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 programme 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, various 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 and 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:
  • the Hirado Conservation and Development Workshop

    The workshop is co-organised by the Dutch Cultural Heritage Agency (RCE) and the Japan-Netherlands Architecture and Cultural Association (JNACA). As part of the 2016/2017 Holland-Kyushu Year, the first workshop was held in Arita in 2016 and this year it will be held in Hirado. Twelve students from Kyushu and Tokyo will take part in the 5-day workshop. The Hirado Conservation and Development Workshop aims to define the development potentials of Hirado’s historical core. The outcome of the workshop will be policy advice to the municipality of Hirado regarding planning and design of the inner city and its buildings. The method used is a quick scan on two topics: Part 1: […]

  • Dutch Jazz in Hirado

    This is the second concert in the “Dutch Jazz in Hirado” series. This time The Amsterdam Jazz Connection featuring Mike Del Ferro. They will perform opera songs specially arranged by Mike Del Ferro. The concert takes place in the reconstructed Hirado Dutch Trading Post where the Dutch merchants started trading with Japan in the 17th century. It was the first place in Japan where Dutch music was played. This special evening is made possible by the Netherlands Embassy in Japan and the Hirado City Hall.  

  • Dutch Trading Post Heritage Network Meeting

    The Dutch Trading Post Heritage Network was initiated in 2014 by Hirado City and the Hirado Dutch Trading Post. The first official meeting took place in Jakarta (Indonesia) in 2015, and in Ayuthaya (Thailand) in 2016. To commemorate the opening of the newly constructed main bridge to Dejima, the 2017 meeting will be held in Nagasaki. Members from 7 different countries will participate to exchange knowledge with each other on the management of the historical VOC heritage in each of their respective cities.

    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:
    • Volkskrant Magazine

      Volkskrant Magazine featured an article by journalist Jeroen Visser on the reconstruction of Dejima and the current state and function of the former Dutch trade post in their special on Japan of 2 December 2017.

    • 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)

      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