Seibu-kodo Hall (the west auditorium) of Kyoto University (京都大学西部講堂)
Seibu-Kodo Hall is one of the public health facilities, that is located on the western part of Kyoto University Yoshida Campus. This hall not only has club rooms belonging to Kyoto University, but also holds various events such as music concerts at random times.
1937: Build in Kyoto Imperial University (the former Kyoto University) to celebrate the birth of Crown Prince Akihito (present emperor).
1963: Relocated and reconstructed at the present place.
The dawning of rock and Seibu-Kodo Hall
In 1969, one of the substantial leaders of the All Student Joint Struggle Council of Kyoto University, Yasuji TAKASE (former chairman of the Kyoto federation of students) organized 'Barricade Festival' and 'Anti-University' at Faculty of Liberal Arts, Kyoto University. The meeting of rock and Seibu-Kodo Hall can be traced back to when they started their activities at their remaining base, Seibu-Kodo Hall, after fall of the clock tower and destruction of Hyakumanben Quarter liberated zone of Imadegawa (in September). Not only students of Kyoto University got involved in Seibu-Kodo Hall, but also many students from Doshisha University Student Broadcast station, circles of Kyoto City University of Arts and the dormitory association of Ritsumeikan University and others went in and out of this Hall. Hideki KIMURA and Tatsuo KOMATSU were two of them.
On December 31, 1970, the event titled 'FUCK 70' started with a heavy sound.
They held all-night rock concert on New Year's Eve, claiming 'Golden 70's is nothing' and 'NHK Kohaku Utagassen (NHK Year-end Grand Song Festival) is not the only event for New Year's Eve.'
Although annoying the general public living in the vicinity and the university, this event had become an annual event on New Year's Eve in Kyoto. It was said that if you appeared in this concert, you would certainly make your name in the media next year. In fact, Johnny OKURA and Eikichi YAZAWA appeared in this concert when they were unknown with no expectation, but they 'became popular' in later years.
Moreover, a concert held on every other Saturday was born.
It was called 'MOJO WEST.'
Here is an excerpt form its brochure as follows;
Is MOJO WEST a group that is asking for freedom?'
No, we are asking for order.'
That is the new order, a new relationship, independence and responsibility.'
That is our job and work.'
MOJO WEST led to expand exchanges between external students and individuals at the Seibu-Kodo Hall. Kenji SAWADA's PYG was one of them. Char, Murahachibu (band), Hiroshi KAMAYATSU and Carmen MAKI appeared at Seibu-Kodo Hall. A hippie in Shinjuku hitchhiked to Kyoto, then to Seibu-Kodo Hall from the night before this event.
At 'MOJO' that was held in the Kyoto Prefectural Gymnasium in January, 1972, the main stream that were brought up in the Seibu-Kodo Hall such as the Mops, Carmen MAKI and Zuno Keisatsu performed. Around the same time, an assistant in Faculty of Economics, Kyoto University, Nobuhiro TAKEMOTO was placed on a nation-wanted list on suspicion of murdering a self-defense official at Asaka garrison. Advance tickets for 'MOJO' were found from some of the snack bars that were raided in connection with Takemoto. While the concert venue, the Kyoto Prefectural Gymnasium was surrounded by security police, and the concert was held in a tense atmosphere.
On August 16, 1972, big 'Gozan Okuribi' (Mountain Bon Fire) of Mt. Nyoigadake was seen from the grounds of the Faculty of Agriculture, Kyoto University on that day.
The concert, held on the grounds under the slogan of 'Sanrizuka conflict,' was the 'Genyasai Festival.'
West Road Blues Band, Zuno Keisatsu and Yuzo TOYODA appeared under the concept of connecting the wildfire of Sanrizuka to Daimonji no Okuribi (ceremonial bonfire of Daimonji letter).
With the Genya Festival in Kyoto, Seibu-Kodo Hall was painted with a unique color. Many men spent several days painting the big roof of Seibu-Kodo Hall light blue under the scorching sun. On its roof, pure white clouds were floating in the blue sky, and red Orion's Belt was glowing. In the first place, the three stars were the design of super realism by the students at the art university, and they just chose them as a pattern. However, when members of the Japanese Communist Party saw this paint, they pointed out that 'the red Orion Belt represented three soldiers of the Japanese Red Army,' their remarks aroused criticism.
