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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

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September 25, 2020

SJCC webinar on Japan’s system of corporate governance

DIJ director Franz Waldenberger will be the guest speaker at the next webinar on Friday, September 25, on Japan’s system of corporate governance, organized by the Swiss-Japanese Chamber of Commerce (SJCC) in cooperation with JETRO Switzerland and the Japan Club of Geneva. For many years, Japan’s system of corporate governance has been criticized by foreign investors as being insider controlled and lacking profit orientation as well as diversity. In his presentation, Franz Waldenberger will show that this system also has bright sides, namely the large number of listed companies and the modest compensation of Japanese CEOs. Both the positive and the negative aspects may be seen as the outcome of the same structural characteristic of the system: the prevalence of in-house management careers. The presentation will also address the system’s implications for the evolution of Japanese corporate governance and the international competitiveness of Japanese industry. Registration required via the SJCC

Other
September 17, 2020

Barbara Geilhorn on post-3.11 theatre in Swiss radio feature

Screenshot srf.ch

DIJ researcher Barbara Geilhorn has appeared in the SRF Swiss radio feature “Verstrahlte” Gesellschaft: ein japanisches Trauma (“Radiated” society: a Japanese trauma) by Martin Fritz. Drawing on her ongoing research project Local Issues Take Stage – Culture and Community Revitalization, Barbara provided expert commentary on how theatre in Japan has dealt with the nuclear meltdown in Fukushima in 2011. Theatre plays addressed the situation after the accident and the different reactions of people to it: either ignoring the nuclear dangers or facing them and acting accordingly. They also problematized issues of social conformity and the reluctance of Japanese people to voice criticism openly, Barbara explains. The radio programme is available as podcast on the SRF website here (in German)

Publications
September 9, 2020

Journal article on dislocation and social isolation in post-3.11 Japan

© Isaac Gagné

What happens when temporary shelters become permanent homes? What are the psychosocial impacts of prolonged dislocation, and how might these effects be mitigated through grassroots community activities? Based on fieldwork and interviews with residents in temporary housing and volunteer support groups in northeastern Japan, Isaac Gagné’s new article “Dislocation, Social Isolation, and the Politics of Recovery in Post-Disaster Japan” (Transcultural Psychiatry) analyzes the ongoing challenges of delayed recovery and chronic dislocation among survivors of the March 11, 2011 disaster in Japan. Focusing on Natori City, Miyagi Prefecture, Isaac examines how the complexity of the disaster-recovery process within the local politics of the region has produced new tensions, creating a particular “zoned liminality” for displaced residents while undermining the social nexus of community relations. The article also reflects on challenges in treating the psychosocial trauma among survivors, and how their needs are addressed through new citizen-based volunteer movements.

Publications
September 12, 2020

New book chapter on women in Düsseldorf’s food community

A new book chapter by Nora Kottmann addresses life choices of Japanese women who live and work abroad. Focusing on women employed in Japanese culinary locales in a quarter called ‘Little Tokyo’ in the German city of Düsseldorf, it asks: Why do these women choose to work in the Japanese food service sector? What role do Düsseldorf’s Japanese community and the respective foodscape play in these women’s decision to move? Findings reveal that the choice of employment is mostly pragmatic and rarely the main reason for moving abroad. However, work in the food sector can serve as an opportunity to accomplish the dream of being in charge of one’s own life. The chapter “Japanese women on the move: Working in and (not) belonging to Düsseldorf’s Japanese (food) community” is part of the volume Food identities at Home and on the Move (edited by Raúl Matta, Charles-Édouard de Suremain, Chantal Crenn).

