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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

July 9, 2021

Keynote talk by Susanne Brucksch at Robotics Conference

Screenshot © ARSO

DIJ Principal Researcher Susanne Brucksch will be one of four keynote speakers at the 17th IEEE International Conference on Advanced Robotics and its Social Impacts (ARSO 2021). In her keynote on Friday, July 9, Susanne will reflect on how the relationship between humans and devices in medical contexts can be specified when the sociocultural dimension of a particular locale is included. For instance, the study of the social context provides manifold insights on knowledge production, research and development processes, user contexts, and the institutional background of the making and application of medical devices. Examples from the research literature and case studies will illustrate these intersections. Her talk draws on her recently published co-edited volume Humans and Machines in Medical Contexts in Japan and her book chapter “Robotic Care Devices: Aktuelle Entwicklungen in der Pflegerobotik in Japan” in Genese und Folgen der Pflegerobotik (in German).

June 25, 2021

Workshop ‘Technology & Society in Japan and Beyond’

Photo by Eddi Aguirre on Unsplash

Technical artefacts, technologies, and infrastructures are shaping our everyday life in manifold ways. At the same time, their development, promotion and/or rejection is influenced by cultural patterns, ethical principles, social values as well as power relations. This one-day workshop of the Research Initiative ‘Technology & Society in Japan and Beyond’ brings together scholars who share an interest in the analysis of co-construction processes of technology and society in Japan and beyond. Twelve speakers will address the themes ‘User, Visions and Technology Development’ and ‘Ethics, Health and Technology in Context’. The workshop takes place online on June 25 and is organized by Susanne Brucksch and Cosima Wagner (FU Berlin). Details and registration here

June 23, 2021

Gender & Sexuality series lecture on women in Japanese videogames

© Rachael Hutchinson

This presentation examines the representation of women in Japanese videogames, situating the depiction of female bodies in terms of political discourse. Focusing on the online card-based wargame Kantai Collection, it analyzes how attributes of Japanese warships are reflected in the physical characteristics of women. At the same time, Kantai Collection is highly political in its theme, representation of women, and enactment of war memories. This presentation examines the game and related artefacts as part of a popular politicization of WWII by Japanese artists, also seen in the recent spate of blockbuster revisionist films, as well as Nazi imagery and narratives in anime and manga. It argues that the hyper-sexualization of women in Kantai Collection contributes to the exoticization of war as distant and unreal, in a continued context of controversial war memories in Japan. This event is part of the DIJ’s lecture series ‘Gender and Sexuality in East Asia’. Details and registration here

Rachael Hutchinson, University of Delaware

June 23, 2021

Live-stream Tokyo Olympics book presentation

© Wolfram Manzenreiter / Universität Wien

DIJ deputy director Barbara Holthus and our alumni Hanno Jentzsch and Florian Purkarthofer as well as Wolfram Manzenreiter (all Japanese Studies, University of Vienna) will present their chapters from Japan Through the Lens of the Tokyo Olympics at a panel discussion and book presentation on June 23. They will be joined by Georg Spitaler (Association for the History of the Workers’ Movement, Vienna) and Corina Gallmetzer (University Library, University of Vienna). The book is an outcome of the DIJ’s special project on the Tokyo Olympics and is available for free download (open access) on the publisher’s website. The event will take place online and can be viewed via live-stream. Details and registration here

June 17, 2021

Recovery Games under the Mask – Joint JDZB & DIJ panel discussion

Screenshot JDZB

Olympic and Paralympic Games last on average 34 days – the preparations of the host city, however, take years. The Games have a significant impact on the cityscape, politics, society, economy, and public discourse of its host city and country. To discuss social, political, economic, and historical aspects of the Games, the Japanese-German Center Berlin (JDZB) in cooperation with the DIJ hosts a virtual book talk and panel discussion, preceded by short input statements by DIJ researchers Sonja Ganseforth, Barbara Holthus, and Torsten Weber, DIJ alumnus Axel Klein (Duisburg-Essen University), and Wolfram Manzenreiter (University of Vienna). They have all contributed to the DIJ special project on the Tokyo Olympics and are authors of the recent publication Japan Through the Lens of the Tokyo Olympics (Routledge 2020, open access). The event will be moderated by Alastair Gale, Japan Editor at The Wall Street Journal. Details and registration here

