Interview with Yoshie san

Mrs. Yoshie Itakura is a very dear friend of Japan Fans and… a fan of everything Dutch! She teaches Japanese to Dutch students online, is designing business cards for the Japan Fans, and sent us some wonderful smartphone stands.

Yoshie san performing “Yaoya Oshichi-Kenuki “ in 2021

Interview with Yoshie san

“My love for the Netherlands has been growing since 1987. And before I knew it, I was connected to a wonderful official organization called Japan Fans. I’m excited about the trip to the Japan Festival and want to participate! I sincerely think so, but I know what I can do. The only thing I have been doing for many years is Kabuki makeup, kimono dressing, and Kabuki lines. In the past, we were able to go to concerts in the Netherlands and Germany because we had local promoters and sponsors,” she explains.

In a heartwarming gesture, Mrs. Itakura recently delighted Japan Fans with exquisite smartphone stands crafted from fragrant cypress wood sourced from Aichi Prefecture. Contrary to popular belief, these stands are not made of bamboo but boast the enchanting aroma of cypress, reminiscent of classic Japanese hot springs. While Mrs. Itakura did not personally handcraft these stands, she collaborated with Hideo Hayashi, the creator behind Jomondo Co., Ltd., to make them available to samurai enthusiasts in the Netherlands. This initiative stemmed from her desire to expand overseas and introduce Japanese craftsmanship to new audiences.

“This is an idea I came up with to expand overseas. The three warlords in particular are the most famous figures in Japanese history. The three men, Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and Tokugawa Ieyasu, are known as the Three Heroes, who lived and fought in the same era. So, the reason why I linked it with Nagoya City, Aichi Prefecture is that the three heroes are from Nagoya City, Aichi Prefecture, where I live. Foreign tourists all travel to places like Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto. However, Nagoya City, Aichi Prefecture, does not have commercials in Western countries, so awareness is very low.”

Through her creative endeavors and unwavering dedication, Mrs. Yoshie Itakura exemplifies the spirit of cultural exchange, fostering deeper connections between Japan and the Netherlands. Her story serves as a testament to the transformative power of collaboration and the enduring bonds forged through shared passion and appreciation for diverse cultures. As she continues to weave her tapestry of cultural exchange, Mrs. Itakura invites others to join her on this enriching journey of discovery and connection. We hope that you enjoyed reading this interview with Yoshie san!

Interview with Yoshie san. Yoshie Itakura. Japan Fans. Japanese Arts & Culture Centre of Utrecht. Japans Cultureel Centrum. Japanese lessons
Yoshie san on stage.