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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


ANNOUNCEMENT: Business and Management Environment of Technology Intensive Startups in the Far East (a collaborative research by universities in Japan, PR-China, and ROK with the German Institute for Japanese Studies (DIJ))

Fujisawa, October 8, 2019 — IBER-Kotosaka of Keio University announced today that it will be collaborating with the German Institute for Japanese Studies (DIJ) to conduct a survey on the business and management environment of technology intensive startups in Japan.

This research project is a collaboration between not just Keio University and DIJ, but along with researchers from Korea University, Hoseo University, Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, and Chongqing University

The objective of this research will be to gain a deep understanding of the startup ecosystem in the Far East. This will be achieved through carrying out surveys in Japan, the People’s Republic of China (China), and the Republic of Korea (ROK).

This research is aided by the Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research Program (reg, 18k12847) by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, which is overseen the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan.

The findings of this research will only be used for academic purposes. Furthermore, a non-public final report of this study (which will include survey results from China and ROK) will be provided to those who contribute to the survey.

※ Organizations that are subject to this research will receive an email shortly
※ Qualified organizations will be randomly selected
※ The first deadline for the survey response is October 31, 2019
※ All responses will be strictly anonymous, and will only be subject to be used for statistical purposes

Below is a study that was conducted on an identical topic, which was published to Asian Business and Management
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us to the directory provided below.


The German Institute for Japanese Studies:
01. – 31. Oktober 2019

120. Geburtstag von Yasunari Kawabata

Im Jahr 2019 feiern wir den 120. Geburtstag des japanischen Literaturnobelpreisträgers Yasunari Kawabata (1899–1972).

Zu diesem Ereignis stellen die International House of Japan Library, die Bibliothèque de la Maison franco-japonaise und die Bibliothek des Deutschen Instituts für Japanstudien Werke von und über Kawabata in englischer, deutscher und französischer Sprache aus.

October 24, 2019

Environmental Local Scales: Women’s Writing in Northern Tōhoku, Present to Postwar

Public and academic interest in literature from Japan’s rural north culminated in consecutive Akutagawa Prizes awarded to Numata Shinsuke, Wakatake Chisako, and Takahashi Hiroki in 2017 and 2018. Despite mainstream success, however, the bulk of literature published by Tōhoku writers in minor or independent magazines remains unexplored.

This talk will explore women’s writing published in northern Tōhoku in the present moment and trace legacies of local print culture from the mid-1940s. It will introduce the print history of regional women’s magazines, as well as explore the fiction and essays of women writers that are rarely included in literary histories of the period. Tōhoku writers critiqued the gender politics of the postwar moment, reconfiguring what it means to scale literature to the region or the nation. Reviewing the history of rural literary production and gendered politics of democratization uncovers legacies that connect the postwar moment to our conceptualization of regional space and literary production in Japan’s peripheries today.

Eric Siercks, University of California

October 31, 2019

A New Era of Immigration? Japan’s Guest Worker Programs in Comparative Perspective

With around 1.5 million foreign workers and over a million permanent and long-term foreign residents, Japan is experiencing unprecedented levels of immigration. In 2019 three new residence statuses were added to the Immigration Control Act. Furthermore, the government promises to foster social integration by strengthening Japanese language education and providing public services in multiple languages. But access to non-temporary or even permanent resident is highly selective.

Focusing on the recent additions to Japan’s immigration control legislation, Naoto Higuchi identifies a shift from a preferential treatment of foreigners based on “blood ties” to a neoliberal model based on meritocracy. The new residence categories “Specified Skills 1 & 2” enable immigration authorities to select migrants and determine their rights and length of stay based on performance, gauged by language ability and skill acquisition. In contrast, the newly prepared visa status for fourth-generation Nikkeijin looks — at first glance — like a continuation of immigration based on ethnic selection criteria. Yet, the government changed its policy to exclude Nikkeijin from social integration by limiting their stay to maximum five-years, and the road to permanent residence is becoming increasingly based on meritocratic selection criteria. The new movements raise interesting puzzles for exploring the future of migration to Japan.

Naoto Higuchi, Tokushima University
Kristin Surak, University of London

November 7, 2019

Leadership in a Digital World: 
Innovative – Human – Collaborative

Today’s working environment is heavily driven by dynamic digitalization, but leadership is more than just a digital investment. It requires leaders to build and foster meaningful relationships, understand and implement new technologies, as well as build a meaningful culture of innovation.

