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Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien

German Institute for Japanese Studies

Research focused on modern Japan, in global and regional perspectives. Located in one of the important economic and political hubs of East Asia, Tokyo.

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Events and Activities

February 2, 2023

Barbara Holthus comments on Japanese living abroad for Japan Times article

Screenshot Japan Times

According to a recent survey by the Japanese Foreign Ministry a record number of Japanese nationals (557.034) were living abroad as permanent residents in 2022. The figure has nearly doubled from 285.705 in 2002. International marriages, work-related postings, seeking a better environment for child-rearing or job opportunities are seen as factors behind the steady rise of Japanese living abroad. Commenting for a Japan Times article (2 February 2023) on why more than 60% of those are women, DIJ sociologist Barbara Holthus explains that women tend to be more open to experiencing a life overseas. In addition, Japan’s gender gap and the pursuit of work-life balance are also behind their choices. “The opportunity costs in Japan are still very high. You still can’t have it all. You can’t have a career and a fulfilling marriage and kids”.

February 8, 2023

Celia Spoden presents research on ‘Telepresence Robots at School in Japan and Germany’

Screenshot conference website

Together with Arisa Ema (University of Tokyo), DIJ social scientist Celia Spoden will give an online presentation on ‘Cyber-Physical Presence: Telepresence Robots at School in Japan and Germany’ in the panel ‘Culture and Space: Cultural negotiations of robots in everyday spaces’ at the Robots, AI and Culture symposium. The one-day symposium on February 8 is hosted by the University of Sydney and focuses on cultural translation, transference, and adoption of developing technologies in robotics and artificial intelligence. Celia’s co-authored paper on the use of telepresence robots in schools is based on a qualitative study that compares the Japanese case of the avatar-robot OriHime with the usage of AV1 in German schools. The avatar-robots aim to enable children who cannot attend school due to an illness, disabilities, or extended hospital stays to stay socially connected, restore normality, and prevent social isolation. Details and registration here

January 16, 2023

Join the DIJ team as librarian (application deadline: 20 February)

We are recruiting one librarian (full-time staff) for our DIJ library. Tasks include general library duties, liaison with Japanese and German cooperation partners, organization of library events, support of digitization and Digital Humanities projects. We welcome applications from qualified candidates with a university degree, librarian qualification, and at least three years of experience in library service. The successful candidate should be able and willing to run the library as a solo librarian. Applicants must be fluent in English and in Japanese, and preferably German. They must either have Japanese nationality or otherwise be in possession of a Japanese working visa. The employment would be first on a two-year basis starting April 2023 with the option of a permanent position thereafter, if certain conditions are met. Individuals interested in this position are invited to send their cover letter and CV in English via email no later than February 20, 2023. Please see the full job advertisement in English and in Japanese.

January 23, 2023

Nora Kottmann nimmt an Förderungsprogramm “Zia – Visible Women in Science” teil

© Phil Dera

Um Frauen in der Wissenschaft noch sichtbarer zu machen, hat der Zeitverlag Gerd Bucerius GmbH das Förderungsprogramm “Zia – Visible Women in Science” initiiert. Förderinstitutionen sind das Deutsche Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, die Hochschulen Bonn-Rhein-Sieg und Ruhr West, die Universitäten Heidelberg, Köln und Potsdam, der Hochschulmedizin Deutschland e.V., das Berlin Institute of Health und die Max Weber Stiftung. Für den Förderplatz der Max Weber Stiftung, der das Deutsche Institut für Japanstudien angehört, wurde Nora Kottmann ausgewählt. In den kommenden zwölf Monaten wird sie Gelegenheit haben, an Fellow-Netzwerktreffen mit Förderern, Netzwerkpartnern und Role Models sowie drei Live-Workshops teilzunehmen. Im Fokus der Initiative stehen interdisziplinäre Vernetzung, Austausch, individuelle Entwicklung, Sichtbarkeit und voneinander Lernen. Mehr Informationen zum Programm finden Sie in der Pressemitteilung des Zeitverlags hier