Other
September 4, 2020

DIJ research at the AAS-in-Asia 2020 conference

Our research fellows Isaac Gagné and Sonja Ganseforth have presented their latest research on social and economic developments in Japanese rural and fishing communities at the AAS-in-Asia 2020 conference, held online from August 31 to September 4. Isaac analyzed how residents and volunteers conceptualize and actualize local moral worlds of care through community-based services in his paper ‘Moral Worlds of Welfare: Social Isolation and Community-based Care in Aging Japan’. Sonja’s paper ‘New Marinalities of Japanese Fishing Villages’ discussed how structural change in rural Japanese fishing villages can be understood through the analysis of interconnected local, national, and global dynamics. Their panel “Rurality Check: Tracing the Nascent Global Countryside in Asia” was chaired and organized by Wolfram Manzenreiter (University of Vienna) and also had presentations by Heesun Hwang (Seoul National University) and Michael Leung (City University of Hong Kong).

Other
September 3, 2020

75th anniversary of the end of World War Two in East Asia

On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Japan, Torsten Weber has made several comments in German media on the legacy of the war in East Asia (in German) and participated in an online outreach event on the global commemoration of the war (in English). For Deutsche Welle, Torsten explained how territorial and ideological disputes in the region have remained a burden of the war in East Asia. In Badische Zeitung and Berliner Zeitung, Torsten commented on the role of the Japanese Emperor during and after the war. Together with Yukiko Koshiro (Nihon University), Torsten also appeared in the Histocon talk event “Global Perceptions of WW2: Japan” which is part of an online series to discuss how the Second World War is commemorated globally. It is sponsored by the German Federal Agency for Civic Education (Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung).

Publications
September 7, 2020

New DIJ Miscellanea Venezianische Wahrheiten (in German)

© Florian Coulmas

Japan and Italy have many things in common. Both are rich, industrialised countries with a long cultural tradition that is held in high esteem worldwide. People in both countries enjoy a longer life than almost anywhere else in the world. For both countries, the processes of ageing and population shrinkage are challenges with diverse social, economic, and political facets. But Japan and Italy also differ in many respects, e.g. in social conventions, etiquette, work ethics and everyday behaviour. These similarities and differences make a comparison attractive. Former DIJ director Florian Coulmas has recorded his observations, insights, and experiences during a semester he spent at the University of Venice Ca’ Foscari in the new publication Venezianische Wahrheiten. Japanische Lektionen in der Stadt Marco Polos (in German). The booklet is published as volume 20 in the DIJ Miscellanea series and available for download here.

Upcoming Events

Nothing from September 26, 2020 to February 26, 2021.

Temporary closure of the institute

Following recommendations by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare regarding measures to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, the DIJ has decided to close the institute (incl. library) temporarily and to cancel or postpone all public events until further notice. We ask for your kind understanding.

Stellenausschreibung

Das DIJ sucht wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiter / Mitarbeiterinnen (w/m/d), die zur aktuellen Forschung des Instituts beitragen. Bewerbungsschluss: 31. Oktober 2020.
Hinweise zu den Stellen und den Ausschreibungstext finden Sie hier.

Project: Tokyo Olympics

“Japan through the lens of the Tokyo Olympics”

For more information see our
→ project page.

Conference Announcement

Interdisciplinary Conference “Climate Change, Energy, and Sustainability in the Pacific Region. Knowledge, Policies, and Transfers (1970s – Present)”, DIJ Tokyo, 19-20 April 2021

See details on our → conference page.


Reminder: register today https://www.sjcc.ch/events/2020/japans-system-of-corporate-governance-webinar-with-franz-waldenberger/ for tomorrow's @SJCC_85 webinar on Japan's System of Corporate Governance with DIJ director @franzDIJTokyo

Explore our latest release about the #TokyoOlympics “Japan Through the Lens of the Tokyo Olympics” now available in #OpenAccess format. #Research
https://bddy.me/2ZPeUis
Check out the author interview series: https://bddy.me/2HeoS6x
... @dij_Tokyo2020

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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. 32, No. 1
Contemporary Japan is open year-round for rolling submissions, with accepted publications published immediately online. Please see the instructions for submission here.