Battle for power. Prints by TAKEDA HIDEO

From 10 September to 27 November Japan Museum SieboldHuis will present a stirring exhibition that takes a contemporary look at a traditional Japanese theme.  Prints by present-day artist Hideo Takeda tell the classic tale of Genpei – the battle for power between the Taira and Minamoto families in the 12th century.

Known for his ‘bizarre images’ Takeda’s work is often interspersed with fanciful erotica.  The artist sees himself as a cartoonist with a flexible style to better convey the message.  In order to reach a greater public, Takeda utilises the silkscreen technique to print his drawings.  This method is bears a striking resemblance to Japanese woodblock prints (ukiyo-e).

The illustrations in ‘Battle for Power’ tell the story of ‘Genpei’. The ‘Genpei’ war (1180-1185) was a conflict that took place at the end of the Heian period between the Taira and Minamoto families. Since then this war has been a source of inspiration to the Japanese world of art and literature. Takeda was also inspired by this conflict and produced a series of prints that are on display in this exhibition.

The prints are reminiscent of the heroic woodblock prints of Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797-1861) but with a satirical undertone. Through his use of eroticism and graphic style Takeda works take contemporary look at an ancient battle.  A good example is his most famous print ’Mark of the Fan’. Here we see a naked woman in the mast while Tamamoto – on horseback –  wades though a sea of female figures.  Takeda’s Genpei prints are renowned for their attention to detail and rousing imagery in the battle for power.

Running parallel to ‘Battle for Power. Prints by Hideo Takeda’ are the realistic still lifes by Debora Makkus and the elaborately decorated traditional Edo period porcelain displayed in: ‘Arita. Paintings by Debora Makkus’.

Japan & the Netherlands: A Photography Competition

Save the Date

An exhibition opening for “Japan & the Netherlands: A Photography Competition,” will take place in Siebold Huis, in Leiden on Thursday 27 October 2016, from 3pm onwards.

An awards ceremony will take place at this time, and the best three photographs submitted will be acknowledged, and prizes presented.


What?: An Exhibition Opening, and awards ceremony

Where?: Japan Museum Sieboldhuis, Rapenburg 19, Leiden

When?: Thursday 27 October 2016, from 15.30 hours

Further details will be sent soon in an official invite.

The Unveiling of Sweet Hirado


The Unveiling of Sweet Hirado

200 years ago in Hirado, the reigning Matsura family had a scroll made. Decorated with 100 different sweets, it was called the Encyclopaedia of 100 Sweets. if you look careful at the sweets on the scroll you will not see an old,

but a new, innovative and creative world influenced by far away countries. This encyclopaedia was the inspiration to create a new chapter in the local culture of Hirado and to connect it with the world again.

Dutch creators were invited for a new project: Sweet Hirado.

Before presenting Sweet Hirado in the Netherlands and Europe in 2017 a special presentation will be hold in Hirado with cooperation from the 41st generation of Matsura family and

the two Dutch designer teams INA-MATT and Roosmarijn Pallandt. The 24 sweets and the accompanying plates and other Mikawachi porcelain tea ceremony items that were created for Sweet Hirado will presented

in the form of a newly created Dutch Tea ceremony.

The history, present and future. This moment will bring them together and form the start of a new story. We hope you can be part of it.

a  project organized as part of the 2016-2017Holland Kyushu year

Sweet Hirado_ Japan’s Island of Sweets

  1. Nederlandse Thee Ceremonie’ in Hirado

Time: 23 October 2016 (Sun), 10:00~16:00

Place: Pakhuis – Hirado Dutch Trading Post (Okubo 2477, Hirado)

Matsura Historical Museum (Kagamigawa 12, Hirado)

*Included Tickets* ¥8,000

Koicha (Thick Tea): Pakhuis – Hirado Dutch Trading Post / 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 13:00, 14:00, 15:00,  (6 Sessions)

Usucha (Thin Tea):  Kanuntei Tea House

Tenshin Eet Smakelijk (Tea Ceremony Lunch in Dutch Style): Chobotei Restaurant

Coupons: Free Entrance to the Matsura Historical Museum & Free Entrance to the Hirado Dutch Trading Post

 “Tea and Talk・Sweet Hirado” in SHIBAURA HOUSE

Time: 1st November 2016 (Tue), 19:00~21:00
Place: 5F, SHIBAURA HOUSE 3-15-4 Shibaura Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan, 108-0023
(google map:
Participation fee: ¥2,000 ( with Wine, Cheese, Tea, Sweets)

inquires and details :

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Photography competition

Japan is hot! Japanese food, clothes, products and influences are growing in the Netherlands. But just as Japan is interesting for the Dutch, the Netherlands is interesting for the Japanese. The theme park, Huis ten Bosch, is a modern reminder of the influence the Netherlands has in Japan. But even more current, is the growing interest for Dutch design in Japan.

