Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Kamo Culture Hall


This is one of the more bizarre buildings I have come across in rural japan, its the Kamo Culture Hall in the small town of Kamo, now part of Unnan Town up in Izumo.


Kamo has a population of about 6,000, and yet has this huge concert hall and conference center. many smaller towns and villages in Shimane have such facilities. Maybe we in Shimane are an especially cultured people, or maybe before the bubble burst japan poured insane amounts of money into useless construction.


There is an element of fantasy in the design, and it also seems to be a mishmash of influences. I must admit that on first viewing from a distance I though it might have been a nuclear power station or some sort of industrial complex.


It was built in 1994 and the architect is Toyokazu Watanabe, not someone I have heard of before, but seems fairly well known for his "Breast House" in Kyoto.


Kamo is in the area of Izumo where the Yamata no Orochi myth is set, and according to the architect this was an influence on his design....



  1. Reminds me of a mad scientist lab, or some crazy castle. Is it even used nowadays? What's the interior like?

  2. Hi Philip
    Some of the locals have described it as a comic book castle. It is not used often. I will be posting pics of the interior...

  3. Weird indeed! Some of the ways that rural towns tried to attract attention to themselves in the Bubble Era produced white elephants of grotesque proportions... wonder what will happen to them all when the depopulation hits home...I guess like ancient pyramids, they'll remain curiosities that people in after-centuries will make elaborate theories about...

  4. hey John
    many of them are already closed. The national govt gave them the money to build them but the local govts cant afford to run them....