Abstracts "Large Impact by Joining Forces"

mei 20 2019

Kris Schiermeier

Japan Museum SieboldHuis: A new Symbol of Japanese-Dutch exchange

‘The SieboldHuis plays a major role as a new symbol of Japanese-Dutch exchange’. These words by HM the Emperor are our mission statement for the future to promote and further strengthen the existing historic ties between our two nations and develop new cooperative endeavors. Philipp Franz von Siebold (1796-1866) occupied the classic canalside home of the Japan Museum SieboldHuis from 1832 to 1845. Here, he introduced his impressive collection of Japanese curios to the public and he engaged artists to capture animals and objects on paper. More than 150 years later, in 2005 Japan Museum SieboldHuis made this building its home. Alongside the permanent collection there are temporary exhibitions throughout the year on a wide range of subjects. Japan Museum SieboldHuis is a place where you can learn about the Japan of the past and the present.

Japan Museum SieboldHuis in Leiden, the Netherlands, functions as a Hub for people from academia, business, as well as art lovers, artists, members of civil society and amongst others children and students.

Biography Kris Schiermeier

Kris Schiermeier is since 2010 Director of the Japan Museum SieboldHuis, Leiden, Netherlands. She has been a curator at various museums including the Van Gogh Museum, the Rijksmuseum, the Amsterdam Historical Museum and the Kunsthal, Rotterdam. She obtained degrees in Japanese Language and Culture as well as Art History at Leiden University. She is the author of various publications on Japanese art and culture.

What to read see/do:

Read Shogun by James Clavell or watch the mini serie.
Visit the world’s smallest Ukiyoe museum in Kyoto.
Eat okonomiyaki, my favorite snack.

KrisSchiermeier klein

Miyuki Yamaguchi

Dejima, Transcending Time Itself

Approximately 380 years ago, Dejima was home to the Portuguese, and later on became an island for the Dutch. It became a gateway for various kinds of exchange between Japan and the Netherlands.

Through the worldwide network of the Netherlands, Japan was connected to the world which brought various goods from other countries to them. In turn, the Dutch ships which brought back with them goods from Japan met the demands of those foreign nations.

Currently, Dejima has been undergoing a restoration project to restore its appearance from the early half of the 19th century. After work was completed on some of the buildings, they were opened to the public and now see a large amount of visitors. These restoration projects were made possible thanks to the accumulated experience and knowledge of various architects, civil engineers, workers, academics, art directors, and so forth. There are many staff members maintaining and operating the newly completed Dejima, as well as staff members there in order to welcome visitors to the island. Including the visitors, these people have become the new residents of Dejima in a sense.

Through the continuing preservation projects and plans, as a unique local property, the island of Dejima will be passed down to the people of the future.

Biography Miyuki Yamaguchi

  • Curator at the Dejima Museum, Nagasaki
  • Hiroshima National University, Literature department, University graduate March 31, 1992
  • International conference announcement: June 11, 2016, Seventh Worldwide Conference Of The Society For East Asian Archaeology, SEAA, Boston University: “The Archaeology and Restoration Project of the Dutch East India Company‘s Trading Post Dejima, Japan.
  • Commendation: November 10, 2018, Local culture publication Incentive prize, Prize-winning work “Traveling Dejima”


  • 2018 “Dejima Reconnected Bridge” Nagasaki Bunkensya Booklet
  • 2016 “Traveling Dejima” Nagasaki Bunkensya
  • 2008 “Nagsaki Dejima Revived the Dutch trading Post” Remains of Japan 28 Doseisya

A reading tip about Japan

A Collection of Nagasaki Colour Prints and Paintings
First published in 1939
You can know Nagasaki during the Edo Period from this book.

Yamaguchi klein

Joy Hendry

Japan's Representation of Holland as a model for Cultural Display in a Global Perspective: an early “hub” of intercultural communication?

In 1992, a huge park was opened in Kyushu, near the site of Dejima. It included several museums, telling aspects of the story of the historical relationship between Japan and the Netherlands, but more immediately impressive were the amazingly authentic reproductions of Dutch architecture – the eponymous Huis ten Bosch (for this is the name of the park), the Hotel Amsterdam, and a full-size replica of the Domtoren tower in Utrecht – all set among cobbled streets and squares, six kilometres of canals, large moving windmills, and fields of flowering tulips!

The park was billed as a global city for the future, with second homes alongside the canals, designer underground facilities for the amenities, and a “world market” offering crafts and cuisine from many countries, with live entertainment to match. Indeed, the Amsterdam Hotel, like its namesake, was granted the status of “leading hotel of the world”.

My illustrated presentation will describe the park, suggest how it may be seen an original “hub” of international communication, and place it in the context of some other examples of cultural display in Japan and elsewhere with innovative ideas of empowerment, inclusion, tradition and sustainability.

Biography Joy Hendry

Joy Hendry is Professor Emerita of the Social Anthropology of Japan at Oxford Brookes University, and a founder of the Japan Anthropology Workshop and the Europe Japan Research Centre.

