Japan Market bij Rachelle

Op zondag 26 juni was het dan zo ver, de Japan Market van JCE werd om 10:00 geopend in het Lloyd hotel. Ik ben samen met twee vriendinnen een kijkje gaan nemen. Met deze blog wil ik graag mijn ervaring met jullie delen.


Dit jaar trok de Japan Market 1100 bezoekers in totaal. Dit was ook direct te merken. Bij aankomst hing er direct een gezellige sfeer in het Lloyd hotel. Op de begane grond waren alle non-food stands te vinden. De producten van deze stands waren zeer divers. De ene stand verkocht typisch Japans keukengerei, de ander lolita artikelen. Er is voor elk wat wils. Ook waren er zeer exclusieve producten verkrijgbaar die met de hand gemaakt waren.


Op de bovenverdiepingen bevonden zich de food stands, waar je allerlei verschillende Japanse hapjes kon kopen. Onigiri, sushi, mochi, taiyaki en matcha ijs om er maar een paar op te noemen. Je merkt het misschien al, maar ik heb hier meer tijd doorgebracht dan bij de non food stands. Wat ik zelf heel bijzonder vond was het matcha brood gemixt met Old Amsterdam kaas. Het klinkt als een vreemde combinatie en voor sommigen zelfs vies, maar het was verrassend lekker. Ook vond ik het een mooie verbeelding hoe dichtbij de Japanse en Nederlandse culinaire cultuur bij elkaar kunnen komen.

De volgende Japan Market van JCE is in november 2016. Mis het niet!

Rachelle & Eri, JCE internship

JCE became 1 year old in February! In February, we have 2 internships! They are 2 young ladies, Rachelle and Eri. Rachelle is Dutch and Eri is Japanese.

They will work together with us and they will write blogs sometime about JCE and their working experiences, culture, events!

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*** Introduction from Rachelle ***

Hello, my name is Rachelle Verheijden and I am a 4th year student at Zuyd University, Maastricht. I am now in my final year of studying Japanese language and culture, and follow my internship at Japan Cultural Exchange.

The reason why I chose this company is because they host a lot of workshops and events concerning Japanese arts and culture, and bring the Dutch and Japanese people closer together.

With this blog I want to provide people information and insight in the activities of JCE and how it is to work in this company, and of course, its team.

I hope you will enjoy reading it as much as I love writing it.


*** Introduction from Eri ***

Hi! I am Eri and come from Japan. I just started my internship at Japanese Cultural Exchange(JCE).

First, I would like to introduce myself. I am currently doing a one-year exchange at Erasmus University Rotterdam.

The reason why I chose the Netherlands is because I wanted to go to a country whose mother language is not English, but a majority of people are actually fluent in speaking it.

In addition, “Dutch design” attracted me. In Rotterdam, I could find many modern architectures like the cube house and the Markthal.

Also the reason why I decided to do an internship in JCE is that I want more and more people in the Netherlands to know about the Japanese culture.

Here I met a lot of people who are very interested in Japanese culture, such like Anime, Manga, J-pop, Harajyuku-fashion, Sushi, Japanese camera and so on.

I was surprised that there are that many people who know about Japanese culture. Japan is far away from the Netherlands. For Dutch, Japan is ‘the far east’. I just felt happy that people in the Netherlands became interested in Japan. Because of this, I decided to work at JCE as my internship.

My internship has just started but I am already excited to work here!

I am going to post blogs as much as possible.

I hope that everyone who reads my articles can enjoy!

De 3e Japan Market


The third Japan Market organized by JCE took place in the Lloyd Hotel on the 29th November. Despite the unfortunate weather, there were about 1260 visitors and the market had a great and dynamic atmosphere.

We had more and big variety of participants , compared to the 2nd Japan Market which took place in June.

In the last Japan Market, most of the foods sold out shortly after it opened and that disappointed quite many visitors. To avoid the same situation, we have introduced a new system and had more food booths, and it seemed it worked! There were freshly made “Taiyake” and Sushi, nostalgic sweets for the Japanese and many more Delicious things.


And drinks!



The Non-Food participants were also very diverse, from shops dealing with Japanese products to individuals making their own products in small lot.


You could also get Shiatsu therapy.


Origami workshop.


The Japan Market is growing as a platform for people to enjoy and discover many aspects of “Japan”. It also stimulates a lot of new meetings and exchanges of ideas. JCE staffs are very happy to feel that the Japan Market is attracting wider range of Dutch people , and foreigners and the Japanese based in the Netherlands.


Many people asked us when the next Japan Market would take place and about the participation during the market. It has not been decided yet, but probably will be somewhere in the spring / sumer in 2016.

Thank you all the visitors, participants, and staffs of Lloyd hotel for making such a great day!

Photo: Hiroshi Ono

Interview with Mr. Kore-eda


We had a chance to interview Mr. Kore-eda, the director of “Our Little Sister” yesterday!

