Tainan Wude Hall (Old Tainan Martial Arts Academy)
Tainan Wude Hall
While the Japanese built many modern buildings in Taiwan, finding traditional Japanese buildings is a little more difficult. Wude Hall is one of the few examples of traditional Japanese architecture in Tainan. The Japanese built it as a martial training center for police, military, and other citizens. Several martial arts halls were built around the island during the Japanese colonial period, and while Dasi Wude Hall in Taoyuan County is perhaps the best preserved, Tainan’s Wude Hall is arguably the grandest and best restored. These halls not only served for the practice of kendo and judo, but also promoted Japanese culture in Taiwan.
This building was originally built in the east of Minsheng Green Park around 1910, but was rebuilt in its current location in 1936. It was rebuilt exactly as the first one except that the original was wooden and this one is mostly made from reinforced concrete. Surely the original required a lot of wood and must have been very impressive. This is truly a grand structure, and even the concrete revision is one of the most aesthetically pleasing buildings in all of Tainan. Unfortunately, it not open for general viewing and most people will have to appreciate it from the outside.
I knew of this building for a long time before I actually saw it. It’s address is on Zhongyi Road, but you won’t see it from there nor from Fuqian Road. You’re more likely to see it from the west gate of the Confucian Temple, as it is right next door. This building is inside of Zhongyi Elementary School and you have to wonder onto the school grounds in order to view it. The back side of the building is right on You Ai Street. Zhongyi Elementary School must be an impressive place to send your kids. Not only does it have Wude Hall within its grounds, it is right on the doorstep of the Confucian Temple.
Location: No.2, Sec. 2 Zhongyi Road (Jhongyi Rd. 忠義路), West Central District, Tainan City.