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:
  • Cool Japan Matching Award

    Dutch embassy in Tokyo receives award from Japanese government for cooperation with Saga Prefecture. The Dutch Embassy in Tokyo was awarded the second prize in the Cool Japan Matching Awards competition for its collaboration with Saga Prefecture on creative industries! This award was established by the Japanese government as part of their efforts to increase exciting new collaborations between different parties such as local governments, industries and universities to promote Japan abroad. In 2013 the Dutch embassy concluded an agreement with Saga Prefecture, famous for its Arita porcelain, to give Dutch designers a chance to work together with local artisans in the area. The tie-up was initiated on the occasion […]

  • Decline or Opportunity for Growth? – Kyushu Meeting of Experts, November 2016

    How can art and culture help breathe new life into economically depressed areas with shrinking populations? The second Holland-Kyushu meeting took place from 8 to 12 November in the prefectures of Fukuoka and Oita. The work visits to Kyushu have proven valuable because they bring together people from the Netherlands and Japan who are working on the same ideas, thus providing an opportunity for further study, reflection and possible future collaboration. The Dutch delegation for this second visit consisted of representatives from cultural institutes that contribute to the revitalisation of areas in decline in the Netherlands. During the meeting of experts they discussed a variety of topics with some 30 […]

  • Holland-Kyushu newsletter

    The programme Holland-Kyushu has not stood still this summer! please check out our summer newsletter to see where and when the Holland-Kyushu activities will take place, and subscribe to our newsletter via the DutchCulture website to receive the next one in your mailbox✉

    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:

      Nagasaki Rinne logoSaga Prefecture LogoStimuleringsfonds sci_nl_rctgemeente amsterdam_logosieboldhuis_logo_nieuw400 jaar arita porselein Arita Town copy  Hirado City logo Nagasaki City logo Nagasaki Logo