Who Are We?

We are Japan Fans, but who are we? The people behind Japan Fans Utrecht introduce themselves below.

Japan Fans - Japanese Art & Culture from the Centre of Utrecht
Japan Fans – Japanese Art & Culture from the Centre of Utrecht

The Japan Fans are an Utrecht based club for enthusiasts of Japanese arts and culture. We aim to facilitate friendship and inspiration based on our shared interests and strive towards realising our own Japanese Art & Culture Centre in Utrecht. More about us:

Who Are We? The People Behind Japan Fans Utrecht

The Stichting Japan Fans (Japan Fans Foundation) consists of:

Harro Kremer (president & treasurer)
Marieke Suppers (secretary)
Tibo van Boetzelaer (general board member)

The Japan Fans websites are realised by:

Khadiza Akter – webdesigner
Nienke Krook – SEO specialist

Japan Fans Origin Story

In the midst of the 2020 COVID pandemic, an Utrecht based group of friends decided to digitally unite themselves, in order to share their interests in Japanese art and culture. On this website, the “Japan Fans (Utrecht)” will share their knowledge and events, in order to form a bridge that facilitates friendship between our two countries.

Inspired by the success of groups like Open Huis in Overvecht and the Old English Enthousiasts, in 2021, the Japan Fans Utrecht share their interests in Japanese art and culture by organizing lectures, workshops and demonstrations on a wide variety of subjects related to the Japanese culture and history. A small selection of the plannend events includes demonstrations of Japanese board games and Japanese cuisine, an exhibition of Japanese sea monsters, a concert with Japanese flute music, and workshops in Kyudo (Japanese archery), origami (Japanese paper folding), sumi-e (Japanese calligraphy) and manga drawing.

In the future, we would also like to facilitate more Japanese language study groups, martial arts demonstrations and competitions, courses on Zen buddhism and Japanese yoga, tea ceremonies and much more events related to Japanese art and culture. We have already been invited to various interesting organisations, so as soon as the lockdown is over, we will also start planning excursions. Read our Mission & Vision to find out more.

The Japan Fans Utrecht are embedded in the local community of Utrecht and open to new members – both Japanese residents and Japan Fans from abroad– and new collaborations. Should you wish to join and/or do you have an interesting idea for an event or a discount from your (Japan related) business, just contact Martine. As of August 2022, the Japan Fans Utrecht consist of over 3000 members, most of whom are also in our Facebook Group.

As the Japan Fans Utrecht wish to form friendship bonds with Japan Fans from all over the world, we also publish blogs in English. Are you interested in contributing too, for example by typing a blog, playing a concert, hosting a virtual exhibition or making a video? We would love that! Just contact Martine.

Bunkakai and Geijutsukai

Japan Fans embodies the essence of cultural exchange and artistic exploration. As a cultural house and art platform, it serves as a nucleus for gathering, learning, and sharing experiences. Whether you’re a seasoned practitioner or a novice eager to delve into Japanese traditions, Japan Fans welcomes you with open arms. At the core of Japan Fans’ activities are two distinct pillars: Bunkakai and Geijutsukai. Understanding the difference between the two sheds light on the diverse offerings of this dynamic community.

Japan Fans Bunkakai

Bunkakai, which translates to “cultural club,” focuses on language courses, immersive experiences, and interactive sessions that delve into the essence of Japanese culture. From Omoshiro Concerts that showcase traditional music to Nihongo Theatre performances that bring Japanese literature to life, Bunkakai offers a kaleidoscope of cultural immersion opportunities. Participants can engage in Salon discussions, master the art of Shodo (Japanese calligraphy), fold intricate Origami creations, explore the world of Hanga (woodblock printing), or savor the flavors of Japan through Cooking Club sessions. Whether it’s arranging flowers in Ikebana style or crafting Haiku poetry, Bunkakai celebrates the essence of Japanese culture in every form.

Japan Fans Geijutsukai

On the other hand, Geijutsukai, known as the “art club,” provides a platform for artistic expression and exploration. Through Entaku Meetings, artists and enthusiasts come together to share ideas and inspirations. Geijutsukai hosts art exhibitions that showcase the diverse talents of both local and international artists, providing a window into the contemporary art scene rooted in Japanese aesthetics. Artists in Residence (AIR) programs foster creative exchanges and collaborations, while the Portfolio Platform offers opportunities for emerging talents to showcase their works. Geijutsukai is not just about creating art; it’s about fostering a community where artistic endeavors flourish and evolve.

Future Dreams

Beyond the walls of Japan Fans’ headquarters in Leidsche Rijn, the spirit of Japanese culture permeates throughout Utrecht. From gatherings at “in de 3 krone” along the Oudegracht to community events at “Buurthuis Rosa” in Lombok, Japan Fans extends its reach, enriching neighborhoods with the essence of Japanese art and culture.

Whether you’re drawn to the allure of traditional practices or intrigued by contemporary expressions, Japan Fans offers a welcoming embrace to all who seek to explore the treasures of Japanese art and culture. Join us on this journey of discovery, where every encounter brings new insights and every experience leaves an indelible mark on the cultural landscape of Utrecht.

But it doens’t end there – our dreams are big! In the long run, Japan Fans Utrecht aims to establish a Japanese cultural centre in Utrecht. Do you dream with us? Explore the Japan Fans vacancies!

Japan Fans – Japanese Arts & Culture from the Centre of Utrecht