Japan Fans Utrecht
Looking for Japanese arts and culture in Utrecht? Japan Fans Utrecht is a community for Japanese art and culture enthusiasts to share their knowledge and experiences. It serves at a platform for friendship and inspiration, based on our common interest in Japanese arts and crafts, history and culture.
In the middle of the 2020 COVID pandemic, a small seed was planted… I started an app group with people from my dojo, to exchange nice things about budo and Japan in general. The app group went fast and soon we switched to a Facebook group. I built a first version of the Japan Fans website and we organised a ton of fun online events, such as a quiz, virtual concerts and exhibitions, lectures and Japanese lessons via Zoom.
The seed did not land on dry ground. Two years later, thousands of people are members of Japan Fans, there is a weekly language study group, a haiku group and a book club. Every week, Japan Fans organises one or more Japanese events, such as workshops about Japanese art or concerts with Japanese music. The Japan Fans are working hard to realise their dream of having their own Japanese Art & Culture Centre in Utrecht (the Netherlands). Hopefully, soon a Japanese cultural house in the heart of the Netherlands will be born.
As you might have guessed, I have not been doing the organisation myself for quite a while anymore. Fortunately, I was able to hand over my project to very capable and enthusiastic people. There is now an official foundation, there are people who manage the website and social media, and there are numerous volunteers…. Including me! Two years after I started my Japan Fans group on WhatsApp, I now work for the Japan Fans Foundation as a blogger, artistic researcher and musician… and I like it very much!