Participation from the 8th of May till the 8th of July 2013

Akira Sakai is a cram school teacher and a café musician from Hakodate, with the aspiration of starting his own lunchroom in Hakodate. Sakai was the first participant of Deshima AIR and wanted to research the history and culture behind Dutch customs and cuisine.

He did this by visiting several typical Amsterdam cafes and had the experience of trying lots of different apple pies (baked by volunteers of Deshima AIR) with which he fell in love. He was also very intrigued with the differences of greeting customers/guests in restaurants and bars.

Plan before and process during participation
“There wasn’t a plan at all. At the time, I was searching for myself, as I felt unsatisfied in my daily life and I felt that I had to change something and therefore I participated.  After deciding to participate, I moved from Kyoto to Hokkaido and decided to make myself a living in the café, while focusing on music activities. During my stay in the Netherlands, I mainly spent my days with music and cafés.”

After the project participation
“After returning to Japan, I quickly joined a band and continued my musical activities for a couple of years, but unfortunately I am not doing this anymore currently. However, regardless of this time I have been playing music since my childhood and whether it is now or from now onwards I think that the thought of wanting to be affected by music will be with me, no matter where I go or what I experience. Even though I am currently not doing cafés, All the staff liked the apple pie I learned from Hannie. At that time, I proposed to put it on the new menu and it is actually offered to customers now.”

‘Akira loved to visit bars and cafés to learn about the particular way of Dutch politeness. Dutch apple pie became his favorite recipe.’

– Hannie van den Bergh, artist, designer and curator of Deshima AIR

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