, from west or east. Yes, it’s all about history and Momentum, and it seems Budokan won’t lost it’s momentum in near future.
Record at Budokan
- The most performance at Budokan : Yazawa Ekichi (132 times)
- The most performance at Budokan (Female) : Matsuda Seiko (102 times)
- The most performance at Budokan (Group) : THE ALFEE (86 times)
- The most performance at Budokan (Foreign) : Eric Clapton (86 times)
- The most consecutive days performance at Budokan : HOUND DOG (15 days, 1989)
- The most performance in 1 day : SMAP (6 times, 1 January 1994)
- The largest audiences : Fukuyama Masaharu (15,000 peoples)
- The first indie artist to perform at Budokan : DIR EN GREY (1998)
- The most consecutive performance in the same day : THE ALFEE (23 December (1984-2014)
- The youngest performer at Budokan : BABYMETAL (averaged 14.7 years old)
- The shortest time needed to perform at Budokan since Major debut : HKT48 (39 days)
Notable information related to Idol
- Momoiro Clover Z held “Woman only” concert with 10,000 attendances at 5 October 2012.
- Tokyo Girls Style unveiled the member’s birthdate at Budokan Concert and broke the record for the youngest performer in Budokan (Averaged 15) at 22 December 2012.
- AKB48 held their first grand shuffle at Budokan (August 2009)
- AKB48 held their annual Janken Taikai at Budokan.
- Babyraids set their goal as “Held concert at Budokan in 2 years or disband” and they succeed.
- 9nine said their Budokan concert is the start point for them. (August 2014)
- Brand New Idol Society planned to held disbandment concert at Budokan but failed and made their own version of Budokan.
- Morning Musume held graduation concert for Takahashi Ai at Budokan.
- A lot more.
Another usage of Budokan
Until now the Budokan venue still used as venue for Martial Arts tournament (almost all of the martial arts branch tournament being held here annually). It also used as a big venue for Pro wrestling event, big promotion like Pro Wrestling NOAH, NJPW and other. The legendary match between Antonio Inoki and Muhammad Ali was also held here.