The Martial Arts Compound of
the Taichung Criminal Law
Enforcement Office is a historic
building constructed in the
Japanese colonial period.
Deputy Mayor Hsiao Chia-Chi
visits the historical relics
displays at the Martial Arts
Rebuilt Martial Arts Compound of the Taichung Criminal Law Enforcement Office ready for the public
Text and photos by
Taichung City Goverment
Translated by Angel Pu
The Martial Arts Compound of the Taichung Criminal Law Enforcement Office is the city's only historic Budokan (Japanese martial arts club) building left over from the Japanese colonial period. Using a budget from the Executive Yuan's Council for Cultural Affairs, the Taichung city government finished rebuilding and renovating the structure in October, 2010 and Deputy Mayor Hsiao Chia-Chi on Nov. 12 hosted an opening ceremony. This means that the public will soon be able to visit and enjoy this interesting and attractive building.
Restoring a historic building
According to the Council for Cultural Affairs, management of the Martial Arts Compound is being taken over by the Taichung City Government Police Bureau so that it can return the building to its original purpose from the Japanese colonial period. Besides opening for visitors, the building will be used as a police officers' center for judo and taekwondo training and education. There will also be activities like martial arts camps for teenagers.
The Martial Arts Compound of the Taichung Criminal Law Enforcement Office was built by police authorities during the Japanese colonial era and was used by Japanese officers to practice martial arts skills. The original wooden structure was built in 1912 and, in 1930, was demolished and rebuilt as a concrete building. In 2004, it was registered as one of Taichung city's historic buildings. However, a serious fire on Nov. 15, 2006 destroyed or damaged the building's wooden parts, roof tiles and floors. Fortunately, prior to this the government had completed research and detailed blueprints of the martial arts club, and the main brick structure was not damaged. Therefore, the Council for Cultural Affairs decided to initiate restoration work. In all, it took two years to finish this work on the main building and the surrounding structures.
Japanese-style building displays historic relics
After its restoration, the interior space of the main building still preserves the original wooden and tatami traditional Japanese flooring. In order to reduce the sports-related injuries, this center also features steel springs under the floor. Outside, the flooring is made up of Japanese black tiles, mostly used in Japanese construction. Another unique facet worth noting is the Onigawara ("ghost tiles" in Japanese), a type of roof ornamentation that is an important feature in Japanese palace-style public buildings.
The main building of the martial arts club is divided into two areas--a kendo (Japanese fencing) area and judo area. Now, there is an additional exhibition corridor for visitors to view the steel springs and frame structure beneath the building, and the surrounding structure has two individual spaces. One is used to display wooden structure and Onigawara sections before restoration and various historical pictures and relics related to the building are also on display. The other space is used as an administrative office. In addition, there are toilets and shower rooms for visitors practicing martial arts here.
Information for Visitors:
33, LinSen Rd, West District
The park is open all day, although the Martial Arts Compound is not yet open for visits.
Left: Invited members of the Taichung Police Bureau SWAT team give an excellent and realistic drill performance that received great applause.
Right: The opening ceremony for the Martial Arts Compound of the Taichung Criminal Law Enforcement Office.