The old structure was used for sumo tournaments when it was originally constructed in 1909. During World War II it was used by the Japanese military to make balloon bombs, known as Fu-Go ふ号[兵器]. In 1945 the building was requisitioned by the GHQ (Allied powers) and renamed “Memorial Hall”. In 1958 it was assigned as Nihon University auditorium 日本大学講堂.
Old Ryogoku Kokugikan, as seen in 1932 (source):
Old Ryogoku Kokugikan 旧両国国技館 after WW2 Tokyo air raids (source):
Old Ryogoku Kokugikan, as “Memorial Hall” during the Occupation:
- 第26回 国技館―伝統と技術が融合した相撲の殿堂 26th Kokugikan – Sumo Hall of Fame where tradition and technology is fused
- Photos: Mainichi newspaper
- 両国 日本大学講堂 Both countries Nihon University auditorium (broken link: members2 jcom home.ne jp/numc-ob-hp/page337 html)
- Was Tokyo bombed in WW2?