Deshima AIR Amsterdam

The Deshima AIR project is an initiative to promote the cultural exchange between the Netherlands and Japan.

A special relationship between The Netherlands and Japan

More than 400 years of trade relations exist between the Netherlands and Japan and the two countries also have special cultural and scientific ties with each other. During a period of 200 years until the mid-nineteenth century, the Dutch people were the only Westerners with access to Japan. A trading post was established on the island of Deshima in Nagasaki. Annually, a court journey would take place to visit the shogun in Edo (now Tokyo). Deshima was Japan’s window to the West. The Deshima AIR project wants this special relationship to continue and where possible expand it.

Deshima AIR

The Deshima AIR project was started in the beginning of 2013. The projects calls on artists and people with a creative and open mind to submit their projects. Projects which focus specifically on the geographical, cultural, historical or social aspects of Amsterdam are preferred. What can you learn from Dutch society and what can you contribute to Dutch society are main topics. During the Deshima AIR project the participants from Japan will stay in the heart of Amsterdam. As a resident of the city you can experience everyday life in the city much better than you would as a tourist staying at a hotel or guesthouse. This way the mutual exchange of Dutch and Japanese culture becomes possible. The team of the Deshima AIR project will become your guide in Amsterdam and –where possible- support your project. However, a large degree of independence, curiosity and flexibility are expected from the participants. Historically the Netherlands and Amsterdam are seen as creative, talented, dynamic, with an open mind-set towards the world. There are many different nationalities within the Netherlands and religious freedom and freedom of expression are a part of life. You will gain new ideas and insights through these activities, which will give a fresh impulse to both the Dutch and the Japanese culture. These experiences will bring happiness, development and growth.