In 1993 in Niederkassel, a suburb of Düsseldorf, a Japanese cultural centre was opened: the EKÔ-House. The foundation stone had been laid in 1988 by Yehan Numata, the founder of the Mitutyo Society and of the "Society for Buddhist Understanding".
As a city whose Japanese presence is among the largest in Europe , the choice of Düsseldorf as location for the cultural centre was no accident. With the centre, Japanese living in the region are in the rare situation of being able to practice and cultivate the familiar customs of their own culture. But also, the people of the region, with a very different cultural background, have thereby the unique opportunity of learning about these customs, and to themselves participate in them.
The events offered include: the celebration of Buddhist festivals, tea ceremonies, garden fêtes with musical or theatrical performances, music events, reading and working circles for fundamental Buddhist texts, exhibitions, introductory courses in traditional Japanese arts (such as brush painting, calligraphy, Ikebana, instrumental music, dancing and cooking), lectures and lecture series, film presentations, and discussion circles on current themes.