On 3rd of March, the event called “JAPAN DAY” was held in Leiden. This event was organised by a travel agency, and an exchange agency. JCE supported with advertising and local arrangements. This event had already been conducted in other countries, and it was finally done in the Netherlands this year. I hope that there have been many Dutch people who were excited to see it. This took place at the Stadsgehoorzaal Leiden, and over 100 performers who had different backgrounds presented a traditional Japanese show with a sense of unity to audiences. JAPAN DAY was an All-free event, which means that performers get no performancesing fee. They came all the way to the Netherlands to entertain local people. I believe that this never happened without their true passion for cultural exchange.

There were the kinds of performances which are familiar to Japanese people like Wadaiko(Japanese drum), Yosakoi(Japanese dance) and Kyogen(Japanese comic drama). Furthermore, there were also other kinds of performances which people don’t see often anymore, even in Japan,  like Nankin Tamasudare (Japanese street performance) for example. My favourite performance, which moved my heart, was Shamisen performance by Tugaru shamisen aikoukai. They grabbed the attention of the audience with the strong sound of their shamisen, and gave an imaginative story from the rhythm of their music. I listened to their performance losing a sense of time. As one of their performance song, they played “Ninjaribanban” by Kyary Pamyu Pamyu,. That became a whole different song by adding shamisen melody. Because it was so great, I started listening to some shamisen performances on Youtube in my free time since the event. That was such an inspirational sound.

We also ran workshops in another room. There was the booth for traditional Japanese games, such as Yo-yo fishing, Super Ball catching, picture story show, etc. Because it was in the weekend, I saw many families visiting at the booths. It was a happy moment to see that kids were enjoying their time with Japanese games. Since they are kids, experiencing other cultures can help them to develop their cultural understanding skills. I believe that not only the government, but private companies too should support more cultural events in Japan where globalism is one of the most trendy topics. It will lead to an outcome in which people from young generations can more easily understand the international way of thinking, and broaden their career plans by getting stimulation from other cultures. In addition, this time we invited Japanese performers to the Netherlands, but there must also be people in the Netherlands who want to present their unique performances in Japan. I thought that it could be a good travel programme if I organised this for Dutch performers. JAPAN DAY made me think that providing unique travel programs is also quite interesting as a business.