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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

Events
April 25, 2017

Culture at work. On the interplay of cultural change and job satisfaction in a Japanese multinational company

Job satisfaction in Japan has become a widely-debated issue, especially since research findings indicated that it ranks among the lowest in the world (e.g. Hipp and Givan Kolins 2015).
Moreover, surveys suggest that compared to other aspects of life, such as family or education, Japanese are least satisfied with their working lives (Holthus et al. 2015).

At the same time, global megatrends and market forces are reshaping Japanese workplaces, for example in the form of international mergers and acquisitions, which lead to direct confrontations of different cultures and elicit inevitable changes to the existing work culture. So far, however, the implications of such changes for organizational cultures and employee satisfaction have rarely been addressed in qualitative research. My study aims to provide a deeper understanding of the interrelations between job satisfaction, globalization and culture and asks to what extent job satisfaction interacts with and depends on culture.

Events
May 25, 2017

Seoul’s Namsan under Japanese Influence – Japanese Ritual Life and Assimilation Policy in Korea, 1890-1945

Namsan is a small mountain in central Seoul. It was used for propaganda both by the Japanese who settled there in the 1890s and by Koreans until the democratization of South Korea in the 1980s. However, as Namsan nowadays has become a famous leisure attraction for tourists as well as locals, the fact that it has a troubled and politically charged history is mostly forgotten.

This talk outlines the changes on Namsan around the period of Japanese rule. During that time, Shintō shrines and Buddhist temples were continuously built on and around Namsan, turning it into the center of Japanese ritual life. At the same time, by removing traditional Korean ritual sites, Koreans were estranged from their own spiritual traditions. From 1925, when the Japanese Government and the Government-General of Chōsen decided to build Chōsen Jingū on Namsan, the issue of Koreans visiting Namsan and taking part in Japanese ritual life became even more politicized. As a result, Namsan was slowly turned into a space of assimilation of Koreans into Japanese – a development that reached its pinnacle when Koreans were forced to pray at shrines during the wartime years.

Events
March 1, 2017 - April 7, 2017

Joint Exposition of Books
The Bakumatsu – the end of the Edo period

150 years have passed since the Taiseihōkan, the return of rule to the Emperor from the Shoguns.

In the exposition, materials on the history of foreign relations from the arrival of Commodore Perry in 1853 to the Taiseihōkan in 1867 are displayed.

For further information on the exposition, please contact each library.

Events
March 31, 2017

Humans & Machines in Medical Contexts: Case Studies from Japan

Medical instruments and technologies can be used to manipulate the human body, ranging from general devices with extremely low risk to such ones highly invasive to patients. Many technologies and electronic appliance nowadays in use; however, took their roots in the second half of the 19th century and increasingly merged into clinics and hospitals during the following century. At present, there can be observed a thrust of technological progress at high pace in the field of biomedical engineering and medical informatics, which contribute additionally to new configurations in in the human-device interplay in Japan.

In order to explore the issues arising from the clinical practices vis-à-vis applications of the (then new) medical devices”, the workshop casts light on their various aspects. The participants will address features regarding the historical, legal, socio-structural, engineering and bioethical conditions and consequences of the interplay between humans and medical technologies or instruments, respectively health care practices in contemporary Japan.

Events
March 23, 2017

Towards an Intellectual History of Japan’s 1980s Bubble Culture and Economy

In the popular imagination of contemporary Japan, the so-called ‘Bubble Economy’ of the late 1980s has become a place of nostalgia by itself. In it, the 1980s live on as a spectacular feast with endless excitement and seemingly bottomless resources, while contemporary Japan seems mired in dearth and boredom of the everyday. Of course, things were not quite what they seem, as 1980s Japan was also a deeply neurotic society, beset by anxieties and fears that were shared by many cold-war societies, but in part also entirely local. Thus, studies of the culture of the period either focus on the sense of loss and of nostalgia for vanishing traditions (whatever their claims to authenticity) or on the relentless commodi­fication that went hand in hand with it but seemed strangely disconnected.

Events
March 22, 2017

The Status of Japanese Career Women in their Professional and Private Life

Not that long ago, the term “Japanese career women” almost had been a contradiction in itself. Times have changed and Japanese women pursuing a career is a much talked about topic in politics (“womenomics”) and the media. But has the situation really changed for career women “on the ground”? What are their opportunities and what are their challenges? To what extent are profes-sional expectations and expectations in their private life contradicting each other? And finally, are contradicting expectations resulting in identity conflicts and what are the strategies to cope with these conflicts?

These are questions to be addressed in the presentations. The presentation by Markus Pudelko is based on more than 70 interviews that he has conducted in Japan over the course of several years.

Events
March 9, 2017

Energiewende エネルギー転換 – The Future of Energy Transition in Germany and Japan

Energy transition, or Energiewende in German, describes a set of policies and practices to phase out the use of fossil fuels and nuclear energy for electricity generation, heat and mobility and to rely more on renewable energy while improving energy efficiency.

This joint event will offer a chance to discuss the potentials and challenges related to energy transition in Japan and Germany together with Dimitri Pescia of Agora Energiewende and Mika Ōbayashi of the Renewable Energy Institute (自然エネルギー財団).

In March, the two organizations are going to publish the report “10 Q&A on the German Energiewende – A contribution to the Japanese energy debate” (『ドイツのエネルギー転換 10のQ&A-日本への教訓』).

Events
February 28, 2017

Are the elderly a cost factor for society or its safety net? A comparison of family regimes and National Transfer Accounts data in Germany and Japan

Various works have argued that ageing societies’ increasing dependency ratios provoke generational conflict over scarce financial resources. In post-industrial economies, younger cohorts face disadvantages in the labour market and regarding the generosity of the welfare state compared to previous generations. However, there has also been the tendency to alleviate these imbalances through informal inter-generational family transfers. Comparing Japan and Germany – two of the fastest aging societies worldwide – this presentation investigates whether and to what extent the family can serve as a bulwark against potential generational conflict.

With regard to demographic and household-financial dynamics and policy responses, the presentation will compare differences in the capacity of families to serve as an inter-generational safety net.

Current Events

April 25, 2017
  • DIJ Social Science Study Group
    18:30 ~ 20:00

    "Culture at work. On the interplay of cultural change and job satisfaction in a Japanese multinational company"

May 25, 2017
  • DIJ History & Humanities Study Group
    18:30 ~ 20:00

    "Seoul's Namsan under Japanese Influence - Japanese Ritual Life and Assimilation Policy in Korea, 1890-1945"

Call for Papers

Contemporary Japan
Issue 30, No. 1

Max Weber Foundation
Conference 2017

German Historical Institute, Moscow
“Revolutionary Biographies in the 19th and 20th Century. Imperial – Inter/national – Decolonial”

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