The National Museum of Ethnology












From 14 April - 17 September 2017, The National Museum of Ethnology in Leiden presented the exhibition ‘Cool Japan: Worldwide Fascination in Focus’.


Pokémon, Hello Kitty, robots and samurai – all famous international icons of Japanese visual culture. Japan is known for its ancient traditions, and yet it is also hip and happening, with occasional extravagant visual excesses. The exhibition highlighted the popularity of contemporary Japan and placed the fascination in a historical context. Studio Harm Rensink being part of the core-team developed the immersive worlds for this exhibition which occupied 8 magnificent rooms!


After Leiden, Cool Japan travelled on to Amsterdam (seen between the 28th of september 2018 to the 1st of september 2019) and to Antwerpen (seen between the 18th of october 2019to the 19th of april 2020).




Exhibition design by Studio Harm Rensink

Concept In collaboration with HeyNiek

Graphic design by HOAX

Photography by Barbara Medo


" Cool Japan is a cheerful colorful exhibition with something for everyone. " ★★★★☆ - Digitale Kunst Krant
" Most evocative is the kawaii-hall, dedicated to the cult around cuteness in Japan. A word that you pronounce with a child's voice and an adoring look: kawaiiee! " ★★★★☆ - NRC on Cool Japan
cool japan


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