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