Takatori Catholic Church

Takatori Catholic Church (カトリックたかとり教会 Katorikku Takatori Kyokai) is a Catholic church in Nagata-ku, Kobe, Japan. It lies a fifteen minute walk from Takatori Station in Kobe, Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan.

History


The church was founded in 1927. In 1929 the first church building for its own was consecrated .

Earthquake and Takatori Church


Great Hanshin earthquake, on January 17, 1995, destroyed the building of the church at that time as well as other structures in neighborhood. The disaster and recovery process from it has influenced the church and the local community including secular and non-Catholic one, and have them build a tight relationship.

Takatori Church and social sector


After the disaster, the community of the Takatori parish, which a priest Hiroshi Kanda pastured at that time, decided to offer the location as a base of disaster relief, and named it "Takatori Church Rescue Base" first, which would be later renamed "Takatori Rescue Base". The Rescue Base offered a lodge for volunteers who gathered from many parts of Japan. Various activities for helping disaster victims were organized at the Base from soup kitchen to cleansing debris. Community radio for non-Japanese residents started, aiming those who had difficulties to catch up information in emergency because of their language barriers, first for both Korean and Vietnamese speaking communities but soon later for other language communities, which has been no small portions of the parish because of international migration.

In 2000 Takatori Church Rescue Base, which was no legal entity, was reorganized into a non-profit entity "Takatori Community Center". It consists of three types of interest groups: secular local community representatives, religious community representatives, that is, of Takatori Church and non-profits which are based in Takatori neighborhood. Currently Hiroshi Kanda is the chair of its board of trustees.

In 2006 Takatori Community Center was awarded by Japan Foundation, a governmental funding non-profit, honoring its community-based cultural exchange.

Paper Dome


On September 17, 1995, the church got a temporary church building using paper tubes as structural elements. It was designed on a pro-bono basis by Shigeru Ban, internationally known Japanese architect who is renowned for his paper tube structures and buildings. This temporary structure was nicknamed "Paper Dome".

The church community has later planned to build a permanent building and the "Paper Dome" was deconstructed in 2005. In the same year the structure was donated to a Catholic community in Nantou County, Taiwan which had suffered the 921 Earthquake in 1999. The deconstructed structure was shipped in 2006 to Taiwan, reconstructed there and has been reused as a place of worship.

Building Activity

  • Radil Radenkov
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