On Kyushu, the second largest island of Japan, the Netherlands and Japan first met in the seventeenth century. Besides economic and political interests, which sometime collided with one another, a mutual creative curiosity arose and still exists today. In 2016 and 2017, we celebrate it with the cultural collaboration programme Holland-Kyushu.




In 1600 the Dutch set their first foot on Japanese soil. It was on the shores of Kyushu, the second largest island of Japan, the Dutch and Japanese people first made contact. Four hundred years later we can safely say that this moment marked the beginning of a successful exchange of inspiration and innovation.

Holland and Japan share a long history. Kyushu plays a key role in the century long interaction between two cultures. The island was the starting point of a cultural and economic expedition that lasts until today.

In 2016 and 2017 we celebrate the historic and special ties through the cultural cooperation programme Holland & Kyushu. The initiators of this program are DutchCulture, the strategic advice agency for international cultural cooperation, and the Embassy of the Netherlands in Tokyo and the consulate-general in Osaka.

With the programme Holland-Kyushu we aim to strengthen and highlight the cultural, economic and creative ties between the Netherlands and Kyushu. Holland and Kyushu have a lot to offer each other. Because of the long shared history we look forward to seize more opportunities for the future, and we are still curious about each other. That is why we try to discover creative initiatives and innovative ideas getting shape in new or already existing Dutch-Japanese cooperation.

Numerous cultural activities and projects will take place in both the Netherlands and Kyushu. One of those projects is Arita/ 2016, commemorating the four hundred year old Arita porcelain industry. From the 17th century on, Dutch traders have been exporting Arita porcelain around the world. Also Arita porcelain inspired the Dutch to start their own porcelain industry. The concept of Arita/2016 is to bring together international, innovative designers with the traditional, renowned Kyushu porcelain industry. The project resulted in publications, products and exhibitions. It is an inspiring cross-over of the past, present and future with cultural traditions and craftsmanship.

During the programme Holland-Kyushu, varioius cultural projects will take place in 2016 en 2017. Artists, cultural organisations, entrepreneurs and innovators in Japan and in the Netherlands are joining to create a sustainable relationship between the Netherlands en Kyushu. Follow us on this website and via the DutchCulture newsletters for information about different projects and for the latest developments.


The programme Holland-Kyushu consists of various forms of cultural cooperation. We highlight news on collaborations and events below:
  • Saga “Marubouro” demonstration at Japan Festival

    The Japan festival in Amstelveen, on the 8th of October, will be the stage of a very special international collaboration between two bakeries: Tsuruya from Saga, Japan, and Lanskroon from the center of Amsterdam. Together they will turn to an age old exchange of a recipe between the Netherlands and Japan which was the foundation of a very popular treat, similar to the Dutch ‘eierkoek’, still made today in the bakery of Tsuruya: The “marubouro”. A long time ago, the Tsuruya bakery family picked up this recipe from the Dutch traders at Dejima. This was in the 17th century when the Netherlands was the only nation Japan was in trade […]

  • Tomoko Mukaiyama Solo Concert in Ukiha

    Dutch resident pianist/artist Tomoko Mukaiyama plays at a century old factory called Sugi Kouba in Ukiha, south Japan on 20th October. Mukaiyama will guide the audience on a journey into their inner worlds with the mesmerising melody of Simion Ten Holt’s Canto Ostinato. Part of the proceedings will go towards recovery efforts for the area around Ukiha, that was affected by heavy rain and floods last July. For more information: Facebook event page (Japanese)

  • Creative Residency In Arita / Saga

    The Creative residency program in Arita, a town in the Saga prefecture rich with ceramic heritage, is a result of the 2016/Arita project. For this project the Netherlands and Saga have been working together closely since 2013, with the generous support of he Mondriaan Fund and the Creative Industries Fund of the Netherlands. Saga Prefecture has since welcomed international artists and designers in the town of Arita, offering them the freedom to explore and push their creative capabilities within this area full of century old knowledge and skills. Through this program Saga wishes to create a platform that acts as a focal point around which international creative talent will gather. […]

    The programme Holland Kyushu consists of various forms of cultural cooperation. We highlight a number of them below:
    More Projects
    …and there are many more projects to mention:
    The programnme Holland-Kyushu in the press and other mentions:
    • VPRO Gids

      Deshima Revived, the radio project about the restauration of de historical Dutch trading post Deshima, made the cover of the Dutch TV/radio guide magazine VPRO Gids! Along with a special article spread over 5 pages. (December 7, 2016)

    • Stimuleringsfonds Creative Industrie

      The newsletter #57 from the Creative Industries Fund NL with the theme ‘internationalisation’ features Arita 2016/ en the programme Holland-Kyushu. (September 29, 2016)

    • Form magazine

      A nice comprehensive article “Made in Japan” featuring Arita 2016/ project in Form magazine nummer 267.

      Karin Kuwahara / 桑原 果林
      +31 (0)20 6164225
      Bas Valckx
      Netherlands Embassy Tokyo, Japan
      +81 (0)3 5776 5440
      Many organisations contribute to the Holland Kyushu programme, among others:

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