Events and Activities
Journal article on dislocation and social isolation in post-3.11 Japan
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.
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).
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).
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).
New DIJ Miscellanea Venezianische Wahrheiten (in German)
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.
Lecture Series ‘Gender and Sexuality in East Asia’ (4/5)
In Tokyo’s Shinjuku 2-chome district there are bars that specialize in urisen, young guys who have sex with men. Featuring candid interviews and interspersed with animation detailing the awkward, sweet, and sometimes horrific situations these young sex workers experience, the boys for sale boldly tell their stories of life in the Tokyo underground. This documentary is an illuminating look into a rarely seen world that tantalizingly shows the humanity of sex work. The film screening will be followed by a discussion with the film’s producer Ian Thomas Ash and a protagonist from the film.
Please note that this event takes place at the OAG House Tokyo. Details
Journal article on agenda-cutting as a neglected media phenomenon
The journal Journalism Studies has published a new article by our PhD fellow Yosuke Buchmeier on agenda-cutting as a neglected media phenomenon. While agenda-setting has developed into one of the leading concepts in communication studies, “agenda-cutting” – a media phenomenon that can be observed when a relevant issue is de-emphasized, entirely omitted or removed from a news agenda – has so far remained a theoretical blind spot. Based on observations from Japan, Yosuke’s paper “Towards a Conceptualization and Operationalization of Agenda-Cutting: A Research Agenda for a Neglected Media Phenomenon” proposes agenda-cutting as a result of media’s anticipatory obedience and self-censorship. It argues that the non-reflected, tacit assumption of agenda-cutting as a by-concept to agenda-setting represents one cause for its theoretical neglect. This paper aims to initiate a scholarly debate by establishing conceptual common ground and proposing a research direction for what the author considers an unduly neglected media phenomenon. Available open access here