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DAI NIHON BUTOKUKAI 大日本武徳会

(Greater Japan Martial Virtues Society). An organization headquartered in Kyoto established in 1895 in order to promote traditional martial arts and cultivate martial virtues. The members of the first executive council were President, Prince Komatsunomiya; Chairman, Chiyaki Watanabe, Governor of Kyoto; Vice-chairman, Mibu (Chief Priest of the Heian Shrine).

The stated goals of the Butokukai were: to construct the Butokuden, a large martial arts hall within the precincts of the Heian Shrine in Kyoto; to hold a martial virtues festival each year; to preserve, support, and promote martial arts; to collect arms and historical materials; to publish a bulletin.

Branch offices were set up in all prefectures of Japan and prefectural governors became the branch directors. In 1899, construction of the Butokuden was completed. Branch martial arts halls also called Butokuden were constructed in each prefecture. In 1905, a martial arts training school for teachers was established. This later became the Budo Senmon Gakko (College of Martial Arts). The Butokukai inaugurated a dan ranking system, and a refereeing system. It regulated the practice of kendo and gradually contributed to the modernization, spread and development of Japanese martial arts. During World War II, it came under government control. After the war it was dissolved by order of the occupation army. It was revived again after the war and continues to function on a reduced scale.