July 16, 2007

Japan in the Netherlands

Japan and the Netherlands have a shared history that goes back over 400 years. It is quite interesting to see how the Netherlands has influenced Japan in unexpected areas - medicine, language etc. This long history of 400 years was celebrated in 2000. Lots of events, the royal families visited, lots of attention.

And now, 2009 is going to be another celebratory year: 400 years of Japan-Netherlands trade relations. The first time I heard about it, and when I told friends, the reaction was: "But haven't we done that already?".

As you can probably tell, I'm a tad sceptical about the whole thing. I don't see the point in another stream of standard activities if it isn't done well, with good thinking behind it: tea ceremony, kendo demonstration, kabuki play, etc. - it just doesn't appeal enough. Japan has so much more to offer but I always get the feeling that not much is done with the rest. Luckily, it seems I might have an opportunity to have some influence on this. I'm considering getting involved in some of the organisation behind all this.... Could be potentially fun. Not to mention good for my networking skills.

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