Vol. 3, No. 1 (Autumn 2012) Published on November 1st, 2012
Vol. 2, No. 1 (Spring 2011) Contents
Preface Omslag in het hoge Noorden
Article by Dick Stegewerns
Historical notes on the Japanese garden in Clingendael
Article by Titia van der Eb-Brongersma
Ise Shintō
Calligraphy by Arthur Witteveen
Article by Paul de Leeuw
Article by Frans B. Verwayen
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The first issue of the New Year contains two long articles. The first, written by Mrs Van der Eb, tells about the journey that a member (another member) of the Dutch nobility made to Japan in the days before World War I. Her trip through that country took place a full twenty years after that of Count Van Bylandt, described in our last issue of 2010, but like the count, Baroness Van Brienen, too, took photographs. Mrs Van der Eb discovered these photographs in a private collection in The Hague, and she has devoted considerable energy and acumen to the identification of the places in Japan where these photographs were taken. As it turns out, Baroness Van Brienen was especially interested in gardens, and as Mrs Van der Eb shows, this interest was directly connected with the Japanese garden she constructed after her return from Japan on her estate in The Hague, Clingendael. The history of the garden in Clingendael will be treated by Mrs Van der Eb in a second article, which will appear in the following issue of The Netherlands-Japan Review.
        The other article is written by Paul de Leeuw, whom many readers may know as a Shintō priest who has a shrine in Amsterdam. In this article, Mr. De Leeuw tells about naka-ima, "a spatial concept of here and now," which he sees as the essence of Shintō. In the course of the article he also describes how his mind was prepared through his acting experiences, how his contacts with the French scholar Jean Herbert inspired him, and how his growing interest in Shintō made him decide to accept the invitation to come to Japan and follow the training course at the shrine of Yamakage Motohisa. All in all, the article gives a unique inside view of Shintō.
The editors thank Mr. Arthur Witteveen for his calligraphy, inspired by the Shrines in Ise, and Frans Verwayen for his new translation of modern Japanese poetry. The poem is called Fuyu no uta, "Winter Poem," but it contains no snow or ice. A lost glove is the only hint it contains of its season.
The editors thank Dick Stegewerns for contributing another column on present-day politics. This time he comments on the Russo-Japanese conflict about the Northern Territories, which ever since World War II has prevented the conclusion of a peace treaty between the two countries. Stegewerns maintains that, with the visit that the Russian president Medvedev paid to one of the islands last year, the conflict has moved into a new phase and is farther from being resolved than ever.
We hope that our readers will enjoy this new issue of our Review. We also hope that they will feel inspired to contribute, themselves, to the Review by contributing an article, a column, a translation, a review or, if all else fails, a letter to the editor.
On behalf of the Editorial Board
W.J. Boot