The Japanese Culture Center was established in 1977 in Chicago by Aikido Shihan (Teacher of Teachers) and Zen Master Fumio Toyoda to make some of the arts, crafts, and philosophical riches of Japan available to the general public. The Lakeview Center (located at 1016 W. Belmont Ave) was opened in 1980.
The Center is not a museum where lifeless objects are displayed. Rather, it is a school where living skills are passed on -person-to-person- as they have been for centuries. Arts from other countries, which complement the Center’s function, are also offered.
The curriculum includes Self Defense Classes and classic martial arts such as Aikido, Bujinkan, Jujutsu, Karate, Kenpo, Kendo, Iaido, and Shorinji Kempo. In addition, we offer modern arts like Capoeira, and the powerful developmental practices of Zen, Internal Breath and Meditation Training, and Yoga.
Cultural courses are also available in the form of Japanese Calligraphy (Shodo), Chanoyu (tea ceremony), Ikebana (flower arrangement), and. The fundamental purpose of these courses it to enable students to realize their full potential: to unify mind and body, develop natural abilities, and live dynamic, creative lives.
Just inside the door of the Center is a wooden panel on which are carved the characters “Ten Shin Kan,” or “Place of the Universal Mind/Body/Spirit”. In the spirit of the traditional training halls of the Orient, the JCC is a true “dojo”, or “house of the way”.