This competition wants, through photos, to show the Dutch and Japanese public, the multitude of Japanese influences in the Dutch public and private space and of Dutch influences in Japan. The purpose of the project is to take stock of the cultural and international relations between the peoples of the Netherlands and Japan; and how these relationships manifests itself in Dutch public areas and spaces. The photo inventory is being compiled through individual photographs, which together will provide an impression of more than 400 years international relations.

We invite everyone in the Netherlands and Japan to participate in this international photography competition.

Submit photo(s) that show the influence of one of these countries’ on the other’s public or private space until 30 September 2016, 17:00 hours (GMT +1).
Examples for the public spaces are: Public parks, stores, restaurants, museums and buildings. Examples for the private spaces are: Dutch foods, Dutch Delft Blueware. These are just some examples, we are sure you can find many more!

More information.

Eindversie Poster Engels 10

Cooperation The Japan-Netherlands Society of Nagasaki

The Leiden Friends of Nagasaki Foundation called on The Japan-Netherlands Society of Nagasaki today where they met with Messrs Fuji and Nakamura and Ms Yamaguchi.

There they received an introduction to the Japan-Netherlands Society of Nagasaki and an outline of its activities over the past several years.  Mr Fuji explained in detail the society’s up-coming activities and stressed the importance of developing mutually beneficial corporate relations.

The meeting focussed on both present and future ties including the up-coming Siebold Collection Conference in October and the completion  of 6 warehouses at Deshima.  2017 will also see the opening of the land bridge to Deshima and a host of other activities highlighting the Kyūshū Year.

f.l.t.r. Ronald Hilhorst (SLVN), Izumi Fuji (JNSN), Tetsu Nakamura (JNSN), Eri Yamaguchi (JNSN)

f.l.t.r. Ronald Hilhorst (SLVN), Izumi Fuji (JNSN), Tetsu Nakamura (JNSN), Eri Yamaguchi (JNSN)

Visit of the Isahaya Agricultural Highschool

The Leiden Friends of Nagasaki Foundation paid its latest visit to the Isahaya High School for Agriculture.  They were greeted by Mr. Hayashi, the school’s director, head teacher Mr. Maeda and Mr. Uchikawa, head of the veterinary sciences department.

They spoke at length about the prospect of establishing ties wth the Netherlands, in particular to enhancing and enriching the school’s curriculum.  Naturally their interest lies with the Netherlands – a recognized leader in the field of agriculture.
The school offers a wide variety of courses including flower arranging (Ikebana), animal care (pet shop), agriculture and horticulture, farm and livestock and bio & life science studies.  Graduates are skilled in both management and research & development sectors in these courses.

At a press briefing the results of a 2-year study (from cultivation to finished product) were presented.  The product:  AsuTaro is a joint venture between university students and locale manufacturers.

The school is interested in establishing contacts in the Netherlands, interested parties are requested to follow this link to our website for further information.







Courtesy visit to the Matsura Historical Museum and Former Dutch Trading Post Hirado

The Leiden Friends of Nagasaki Foundation recently visited the Matsura Historical Museum and the former Dutch trading post in in Hirado.
In a beautifully restored traditional Japanese tea house they were welcomed by the director of the museum, Mr. Y. Okayama. 

Ronald Hilhorst and Yoshiharu Okayama in the tea house of the Matsura Historical Museum.

They enjoyed traditional Japanese green tea and sweets in the splendid surroundings of a characteristic garden.  In addition to the historic ties between Leiden and Japan that span over 4 centuries, the ties between Leiden and Nagasaki also include Hirado where the first Dutch trading post was established in the 16th century.  

According to resident Dutchman and present-day chief Remco Vrolijk, ties exist between Hirado and Noordwijkerhout as wel as Hirado and Leiden. After interesting talks and a tour of the museum 
it was time to take out leave and bid goodbye to Hirado.



Visit of the Dejima Restoration Office

Ronald Hilhorst, Secretary of the Leiden Friends of Nagasaki Foundation   (ライデン日蘭協会) visited the Dejima Restoration Office  recently

(出島復元整備室) and was welcomed by the director Junji Mamitsuka.

Ronald Hilhorst and Junji Mamitsuka at the main entrance to Dejima Island

Ronald Hilhorst and Junji Mamitsuka at the main entrance to Dejima Island

The two discussed the existing ties between Nagasaki and Leiden and the prospects to strengthen and further develop their mutual interests.  This year is an important one for Dejima as it will see the completion of the five warehouses on the island.  The final touches are now being added in time for the Siebold Collection Conference to be held in Nagasaki in October. Another milestone for Dejima will be the grand opening next year of the newly constructed land bridge.  In both cases all eyes will be on Nagasaki this year and next.

For more information on Dejima: