Mayor of Nagasaki visits Leiden

Mayor of Nagasaki visits Leiden

On September 25 2018 a delegation from Nagasaki, led by Mayor Tomihisa and accompanied by several Nagasaki city council members, visited Leiden.  The 50-man delegation also included representatives from trade and industry, cultural organisations and private individuals. The delegation’s first stop was Japan Museum SieboldHuis, once  home to Philipp Franz von Siebold, where they were received by director Mrs, Kris Schiermeier. Siebold is viewed by many as the one of the first to forge the ties between our two cities. 

Photo by Elizabeth van der Wind

Next stop on the agenda was a visit to the Hortus Botanicus where the delegation was met by the director Paul Kessler, Carla Teune and Izai Kikuchi.  A guided tour of the hortus followed highlighting the horticultural ties with Japan including trees and plants and the Siebold Memorial Garden.

Photo by Ronald Hilhorst

The group continued on foot to city hall where they received a warm welcome by Mayor Henri Lenferink and H.E. the Ambassador of Japan to the Netherlands, Hiroshi Inomata. Mayor Lenferink recalled several amusing incidents that occured while in Japan the previous year  when the official Twin City Agreement was signed.

Photo by Ronald Hilhorst

The Japanese custom of gift-giving was not forgotten. This time a special word of thanks went to Kuniko Forrer for her ourstandingwork in preparing this visit on behalf of the SLVN.

Photo by Guus Rijven

Three boats were waiting at city hall to take the group on a lunch cruise along the canals of Leiden.

Transportation and delightful sandwiches were provided by ‘Broodjes & Bootjes’.  The boat trip ended at the Museum of Ethnology where Director Stijn Schoonderwoerd and curator Daan Kok invited the delegation for a guided tour of the museum.

An energetic performance by Raiden Yosokoi brought end to the day’s activities.  This traditional Japanese Fishermen dance is extremely popular in Japan and especially in Nagasaki.  Raiden Yosokoi was was presented with a special flag from Nagasaki last year. Initially three performances were planned, however the delegation thought otherwise and cheered and shouted ‘Motte koi, motte koi’ (encore).  

Photo by Guus Rijven


Photo by Ronald Hilhorst

A closing dinner was held hosted by Alderwoman Yvonne van Delft.  Mayor Taue expressed his gratitude for the hospitality he enjoys when visiting Leiden and for the deep friendship he feels when the people of Nagasaki and Leiden meet.

Photo by Ronald Hilhorst

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’.

10th International SIEBOLD collection working conference

This year the The tenth International Siebold collection working conference will be held on October 20-22, 2016, in Nagasaki, Japan.

In view of this occasion, we are now inviting abstracts that will be reviewed by the international Conference Committee. We will only consider contributions based on research of Siebold’s various Japan collections, or the lives of Siebold and his direct collaborators.

For more information: (
ets siebold