We could have a insightful talk with him about the film, cultural differences and such. The interview will be published in the early December around when “Our Little Sister” starts to be screened in the Netherlands.

Mubii Japan“, the special film programme at EYE, will also have screenings of other films by Kore-eda. Check it out!


Photo: Ellie Duinker

Banshu Hamono

The special event of Banshu Hamono(knives and scissors from Banshu) where all the products of Banshu Hamono were exhibited took place at JCE on the 12th and 13th in this month.


The event started off from the speech and a brief introduction from JCE, and a designer Mr,Kobayashi who is the producer of Banshu Hamono took over and introduced every kinds products with thorough explanations.

All the products of Banshu Hamono are produced by hightly skilled craftmans. in Ono city, located in south western part of Hyogo prefecture. Besides having a very beautiful appearance, once you touch, you can feel they are so well designed for the actual use. With the right weight, the feel of material and the form, they give you a special satisfaction of the use. And, of course, the sharpness is outstanding.

A craftman make products from the scratch to the finish by himself. And each kind of products has its own specialized craftman.


In the event, the material samples of the each process of production of Nigiri-basami(scissors you can hold within your hand to cut threads) and the video capturing the work of the craftman for Nigiri-basami were exhibited as well.

The processes of a piece of steel become a scissors triggered curiosity of visitors.


There is a fact that many of local craft industries in Japan are facing the problem of having serious lack of craftmans from younger generation. The scissors and knives industry in Ono-city also faces the same problem. Banshu Hamono project was initiated by the director and designer Mr.Kobayashi , and started with the objective of changing the current situation with the problems

The project is receiving a high recognition and getting more attention with its activities in Japan. It was also selected 2 years in a row as one of the projects in “MORE THAN PROJECT”, which is a programme organized by Japanese ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry to support small and medium sized companies and projects aiming to expand their activities and market outside of Japan.

The problem occurring while they market outside of Japan is that there is not enough information and knowledge to maintain the Japanese knives and scissors correctly shared among people. Therefore it is crucial to deliver the knowledge for the correct use and the culture of sharpening as well as the products themselves. Establishing the way to do that is one of the biggest task for them.

In this event, Mr.Kobayashi also demonstration of sharpening. Visitors were curiously observing and asking many questions too.


It was a fantastic opportunity to find out about the evolving Banshu Hamono project as well as to experience the wonderful knives and scissors.

Thank you very much for those who had a visit to the event, and Mr and Mrs Kobayashi!


Photo; Misato Kobayashi

Takako Hamano Solo exhibition “A view from Arnemuiden to Awashima +”

The solo exhibition of Takako Hamano “ A view from Arnemuiden to Awashima+” is being held at JCE until 26th September. The opening was on the 3rd Sep with many visitors, and there was also a witty and insightful speech from Mr.Menno Fitski, curator of Asian art in Rijks meseum.


Except the wall drawing, all the works were made in the previous 3 projects Takako was working on. The projects took place in different times and locations(Arnemuiden/the Netherlands, Awashima and Kubotsu/Japan)

Takako started projects with doing a field research, collecting myths, legends and actual stories of local people of the places. The collected information and images became the starting point and resulted in drawings, photographic works, books and animation.

For Takako, drawing, one of the most used media in her works, is something that gives her “freedom”. Although she started working with certain stories and images she collected through the field research, she was open for intuitive and spontaneous lines and images that came along with the act of drawing. Figurative expression can be seen in many drawings, but there is always a point that makes them “mysterious”.


As Mr.Fistki also mentioned in his speech, “Interconnectedness” is one of the keywords for Takako’s activities as an artist.

In this exhibition, Takako composed an installation with the works which derived from different time and geographical context. The composition of the works are not necessarily based on the contexts they have, it is rather intuitive and playful. And new relations and connections seem to appear.

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Looking the works carefully and following the streams, you would realize the images resonate each other within and over the works, and also include the space surrounding them.

From the distant perspective, the images feel as if they are fragmental memories floating around and reminding each other.



The drawings and photographs can also be seen in the book works and animation. With the narration and sound, and the stream of pages in the book, the different “connections” could be found than only looking at drawings and photographs.

“I am formed by the world surrounds me. Without the world, I would not exist.” says Takako.

Each works has certain autonomy, but at the same time in this specific installation, the works create a new narrative in connection with the others, and also provide a unique experience you could only get from this exhibition.

The exhibition runs till the 26th. There is only few days to be seen, please come and experience!

Photo; Hiroshi Ono

“Japan Market” vol.2 has successfully ended!


On 13th June (sat), it was our 2nd Japan Market, which ended successfully without any big troubles and accidents! Japan Cultural Exchange (JCE) team is so happy to ended safely! Thank you very much for everyone who came to the market, and who had a stand in the market!

The 1st “Japan Market” was in April, we organized at the 2nd floor of ’t Japans Cultureel Centrum. We thought that it will need sometime to grow, so we make it small. We had less than 10 stands and small amount of visitors.

