REPORT CELEBRATION 30 YEARS SHINTO EUROPE
© 1981 JAPANESE DUTCH SHINZEN FOUNDATION
CELEBRATION 30 YEARS SHINTO IN EUROPE 2011 September 22nd, City Hall
The speech by Mr J van Zanen, Mayor of Amstelveen, revealed an interesting personal connection with
the origin of the Japanese Dutch Shinzen Foundation: exactly 30 years ago he had visited Japan for the
first time. In an invisible way things seem to have worked together, resulting in the celebration of today.
Beside this personal note he referred to the long lasting relation of Amstelveen with
Japanese companies and families who have found their location and residence in this
Before him Prof Dr Harmen Beukers, chairman of the Foundation, has made a point to refer to another
not well-known connection of the City Hall with the roots of Japanese culture; more than 10 years the City
Hall is hosting the Sakura Festival in the Cherry Blossom Park, which actually originates in the tradition of
shinto to celebrate the change of seasons.
The ceremony started with a performance by the Gagaku Trio, who
played Hyojo no Netori, followed by Etenraku. During the Gagaku
music the shintomaster and miko-san entered the ceremonial site.
The main norito was a historical summary of the cultural exchange
between Japan and the Netherlands and finished with an expression of
gratitude for the precious gift of shinto to the modern world. As a
token of gratitude and respect for nature the shintomaster and the
chairman of Japanese Dutch Shinzen Foundation dedicated a green
sprig. During this ritual the Gagaku trio performed Goshoraku.
For everybody in the audience this was the first time to hear a live performance of Gagaku. The sound cannot be compared
with anything else and if we listen to it unprepared, or not in the right setting, it might be painful to the ears. However,
everybody experienced a feeling of unexpected peace and calm by the combination of gagaku and ceremony. It was a unique
opportunity to sense the energy of universal
The ceremony was concluded by a cheerful
kanpai, led by Mr J van Zanen, mayor of
Amstelveen, Mr K Kato, chairman of JCC,
Prof H Beukers and Prof W van Gulik,
board of Japanese Dutch Shinzen
The congratulatory toast with sake
was dedicated to everybody's
health, the prosperity of
Amstelveen and to the next cycle
of 30 years for the Japanese
Dutch Shinzen Foundation!