Holland Mania - opening -

Holland Mania Manifestation opening

From the Left: Former Lakenhal director, Japanese representative (geisha as a part of my artwork), American representative, Dutch representative

geisha on a street

People said that she was spreading the nice smell in the environment on the way.

The geisha Misae is waiting for the head of VOC today.

He was telling geisha how much he was happy to have seen a real geisha.

Endless photo sessions

I tend to forget about my real artwork part this time :-)
There are cosmetics exhibited that Maruyama geisha's were wearing on her body. They are made by me based on the old historical recipes. It's a room to experience the (seductive) smells that the head of VOC was supposedly smelling back then in Japan.

They are custom developed olfactory interfaces. You can smell: the scent of red light district (Jinko incense), the smell of tooth enamel, the smell of camphor tree.

I made another installation in combination. It's the room of the head of VOC. Maruyama geisha is visiting him now.

Exhibited smells are those that Maruyama geisha's were smelling in Deshima where they were staying. The smell of: coffee, tobacco, and meat.

This is Hanayoshi geisha on May 17th. (to be continued)


geisha cosplayer:
Misae Endo
Sato Endo
Shinobu Maekawa
Miwako Amano
Sae Inukai

interior / sewing:
Tomoko Inamura

supply and advise:
Miho Yamaguchi (AOF Air Of Fragrance)
Takako Matsukuma (Aromatique Paris)
Gin'nan kobo, for camphor tree bark
Haru-san in Kagoshima, for Sanekazura
Hiromichi (for perfume bottles)
Takako Murata (Pola Art Foundation)
Wolfgang Michel

Mihiro Yamamoto
Sae Inukai
Norika Niki


Maruyama Geisha's Room - Now

A sewing artist, Jane, has done a wonderful job making the bed linen.

Here's an olfactory interface in development.

These ones are also olfactory interfaces. The wooden construction is done by Lakenhal.


Holland Mania Manifestation - announcement -


Holland Mania
-Perception of Americans and Japanese of Holland-

De Lakenhal Stedelijk Museum Leiden
16.05.2009. - 30.08.2009.

work by Maki Ueda:
The VOC chief factor visiting a geisha
A geisha visiting the VOC chief factor


Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal presents Holland Mania: American and Japanese perception of Holland presented from May 16 through August 30, 2009. This event comprises a series of historical presentations, installations by contemporary American, Japanese and Dutch artists, performances, symposiums and activities in De Lakenhal, Scheltema and the city of Leiden. This major event marks two theme years in Leiden. The city celebrates 400 years of trade relations with Japan, and the settlement of the Pilgrims in Leiden 400 years ago.

16.05.2009. (Sat.)

14:00 - 14:30
at Molen de Valk http://www.molenmuseumdevalk.nl/
Stedelijk Molenmuseum 'De Valk'
2e Binnenvestgracht 1
2312 BZ Leiden

then moving to the next location...

15:00 - 17:00
De Lakenhal Stedelijk Museum Leiden http://www.lakenhal.nl
Oude Singel 28-32
2312 RA Leiden

[download invitation]

[work by Maki Ueda]
The VOC chief factor visiting a geisha
A geisha visiting the VOC chief factor

(三ヶ津色里直附 月岡雪鼎)

400 years ago Japan started an exclusive trading agreement with the dutch VOC that was based on strict conditions. The Dutch were the only people that had such an agreement and otherwise Japan was a closed country.

For Holland Mania I'm taking the encounter and intercourse of the Japanese and Dutch cultures as subject. I'm illustrating this primarily by using the smell medium. The exhibition is partly based on the historical facts, and partly based on my own imagination.

'Don't bring your wife. We will offer you a geisha.' : was the policy of Japanese Shogunate. The geisha's called Maruyama geisha were functioning as temporary wives for the VOC chief factors. Therefor they were the closest Japanese to the VOC chief factors.

Focusing on, and zooming into their cultural encounter, I've created two environments:

- The VOC chief factor visiting a geisha (room 4)
- A geisha visiting the VOC chief factor (room 24)

The visitors are invited to freely sniff around, touch and explore the rooms. The usual 'please don't touch' restriction is not applicable to this work. You're asked to imagine that you're the geisha that's visiting the opperhoofd or visa versa.

During the exhibition there are some weekends in which a geisha lives 'live' in her room.

[Geisha costume play schedule]

  • sat.16 14:00-16:30 Misae みさ枝  (related event: opening)
  • sun.17 13:30-16:30 Hanayoshi 花美
  • sat.30 13:30-16:30 Haruka 花夏

  • sat.4 20:30-23:00 Fuhrori 風路里 (related event: Leiden Museum night)
  • sun.5 13:30-16:30 Misae みさ枝 (related event: Leiden Museum night)

[download flyer for related events]


The Holland Mania: American and Japanese images of Holland
book, published by d’Jonge Hond, is available in the museum store from May 16 at
€ 22,50.

[text for catalogue (written in NL)]

[making process]

Holland Mania - text for catalogue - (NL)

click and enlarge

making (1)

Oshiroi (face powder)

Gindashi-abura (hair gel)

Bijinkoh (face cleanser / cleaning powder / creme )

Kyara-no-abura (foundation / hair wax)

Taishinkoh (Perfume to ingest)


Head Mounted Display for the Nose :-)

The cotton sheet inside is "kraammatras".

black enamel water for teeth Ohaguro-sui

Geisha's (engertainer) and Yuujo's (prostitute) painted their teeth black, and this ritual was called Ohaguro.


About the ritual Ohaguro

top from the left:rice syrup, salt, mirin, sugar
bottom from the left: rice mold, rusted metal, tea leaves

I needed 20 pieces of rusted metal nail. I had to get them from our ceiling that was built around 100 years ago.

burn the nails

and throw them in the hot tea water

rice mold

Let them ferment for 3 mth. When it starts to stink, it's ready! Paint the teeth with this liquid and Fushiko (powder made from urushi tree bump that contains a lot of tannin)

The principle of enamel: chemical reaction of metal & tannin.

extracting Agarwood /Aloeswood / Jinko

This is THE smell of red light district in old Japan. (not anymore unfortunately.)

from 10g , 50ml extract is achieved.