Against their remarks, members of the Seibu-Kodo Hall turned defiant and decided 'to preserve three red stars as their own proof of existence as well as an eternal engraved mark.'
On the day at the Genyasai Festival, memorial ceremony for students of Kyoto University and member of Japanese Red Army (Tsuyoshi OKUDAIRA, Yasuyuki YASUDA and others) who lost their lives in a gun battle in Tel Aviv was held at west side of the campus, and the great pageant 'Genyasai Festival,' connecting Seibu-Kodo Hall to the grounds of Faculty of Agriculture, Kyoto University, was realized.
After that, the roof of Seibu-Kodo Hall had been repainted several times, but the tree stars of Orion's Belt can still be seen. However, its color was changed from red to yellow.
In 1975, the Seibu-kodo liaison council was launched as a constant governing organization (Kyoto University's official student group). Its specialties such as soup-run, summer festival, flea markets and sales of pollution-free foods started at that time.
On February 4, 1976, Frank Vincent Zappa and the Mothers' stage was realized in the way that Yuya UCHIDA introduced them to Takase and Kimura. Zappa saw the Seibu-Kodo Hall and shouted.
After that, the presence of Seibu-Kodo Hall, what Zappa called the most beautiful and crazy hall in the World, was spread to famous musicians by word of mouth. In connection with that, the Stranglers, XTC (band), Talking Heads, Tom Waits and the Police (band) came to Seibu-Kodo Hall.
However, the operational incident occurred between Udo Artists, Inc. and Seibu-Kodo Hall at the time of the Police's performance on February 20, 1980, and after that, performances by famous foreign rock singers were avoided. Bands or musicians that had played a gig at the Seibu-Kodo Hall had been shifted to indie bands.
Some of the bands appeared in the hall such as Tokyo Rockers (Friction, Rizard band), ZELDA, Rosa Luxemburg (band) (which Donto belonged) and The Starlin made a major debut.
At The Starlin's stage, the PA was covered with a box to protect it from the violent audience, and the singer, Michiro ENDO threw firecrackers at the audience, while MC shouting 'I don't care if somebody dies today.'
It is only Seibu-Kodo Hall where these kinds of events have been held all through the ages.
The Police incident and self control
We need to understand there is a condition behind this incident and that Seibu-Kodo Hall is different from an ordinary rental hall.
Seibu-Kodo liaison council (Sei Ren Kyo) was organized by groups and members who believed that 'Securing the place for expression using self-control and self management is what culture ought to be.'
Only after the project was considered and approved in the regular meeting, could the hall be used as concert venue.
Under this system, Udo Artists, Inc. and other promoters were not able to use the hall directly. In case of the Police's stage, some members of Sei Ren Kyo, who was approached by the promoter about the performance, hastily formed a voluntary group only for this stage. After they got approval for this project as a matter of form, they finally managed to hold the stage.
However, as it turned out, the promoter took control of the concert venue, and their management at the venue (a large number of security guards, no cameras, and no alcohol) were found here and there was far from what usually done in Seibu-Kodo Hall. Moreover, an all-standing audience that exceeded the capacity of the venue was packed into the hall, and the conditions of the venue became dangerous. Staff of Sei Ren Kyo, who regarded this condition (deviation of self control, such attendance considered as commercialism) as a problem, asked the promoter to cancel the performance. This summarizes this incident.
After this incident, some members of Sei Ren Kyo, who had close ties with the promoter, left Sei Ren Kyo. The details of this incident was revealed in Sei Ren Kyo's newsletter 'Kanpo,' and what Sei Ren Kyo did was accepted in a friendly way as the nature of students' self-government (self control) on campus. On this occasion, the management of the Sei Ren Kyo was strengthen, and was carried on up to the present date.
The site of Seibu-Kodo Hall is the school land of the old-education-system vocational school Kyoto Craft High School (one of the former Kyoto Institutes of Technology), and after the high school was relocated to the present school land in Matsugasaki, it became the property of Kyoto Imperial University.