January 11, 2023

Special journal issue on Abe’s legacy for Southeast Asian relations

© Kyoto Review

The latest volume of the open-access Kyoto Review of Southeast Asia investigates Shinzo Abe’s legacy for the future of Japanese-Southeast Asian relations. It was guest edited by DIJ historian David M. Malitz who also contributed the article “Japanese-Thai Relations through Two Coups: Back to Business”. In it, David traces the positive development of Japanese-Thai relations under Abe’s government (2006-07, 2012-20) during times of political instability in Thailand. The special issue also contains articles on Shinzo Abe’s military legacy for Indonesia (Bima Prawira Utama), Philippine-Japan relations (Karl Ian Cheng Chua), Japan-Singapore relations (Kei Koga), and Vietnam-Japan relations (Hoang Minh Hang). All articles can be accessed freely via the journal’s website here

February 10, 2023

Joint DIJ & ICAS book talk The EU Migrant Generation in Asia

© Bristol University Press

Jointly with the Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies (ICAS) at Temple University Japan, the DIJ sponsors the book talk The EU Migrant Generation in Asia – Middle-Class Aspirations in Asian Global Cities (Bristol UP, 2022) by Helena Hof. Hof’s book studies early-career migration by young Europeans and the changing outlook of Japan and Singapore. It shows how migration to Asian business centres has become a way of distinction and an alternative way of middle-class reproduction. Japan’s and Singapore’s changing migration regimes, however, pose different barriers to the migrants, which results in ambiguous feelings towards their host societies. Helena Hof is Senior Research and Teaching Fellow at the University of Zurich and a Research Fellow at the Socio-Cultural Department of the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity. The talk takes places on February 10 from 19:00-20:30 JST at Temple University Japan Campus. Registration is not required.

December 9, 2022

DIJ Newsletter Winter 2022/23


The winter issue of our DIJ Newsletter provides up-to-date insights into our research and publication activities, looks back to recent DIJ events, introduces new staff, and gives updates on our outreach as well as on DIJ alumni actvities. We hope you will enjoy exploring this new edition of the DIJ Newsletter. If you haven’t done so yet, you can subscribe to receive our Newsletters directly to your inbox. The full issues and subscription form are available here.

November 1, 2022

New issue of Contemporary Japan with special section on 10 years after 3.11

© Taylor&Francis

The newest edition of Contemporary Japan (vol. 34, no. 2)  features a special section on “Continuity and Change 10 Years after 3.11: Processes and Dynamics in State-Society Relations”, guest edited by Anna Wiemann, Florentine Koppenborg and Tobias Weiss; an invited commentary by Norio Okada (Tottori University), who provides a fascinating reflection on his 30 years of fieldwork in so-called “depopulated areas”; and the English translation of the 2022 VSJF Prize Paper by Isabel Fassbender. Rounding out the issue, the book review section covers English and German language publications in the fields of education, family, history, religious studies, and black studies. Please see the full issue here

Upcoming Events

  • ICAS & DIJ Book Talk
    19:00 ~ 20:30

    The EU Migrant Generation in Asia

  • Roundtable
    16:00 ~ 17:30

    Japanese-Thai Defense Relations in the Indo-Pacific Era

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    DIJ Brochure

    Please see the DIJ Brochure for more information about our institute (v. 7/2022)

    Special Project:
    Tokyo Olympics

    “Japan through the lens of the Tokyo Olympics”

    For more information see our
    → project page.

    Including the online presentation 'Cyber-Physical Presence: Telepresence #Robots at School in Japan and Germany' by Arisa Ema and DIJ's @SpodenCelia in the panel Culture and Space: Cultural negotiations of robots in everyday spaces ... @usydsace @MediaCommsMQ

    Der Deutsche Akademische Austauschdienst (DAAD) sucht für sein Büro in Tokyo zum 1. April 2023 eine/n engagierte/n & vielseitige/n Mitarbeiter/in (Vollzeit 100%) für die Betreuung von DAAD-Stipendien
    Bewerbungsfrist: 15. Februar 2023...

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    DIJ Monograph Series

    Our monograph series is Open Access Open Access after a one-year embargo period. Downloads are available on our
    → monographs pages

    Call for Submissions

    Contemporary Japan
    current issue Vol. 34, No. 2
    Contemporary Japan is open year-round for rolling submissions, with accepted publications published immediately online. Please see the instructions for submission here.