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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

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 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 1, 2023

Barbara Holthus discusses Tokyo Olympics legacy at OAG lecture

Screenshot OAG

Since Tokyo won the bid to host the Olympic Games in 2013, the year 2020 was traded as both a “goal” and a “new beginning” in the country. To this end, the Olympic Games were instrumentalised in a variety of ways, including Tokyo as the capital of “Cool Japan”; the most technologically sophisticated Olympics; economic rebound; a new volunteer culture. In this talk on 1 February at the OAG Tokyo and online, DIJ deputy director and Olympic volunteer Barbara Holthus will contrast these efforts to reinvent the country and the instrumentalisation of the Olympics with what ultimately became of these lofty goals. What was Tokyo 2020/21 and what remains socially, economically, (infra)structurally? Barbara’s lecture also offers insights into the pandemic Games themselves through participant observation as “field cast” volunteers at the Paralympic Games. For more information on research related to the Olympics, see the DIJ’s special project on the Tokyo Olympics and the open access book publication Japan Through the Lens of the Tokyo Olympics.

Event Series
February 2, 2023

Hybrid DIJ Study Group session on Digital Hermeneutics

Perspectives from the history and philosophy of science have helped conceptualizing knowledge production in the digital humanities (DH). In the laboratory setting, the concept of the trading zone has proved to be fruitful. Arguing that DH tools can be considered as experimental systems in the sense of Hans-Jörg Rheinberger, this lecture aims at proceeding beyond the laboratory setting and embrace the heterogeneity of DH scholarship as an interdisciplinary field of research. Based on the results of a two-day workshop at the German Institute for Japanese Studies, the lecture will try to integrate perspectives on epistemic virtues from the Global South, most notably those reflecting the decolonization of our current knowledge infrastructure and economy. Details and registration here

Andreas Fickers, Luxembourg Centre for Contemporary and Digital History/DIJ Tokyo
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

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.

December 8, 2022

Unser Forschungsteam sucht Verstärkung

Das DIJ sucht eine wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin / einen wissenschaftlichen Mitarbeiter (w/m/d) mit einem abgeschlossenen Hochschulstudium mit Promotion, sehr guten Kenntnissen der japanischen Sprache und Forschungserfahrung in Japan. Erwartet wird die selbständige wissenschaftliche Arbeit zu einem der aktuellen Forschungsfelder „Digitale Transformation“, „Japan in transregionaler Perspektive“ bzw. „Nachhaltigkeit und Resilienz“. Fachliche Einstellungs­kriterien sind die wissen­schaftliche Qualifikation der Bewerberin bzw. des Bewerbers und die Qualität des Forschungsvorhabens, insbesondere Fragestellung, Relevanz, Metho­dik und Design sowie (potenzielle) Kooperationen in Japan und international. Die Stelle ist auf drei Jahre befristet, mit einer Verlängerungs­möglichkeit um weitere zwei Jahre. Sie ist ab April 2023 zu besetzen. Bewerbungsfrist ist der 31. Januar 2023. Die Ausschreibung und Details finden Sie hier.

Upcoming Events

  • DIJ History & Humanities Study Group
    18:30 ~ 20:00

    Digital Hermeneutics and the Integrative Potential of Epistemic Virtues in the Digital Humanities: From Trading Zone to Contact Zone

DIJ Mailing List

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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.

    Erinnerung 🔜 In genau einer Woche endet die Bewerbungsfrist für unsere offene Stelle als Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter (m/w/d) am DIJ Tokyo. Wir freuen uns auf Ihre Bewerbung! #postdocs #researchjobs Details

    Registration is now open for our next DIJ Study Group with @a_fickers @C2DH_LU who will discuss 'Digital Hermeneutics and the Integrative Potential of Epistemic Virtues in the #DH: From Trading Zone to Contact Zone'. Thu, Feb 2, 6.30pm JST ... online & onsite

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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.