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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

September 20, 2021

New edited volume explores work of theatre maker Okada Toshiki

© Performance Research Books

Playwright, novelist and theatre director Okada Toshiki is one of the most prominent voices of the current generation of Japanese contemporary theatre makers. His plays, which have been staged at theatre festivals all over the world, address issues such as social inequity, life in Japan after the 3.11 triple disaster, and post-human society. Okada Toshiki & Japanese Theatre (Performance Research Books, 2021), co-edited by DIJ researcher Barbara Geilhorn, Peter Eckersall, Andreas Regelsberger, and Cody Poulton, explores Okada’s work and its importance to the development of contemporary performance in Japan and around the world. For the first time in English it gathers a comprehensive selection of essays, interviews, and translations of three of Okada’s plays. In addressing the work of Okada Toshiki from an interdisciplinary perspective, the book provides an in-depth analysis of an outstanding Japanese artist and contributes to a better understanding of art and society in contemporary Japan. More information here

September 27, 2021

Workshop on International/Global Japanese Studies

The study of Japanese culture, the Japanese economy, and Japanese society by foreign scholars can be traced back as far as the Edo period. However, it was not until the early 21st century that such external perspectives began to attract significant academic attention and public interest inside Japan. Research institutes, faculties, and departments named “International Japanese Studies” or “Global Japanese Studies” have gradually emerged in Japanese higher education and opened up innovative areas of research. As a new field of study with an interdisciplinary and highly international nature, International/Global Japanese Studies is confronted by many challenges and uncertainties. On September 27, the DIJ, together with the Center for Japanese Studies of Fudan University (Shanghai) and the Global Japanese Studies Education and Research Incubator (GJS-ERI) of Osaka University will hold an online workshop to approach International/Global Japanese Studies from a variety of disciplinary perspectives and cultural backgrounds. Details and registration here

September 7, 2021

New issue 33(2) of Contemporary Japan published

© Taylor&Francis

The latest issue of Contemporary Japan is now available online and in print. It features original research articles exploring: 1) how crime prevention (bōhan) became a widespread concept in low-crime Japan (Schimkowsky); 2) changing media representations of the imperial family from the Meiji era to the dawn of the Reiwa era (Anzai); 3) and a critical discussion of the role of satirical depictions of Japan in Victorian British cartoons (Matthewson). In addition, we continue our Invited Commentary section with the historian Gerhard Krebs’ critical analysis of the argument regarding Imperial Japan’s expansionist ambitions by Gerhard L. Weinberg, whose works have suggested that Japanese imperial ambitions extended as far as the Caribbean. Lastly, our book review section includes a broad range of important publications in the fields of philosophy, history, anthropology, gender studies, food studies, and religious studies. Please see the full issue here

September 6, 2021

Journal article explores living arrangements of unmarried adults

© Taylor&Francis

Staying unmarried and not starting a nuclear family is increasingly common around the globe. At the same time, living arrangements are diversifying. A new journal article by DIJ social scientist Nora Kottmann investigates the relationship worlds of unmarried adults through and in relation to their living arrangements. Based on a qualitative study of unmarried individuals in Tokyo and Kyoto, “Living (alone) together in metropolitan Japan: shifting boundaries of dwelling, relating, and belonging” offers insights into how the emergence of a so-called ‘Hyper-Solo-Society’ in Japan is interwoven with the diversification of living arrangements. By identifying changing perceptions of home and belonging, Nora’s article contributes a new perspective to current global debates on ‘singles’ and their practices of relating and belonging at the intersection of gender, mobility, and space. The article was published online first in Gender, Place & Culture. A Journal of Feminist Geography and can be viewed here

Event Series
September 30, 2021

DIJ lecture on Kawabata Yasunari and his writing of adolescents

© University of Michigan Press

Kawabata Yasunari’s (1899–1972) literary works have often been discussed in relation to the objectification of the (female) body as well as his orphan background. Having witnessed a number of deaths in his early life, Kawabata’s acute attention to the loved object seems inseparable from his fundamental awareness of its unreachability. In this talk, Fusako Innami will examine how writing as a medium functions as a mode of connection through special attention to Kawabata’s writing of adolescents. Often attracted to the untouched, not yet touched, or unreachable, his writing cre­ates and re-creates the loved object while extending the self with an extent of reciprocity. This session of the DIJ History and Humanities Study Group is part of the DIJ Gender and Sexuality in East Asia Lecture Series. Details and registration here