She took a first degree in General Science at Kings College, London, and completed postgraduate work in Social Anthropology at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford. She has held visiting associations with Tokyo University and Keio University in Japan, the CNRS in Paris, the University of Melbourne in Australia, McMaster University in Canada, and Otago University in New Zealand, as well as shorter visits to the Universities of Vienna, Freiburg, Prague, and the University of the South Pacific, in the Cook Islands.

She carried out long-term fieldwork in Kyushu and in a seaside town south of Tokyo and has worked in several other sites in Japan including museums and parks that represent foreign countries, notably Huis ten Bosch in Kyushu. She has also carried out global research on cultural display (museums and culture centres) in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and several countries of Europe and Asia. She has published many books and articles, including the regularly updated textbook Understanding Japanese Society (Routledge), Wrapping Culture: Politeness, Presentation and Power in Japan and Other Societies (Oxford University Press, 1993), The Orient Strikes Back: A Global View of Cultural Display (Oxford: Berg, 2000), and Reclaiming Culture: Indigenous Peoples and Self-Representation (New York: Palgrave, 2005).

A collection of her articles entitled An Anthropological Lifetime in Japan was published by Brill (2017). Also in 2017, the Government of Japan bestowed the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette on Dr Joy Hendry, “in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the promotion of Japanese Studies in the UK and thus to deeper mutual understanding between Japan and the United Kingdom”.

Hendry klein

Gail Dexter Lord

From Islands to Hubs—the Future of Museums

Islands are by their nature places of apartness and through human intervention become hubs of creativity. An Island hub is suspended between two possibilities – defence and gateway.

For two centuries Dejima was both a gateway between Japan and the world and defensive strategy against the cultural influences that trade would bring to Japan. In two decades, the dying post-industrial Island Naoshima has been transformed to a lively place of cultural exchange, youth engagement and art tourism.

Despite their radically different origins, both Islands experienced decline, tragedy and rebirth. In their rebirth as 21st century hubs, they invite us to be connected and creative and to see ourselves and the world with fresh eyes. And these are the themes I will explore in my presentation on how museums function as hubs.

Museums of past centuries functioned more like Islands than like hubs. They stood alone and isolated in their independent worlds of discipline-based research. Indeed, the origin of many of our museums was in the hard power of colonial conquest. Today museums are multi-disciplinary, intercultural and choosing to return collections to their originating communities – and I must compliment the Dutch on their pro-active approach to restitution. Soft Power – the exercise of influence through cultural and peaceful means – is transforming museums world-wide. And this approach means that museums are increasingly connected to one another and in collaboration with civil society organizations. I will present examples of museum hubs and their significant impact on urban life, knowledge creation and the economy.

Biography Gail Dexter Lord

President and Co-founder of Lord Cultural Resources, the world’s foremost museum, gallery, and cultural planning firm. Based in Toronto with offices in New York, London, Mumbai and Beijing, Lord Cultural Resources has completed more than 2300 successful assignments in 57 countries and 450 cities.

Gail has worked with numerous cities including Chicago, Toronto, Ottawa, Vienna, Salford, Bilbao, and Johannesburg to develop their museum hubs and cultural spaces. She conducts courses in cultural leadership, strategic planning and the application of soft power by cities and museums.

An art critic, feature writer, frequent commentator, public speaker, and the co-author of six museum planning manuals and several books, her latest books are “Cities, Museums and Soft Power”, “The Manual of Strategic Planning for Cultural Organizations”, and “Museum Development in China/Understanding the Building Boom”.

Gail is a Member of the Order of Canada, an Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters of the French Ministry of Culture, and holds an Honorary Doctor of Letters from McMaster University.

What to read see/do:

My introduction through the Netherlands ICOM committee to the special island Dejima made me think of the magical art island Naoshima in the Japanese inland sea. The book I would heartily recommend – because it is about creating an art paradise on a neglected post industrial island and also about one of the best museum hubs in the world – is “Tadao Ando at Naoshima: Art, Architecture, Nature” by Philip Jodidio (Rizzoli, 2009). My copy has a personal dedication from the great Japanese architect Tadao Ando in two tones of blue magic marker – the Island and the sea – dated 23-02-2011.

Lord klein

Léontine Meijer-van Mensch

Biography Léontine Meijer-van Mensch

Léontine Meijer-van Mensch is director of the State Ethnographical Collections of Saxony (i.e. the ethnographical museums of Dresden, Leipzig and Herrnhut).

Previously, she was programme-director of the Jewish Museum Berlin, deputy-director of the Museum of European Cultures at Berlin, and lecturer of heritage theory and professional ethics at the Reinwardt Academie, Amsterdam.

She is active in the boards of several (international) museum organizations, for example member of the Executive Board of the International Council of Museums, and a regular guest lecturer at various heritage studies programmes throughout Europe.

Meijer klein