The workshop offers a glimpse into our research with case studies from our global partners and assists participants in exchanging experiences and innovative ideas on their personal leadership behavior. Prof. Dr. Sabine Remdisch will talk about digital leadership and the new skillset of the future leader. Christian Otto will give an in-depth look into the importance success factors of integrating new technologies into leadership.

Sabine Remdisch, Leuphana University, Lüneburg
Christian Otto, Leuphana University, Lüneburg

October 4, 2019

Universities in the Digital Age

Japan’s and Germany’s ambitious national frameworks of Society 5.0 and Industry 4.0 acknowledge the importance of education and research as key success factors in the digital transformation. Universities are not only to develop the necessary human capital and to contribute to technological advances, they are also to play key roles with regard to social inclusion and life-long learning. To do so, they are expected to deepen and widen cross-organizational and international cooperation. Last, but not least they are urged to adjust their core activities of teaching, research and administration to take advantage of new digital technologies. How are universities in Germany and Japan responding to these challenges? How do they see themselves affected? What strategies do they pursue? Our two speakers are best suited to answer these questions based on their leading positions and professional careers in higher education and research institutions in Germany and Japan.

Bernd Huber, President of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Miho Funamori, Strategy Manager at the Research Center for Open Science and Data Platform at National Institute of Informatics

September 26, 2019

Citizen Science in the Digital Age
– Engaging civil society in social science and humanities research –

The progress of digital technology creates new opportunities in all areas of the civil soci-ety. The expansion of citizen science is one example. With citizens taking part in re-search activities, their understanding about science deepens. At the same time, civic engagement can support and advance scientific research. Nevertheless, compared to the natural sciences, practices of citizen science in the social sciences and the humanities (SSH) are still rare.

Combining experiences and insights by leading experts from Japan and abroad, our conference will take a closer look at the opportunities and challenges for citizen science in SSH. Where and how can civil society get engaged? What are the potential benefits? What risks need to be addressed? How can respective collaborations be initiated and coordinated? How will this effect both society and research in SSH?

September 1, 2019

Contemporary Japan, Volume 31, Issue 2

This issue starts with a Special Section on “Emotions and Affect in Studies on Contemporary Japan,” featuring original research articles on cutting edge topics including the dynamics of conversion to right-wing ideologies, the emotional toll of providing care for left-wing political prisoners, and the struggles in “coming out” for families of LGB individuals, prefaced with an introduction by Barbara Holthus grounding the studies in the sociology of emotion.

We also have three original articles covering topics that range from an analysis of historical memory in Yū Miri’s JR Ueno Station Park Exit, the shifting identity narratives of the Tokyo 2016 and Tokyo 2020 Olympic bids, and how katakana is used by discourse producers to communicate nuanced perspectives.

Upcoming Events

October 24, 2019
  • DIJ History & Humanities Study Group
    18:30 ~ 20:30

    Environmental Local Scales: Women’s Writing in Northern Tōhoku, Present to Postwar

October 31, 2019
  • DIJ Forum
    18:30 ~ 20:00

    A New Era of Immigration? Japan’s Guest Worker Programs in Comparative Perspective

November 7, 2019
  • Workshops
    17:00 ~ 19:00

    Leadership in a Digital World: 
Innovative – Human – Collaborative

Project: Tokyo Olympics

“Japan through the lens of the Tokyo Olympics”

More information available on our
→ project page.

Monograph Series

The DIJ’s monograph series is now
Open Access Open Access.

Downloads are available directly on our
→ monograph pages.

Please Note: Volumes become open access one year after publication.

DIJ 30th Anniversary

Anniversary Event

In October 2018 we celebrated the DIJ’s foundation 30 years ago — with lots of inspiring speeches and fruitful conversations.

→ Event page

Anniversary Booklet

“30 Years Interdisciplinary Research on Site. 1988 – 2018”

Our anniversary booklet gives an overview of the past 30 years here at the DIJ.
Available for download now!

→ Publication page

Call for Papers

Contemporary Japan
Issue 33, No. 1
until February 1, 2020


DIJ Monographien, Volume 62

DIJ Monographien, Volume 62

“Parental well-being. Satisfaction with work, family life, and family policy in Germany and Japan”
— by Barbara Holthus and Hans Bertram


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Upcoming! 💡🔜 #DIJForum: "A New Era of Immigration? Japan’s Guest Worker Programs in Comparative Perspective" 👤 Sp…

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