Fusako Innami, Durham University

Event Series
September 30, 2021

Web Forum Series ‘DT’ session on Governance in the Digital Age

© Gerd Altmann

Kaori Hayashi (University of Tokyo), Melike Şahinol (OI Istanbul), and DIJ director Franz Waldenberger will be the speakers in the second session of our MWS Web Forum Series ‘The Digital Transformation’ on September 30. Their presentations will address the theme Governance in the Digital Age from different perspectives. Kaori Hayashi’s paper “Toward a Gender-Equal Society in the AI Era: A Distant Goal for Japan?” will introduce a new initiative that strives to create a more gender-equal media and information culture. In her presentation “Digital Cultures of Health”, Melike Şahinol will question how digital transformation in healthcare has led to empowerment (and for whom) and what new challenges have arisen as a result. Franz Waldenberger’s paper “Regulation in the context of dispersed and contested knowledge” will discuss how regulation strategies to cope with dispersed and contested knowledge are influenced by the new challenges and opportunities caused by the digital transformation. Details and registration here

Event Series
September 23, 2021

New Web Forum Series explores ‘Digital Transformation’

The new MWS Web Forum Series ‘The Digital Transformation’ (DT) will kick off on September 23 with three lectures on Knowledge Production in a Data Driven Society. The speakers Yoshiaki Fukami (Gakushuin University/Keio University), Itty Abraham (National University of Singapore), and Nadin Heé (Osaka University) will address the limits of big data and AI, knowledge as a commons in the digital age, and the boundaries between the public and private spheres. The event will be moderated by DIJ director Franz Waldenberger. The event series explores opportunities and risks resulting from the digitalization, connectivity, and virtualization of our social, political, economic, and cultural life. The speakers will discuss the implications of DT from an international and multi-disciplinary perspective. They will also analyze the likely consequences for knowledge production and governance, and compare different national strategies. The next events in this series are scheduled for September 30, October 14, 21, 28, and November 4. Details and registration here

Event Series
September 7, 2021

DIJ lecture on the making of transnational spaces in Tokyo

© Sakura Yamamura

Conceiving mobile corporate professionals as part of the growing transnational migrant population is a rather novel turn in migration research. Likewise, research on their families – including their trailing spouses and third culture kids – is an emerging field. Based on interviews with 43 male transnational corporate professionals in Tokyo, this lecture paper presents their take on the effects that their marrying and starting a family had on their socio-spatial patterns within the urban space. This session of the DIJ Social Science Study Group is part of the DIJ Gender and Sexuality in East Asia Lecture Series. Details and registration here

Sakura Yamamura, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity

Upcoming Events

September 27, 2021
  • Workshop
    19:00 ~ 21:00

    Studying Japan. Perspectives from 'Inside' and 'Outside'

September 30, 2021
  • DIJ Gender & Sexuality Lecture Series
    18:30 ~ 20:00

    Touching the Unreachable: Love of the Object and of the Self through Kawabata

  • MWS Web Forum Series 'The Digital Transformation'
    21:00 ~ 23:00

    Governance in the Digital Age

October 7, 2021
  • DIJ Business & Economics Study Group
    18:00 ~ 19:30

    Japan’s economic management: decades of self-induced paralysis?

  • Workshop (Day 1)
    21:00 ~ 00:00

    Fascism in Motion: Concepts, Agents and the Global Experiences

October 8, 2021
  • Workshop (Day 2)
    ~ October 9, 2021

    Fascism in Motion: Concepts, Agents and the Global Experiences

October 9, 2021
  • Workshop (Day 3)
    ~ October 10, 2021

    Fascism in Motion: Concepts, Agents and the Global Experiences

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.

Special Project:
Tokyo Olympics

“Japan through the lens of the Tokyo Olympics”

For more information see our
→ project page.

DIJ research on 3.11

You can find an overview of recent publications and activities by the institute and its researchers on the lasting impact of 3.11 on our special page 10 Years After 3.11 – A Collection of DIJ Research on the ‘Triple Disaster’

Neue Konjunkturprogramme oder doch Normalisierung der Geldpolitik? DIJ Ökonom Markus Heckel kommentiert die geldpolitischen Maßnahmen der Bank of Japan in @DiePressecom: "in der Rhetorik wird
oft versucht, die Risiken runterzuspielen." ... @FelixLill

How does #DigitalTransformation impact gender equality, health & regulation? Find out in the 2nd session 'Governance in the Digital Age' of our Web Forum Series, Sept 30 (9 pm JST) with speakers @hayaschik ... @mesahinol @franzDIJTokyo

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