And this time, we suddenly got very big reaction by Facebook!

We set the date of the 2nd market, and made an event page on Facebook, didn’t do much advertisement yet, and that event page became very popular naturally without any of our efforts.

When the numbers of “Going” reached to 2000 people, we thought that we really need to look for bigger venue, even with the uncertainty of Facebook numbers, couples of hundreds visitors might be really coming. So, we changed the location to Lloyd Hotel. We think that without support of Lloyd Hotel, we couldn’t make it!

Eventually, the numbers of “Going” on Facebook event page reached more than 5000. And actual number of the visitors was around 1800 people! We have never imagined that so many people are coming to our event, which is just 2nd time.

JCE found it very interesting that we saw most of visitors look like not “Japan lovers” or Anime fans, most of them look like they’re not particularly Japan fans, they look normal fashionable Dutch people. The visitors were nicely mixed with all the ages, and many young generation (20 – 30’s) came. We’ve seen quite same type of audiences in several Japanese event in the Netherlands, but this was something new to us.

Does that mean that the general interest of “Japan” is expanding? That would be wonderful!

By amazingly big support of Lloyd Hotel & Cultural Embassy, the venue was ready on time and no big troubles or confusions. The hotel staff was also surprised that they see first time that the street in front of the hotel was so busy at 11 AM. Their great cafe was just all the time full of people on that day.


The non-food section was doing good, the sellers were all satisfied. Those stands were mainly artists or designers who makes their own products, which related to Japanese crafts, or some sellers are small importer of Japanese lifestyle products. JCE wanted to introduce those people’s work, so that we wanted to create the space. That’s the starting point of “Japan Market” so, we’re also very happy about the result!

But we found the food stands a bit problems. Those sellers can’t make 1000 pieces of snacks or lunch boxes, many of them sold out quickly. That was really pity, many visitors came for food, but they didn’t get anything. We’ll solve this problem next time!


We did our best we could, but there were many things that we can make them better next time. Like putting bigger signs, so people find the way easily.

It is such a great opportunity for us! We’re so thankful for all the visitors and participants, and the people who supported us, and of cause, for Lloyd Hotel and ’t Japan Cultureel Centrum (They supports us all the time!).

We’ll continue organizing “Japan Market”, and next time will be better! We’ll announce the date and location as soon as we know for sure!

* Those pictures are taken by Japanese photographer Hiroshi Ono. Please enjoy!

Gathering about artistic experiences in Japan

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We had our first artist talk event “Japan Experiences” ton last Saturday, and it was a great success!

It was sunny great Saturday afternoon, but many people came for the event, and we’re sitting in the dark room together and hearing inspiring talks…. Thank you so much for coming!

The contents of the event became really rich at the end. Ms. Mami Odai, a director of Sapporo Tenjin-yama Art Studio joined the discussion and Mrs. Douke IJsselstein from Mondriaan Fonds gave a short lecture. That was really great help for the Dutch artists who are willing / planning to go to Japan.

We had 2 great presentations from Elodie Hiryczuk and Jorge Manes Rubio. We had contact with Elodie and Jorge before they were going to Japan and listen their plan of residency. We wanted to support them, and they promised us to give the presentation after their residency. They’re good artists with interesting ideas, and we were purely interested in knowing what they will take from the experience of their stay. We wanted to see their artistic result of the residency, and listening their experiences in Japan must be interesting, and it should be inspiring for other artists too.

The presentations from both were much more interesting than our expectations! The presentations of Elodie and Jorge were quite different, Elodie went to AIT Arts Initiative Tokyo for research project from 19 January to 16 April 2015. She told us about her researches of perspectives and optical views of East and West, and her experiences of meeting various Japanese people and trying to understand “Ma” or “in between”… it sounded like a journey, she was asking many people questions and couldn’t get the clear answers, and she went for travel, and eventually she understood “Ma” a bit better from the experiences.

After the presentation of Elodie, there was the presentation of Jorge. He went to Yamaguchi prefecture for participating in the Akiyoshidai International Art Village Residency between 12 Feb and 15 March 2015. He told us the story… it was fun and full of surprises, and we didn’t know what’s the truth and what’s the fantasy…. And event for Japanese people, the detailed story of Ube was fascinating.

After 2 presentations, we had Q& A and discussions together with Mami and Duke. Many questions from audiences and everybody gave information and advice, it was just really good.

Ended the event with chatting with many people and making contacts to each other, drinking, and everybody looked happy and satisfied. For us, as Japanese living in abroad, there are always something surprising and inspiring from knowing foreign artist’s experiences. We simply like to see Japan from other perspective, which give us the opportunities of realizing our own culture. It is also just so nice to share the journey together with foreign artists what they find out in Japan.

We’d like to thank Isjah Koopejan for leading the event as a moderator, and Elodie and Jorge, Amanda, Mami, Douke. We’ll continue organizing this event…so, till next time!!