History of Tokyo Camii

History of Tokyo Camii

When Soviet Russia began to rule in 1917, some Tatar communities migrated to different regions of the world.

Kazan-Tatars, who had migrated to Tokyo, established a community called “Mahalle-i İslamiye” (i.e., Islamic District) led by Abdulhay Kurban Ali and Abdurreşid İbrahim and built a Cami and school in 1938. Japan community gave considerable support to the community’s services both economically and socially.

The Camii was destroyed in 1986 because of many years’ wear and tear effect. Tokyo Turkish Associaton donated building land to the Turkish Republic on condition that a new Camii is built. Then, on behalf of the Turkish Republic Religious Affairs Presidency (TC Diyanet İşleri Başkanlığı), with the presidency of Turkish Religious Affairs’ President, Mr. Mehmet Nuri Yılmaz has founded the Tokyo Camii Foundation (i.e., Tokyo Camii Vakfı). New Tokyo Camii Foundation initiated the Camii construction in 1998, and was completed in 2000.

The Camii and Culture Center’s rough works were carried out by Kajima Corporation and fine works and artistic decoration by Turkish masters and artists. The architect of the Cami is Muharrem Hilmi Şenalp. The project was coordinated by Sumio Ito and Akira Wakabayashi on the Japanese side and by Sami Goren on the Turkish Side.

Chiefs of the building site were Tsuruki Furukawa and his assistant Teiji Omata of Japan and Mustafa Iskender of Turkey. On the marble over the entrance door to the cultural center inscribed a poem, giving the date of 1420 A.H. (Construction date of the Tokyo Camii) according to the calculation system of letters in Arabic:

“The Tokyo Camii,” “Lord’s worshipping place,” “Brought to this land eternal glace.”

Imams of Tokyo Camii Abdulhay Qurban Ali (Founder) Abdulresit Ibrahim (1938 ~ 1943) Türkistanlı Emin İslami (1943 ~ 1950) Şerifullah Miftahuddin (1950 ~ 1969) Aynan Safa (1969 ~ 1983) Hüseyin Baş (1979 ~ 1983) Cemil Ayaz (2000 ~ 2004) Ensari Yenitürk (2004 ~ 2011) Murat Çevik (2011 ~ 2012) Nurullah Ayaz Muhammet Rasit Alas Muhammet Rifat Cinar