The kominkan (公民館) are public places where the residents of each city can have access to cultural activities involving sports, music, literature, lectures, arts and jobs, as a kind of community cultural center.
Community or cultural centers tend to exist in most developed countries, but the Japanese tend to take these kominkan to another level, providing diverse opportunities for children, youth, adults and the elderly.
In addition to the kominkan there are also koryukan (交流館) which are exchange centers that work in the same way, but with activities in order to promote cultural exchange. Both places are for people who want to study, teach and expand their social circle.
The Kominkan have existed since 1940, where after second World War, they were intended to provide cultural support to the community that suffered the devastation of the war. Where the government spent even 10 billion yen, despite the financial crises in the last century.
What is the purpose of Kominkan?
According to the law, Kominkans provide people living in certain regions such as cities and even towns with academic and cultural activities. Kominkan should contribute to health and character development, in addition to stimulating and cultivating culture and social well-being.
Many kominkan or koryukan offer libraries, museums, courses, theater rooms, study rooms, kitchens and culinary courses, meeting rooms, craft rooms and many other group activities.
It is estimated that there are more than 16,000 community centers across Japan, more than the country's secondary schools. 50,000 people work in a cultural center in Japan, which means that many are small and have few employees.
Meeting a koryukan
Below you can see what a public community cultural center in Japan looks like in the video of our friend Caipira in Japan:
Some cultural exchange centers (koryukan) even provide Japanese classes for foreigners. It's amazing how Japan strives to provide space for foreigners, but some still put the knife in Japan.
Did you know Japan's community cultural centers? Have you ever attended one? What is your opinion on the matter? We appreciate comments and shares.