MONO JAPAN 2017- Japanese Craft & Design –

Last February we Japan Cultural Exchange hold MONO JAPAN for the first time, which was to convey the background of Japan’s current product and Japanese manufacturing. And guess what, we’re going to make a comeback with even more vigour in February 2017! 26 exhibitors will come to Amsterdam, and 24 of them are from Japan. It’s going to be a large event as around 70 people will participate.

MONO JAPAN produced various achievements last time, which ranges from business to cultural projects. Japan Cultural Exchange has continued to help many creators step to the next level after the event.

Since our last event had a very good Netherlands, this time we decided to invite many experts and hold quite interesting lectures by them.
We have two themes in these lectures as follows; how was the influence of Japan’s manufacturing culture in the Netherlands, and how can the creative industry between the two countries influence and cooperate each other as well?

As workshops were very popular last time, a wider range of them will be held this year. These exhibitors will come from various parts of Japan, and therefore you must be going to have such rare experiences.

Well, here are the highlights of MONO JAPAN!

1. Pottery from the north western part of Kyushu gets together!
Stylish pottery from Nagasaki prefecture, Karatsu-yaki (“yaki” means “ware”) from Saga prefecture, Arita-yaki from “2016/ ARITA”, and Hasami-yaki from “Maruhiro””Asemi Co”. All of them are from the north western part of Kyushu.
We promise that they will strike a deep chord in your heart, as Japan was trading with the Netherlands based in Kyushu in the 17c.

2. Abundant textile manufacturer
Five companies are exhibiting their products to convey the attractiveness of Japanese textiles such as traditional dyeing and drawing (what we call “Some” and “Shibori”). And of course, we also hold workshops and lectures so that you can experience them.

3. Attractive new exhibitors
From plastic products to organic underwear. From playful exhibitions to where you can learn about the history of the production area. You can see the world of wide variety of manufacturing.

4. Tea room by architect Fumihiko Sano!
Great news. Tea room finally appears at Lloyd Hotel!
Mr. Fumihiko Sano who is currently dispatched abroad as a Japanese ambassador for civilization is making his own tea room in various countries around the world. In the Netherlands, a tea room is born at Lloyd Hotel, and it will be open to the public at the same time this event. During the event IZUMONO will host the tea ceremony in this room. Don’t miss the full-fledged tea ceremony!

5. Free entry for all lectures
We invite Dutch and Japanese experts for these programmes, and are going to approach Japanese manufacturing from various points of view. Then we will focus on the history of cooperation and manufacturing between Japan and the Netherlands -It will be absolutely exciting!

6. Enjoy Japanese food & drinks and trips during the exhibition!
We prepare loads of Japanese food and drinks at the Lloyd Hotel during MONO JAPAN. Also you can get information on the trip to Japan if you want to.

Period: 2 – 5 February 2017 (2nd Feb: press and professionals preview. By invitation only)
Time: 2nd -4th 11:00-20:00, 5th 11:00-18:00
Place: Lloyd Hotel & Cultural Embassy
For more info, please check MONO JAPAN’s website (

Tomoko’s 2016 in the Netherlands

Hello, I’m Tomoko.
It’s already 4 month since I came here, it was very short but very long time for me.

I want to look back for my life or discoveries.

I spent these days working as an intern at Schiphol airport as my school project, and also working at JCE on weekend, and every time I talked with Emiko about what happened during the week.

First, I want to write about work at JCE.

Briefly, I started to work at here because I was interested in Japanese traditional crafts or techniques but what I knew was really small amount, so I wanted to know about that more and more.

By joining in many events like MAKER KAMER, ELLE decoration live, JAPAN Market, design exhibition of Yuzen, I had opportunities to tell to customer about the products face to face, help to organize the event, I could experience many many things. Every time I felt both feeling, excitement and difficulty. It’s very exciting thing to make better something when I face some difficulty and it was so precious experience to do by myself because if I don’t know, I can’t find what is happening at background of the event.

Besides, I could listen very interesting story that Mr. Nakajima told me when I met him during the Yuzen design exhibition. It was about the productive side. For example, about coming of age ceremony. If there are one million people of my age, if there are half million men and women, and one out of five will buy Furisode, it is specific Kimono for this ceremony, producers have to make 100 thousands of that. If they make more amount of Kimono, these will be not necessary.

At the same time, they have to think about which company will make how many, and if there are so many company, it’s not easy to know that. Also, about a reason that works for craftsman is disappearing, he told me a lot of stories about “present” situation. These are very natural but I didn’t focus so very stimulated for me. I want to write about this again at the other time.

Since I came to here, by many experiences, meeting so many people, my perspective was broadened very much. I could find many new ways to choose after this study and now I got lost my way of life. It’s very happy thing for me.

Everything I touched has wider and deeper side than I expected, and always there were culture in every background. I felt like I dived into the sea filled with Japanese culture.

About the total thing,

Every day I feel differences between Dutch and Japanese culture, like service or how to tell our opinions. Since we have different backgrounds, meanings of words or sentences come to be different, too, and it is not easy to understand each other. We have to talk a lot and it takes long time.

Strengths has also weakness, so I want to experience a lot and want to be able to choose the best way when I face the same situation.

Though there are so many difficulties, what I feel the best thing to come here is I can think sincerely about myself and also my home country, about social problem, education, traditional crafts or culture and more. Even just walking around, all are first time for me at here, it is very exciting.

My world was very small.

After coming here, I faced my weakness or bad point a lot of time, sometimes tried something to overcome, thought about it very hard, disappointed myself, escaped to somewhere, grew up a little, this is my life in 2016.

I would like to try many things also in 2017 and grow up as much as I can.

Thank you very much for reading.

See you again in next year,

Tomoko Kobayashi