June 17, 2021

Next DIJ Method Talk: Kaitlyn Ugoretz on digital ethnography

© Kaitlyn Ugoretz

While emic definitions of Shinto often describe the ritual tradition as the unique “indigenous faith of the Japanese people”, such claims are troubled by the growth of a “global Shinto.” The confluence of Japanese strategies for repositioning the nation as being of global import over the last few decades have rendered Shinto attractive and available to non-Japanese people around the world. Based on several years of multi-sited digital ethnographic research, in this presentation Kaitlyn Ugoretz will examine the development of transnational, digital Shinto communities on social media over the last twenty years. She will conclude with a reflection on the importance of digital ethnography as method in response to obstacles to traditional research during a global pandemic. Details and registration here

Kaitlyn Ugoretz, University of California, Santa Barbara

June 10, 2021

DIJ Web-Forum on Data and Values in Japan and Germany

© Luc Legay

Data are widely considered to be the “oil” of the digital economy. But whereas the concept seems essential and ubiquitous, social, economic, and legal aspects associated with the meaning, ownership, exchange, use, and protection of data remain highly contested even among countries with similar economic and political systems like Japan and Germany. Our speakers will present the main legal regulations and public discourses related to the concept of data in Japan and Germany. In the discussion, we will try to pinpoint major differences in the understanding of data and their implications for the ownership, protection, use, and international exchange. Details and registration here


Axel v.d. Bussche, Taylor Wessing

Stefan Heumann, Stiftung Neue Verantwortung

Hitomi Iwase, Nishimura & Asahi

Koichi Sumikura , National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS)

moderated by Franz Waldenberger, German Institute for Japanese Studies

May 31, 2021

Public talk ‘Tokyo Olympics – An Uphill Battle’ with Barbara Holthus

Screenshot © ISDP

What are the latest developments and challenges that overshadow the Tokyo Olympics? Join DIJ deputy director Barbara Holthus, Olympic expert Vanessa Åsell Tsuruga, and  special advisor to former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Tomohiko Taniguchi, for an online discussion of the risks and opportunities ahead and their impact on Tokyo and Japan. The event ‘Tokyo Olympics: An Uphill Battle’ is hosted by the Japan Center at the Institute for Security & Development Policy (ISDP), a Stockholm-based non-profit and non-partisan research and policy organization. The webinar will be moderated by Jon Thunqvist, Senior Research Fellow at the ISDP, and takes place on Monday, 31 May, 10.00-11.00 (CEST) / 17.00-18.00 (JST). Registration is required via the ISDP.

Upcoming Events

September 7, 2021
  • DIJ Gender & Sexuality Lecture Series
    18:30 ~ 20:00

    Mobile professionals and their families: The making of transnational spaces...

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’

Det var ikke tilfældigt, at det faldt sammen med festligholdelsen i 1940 af 2.600-året for den mytiske grundlæggelse af det japanske kejserrige, fortæller @stenweber, en ekspert i moderne asiatisk historie ved Tysk Institut for ... Japanstudier @weekendavisen

“If these nods to sustainability, diversity, and inclusion stick and bring about significant change, then that would be great for Japanese society”, says DIJ deputy director ⁦@barbGhawaii⁩ ⁦@dij_Tokyo2020⁩ @StephenWadeAP⁩ ... ⁦@AP_Sports⁩

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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. 1
Contemporary Japan is open year-round for rolling submissions, with accepted publications published immediately online. Please see the instructions for submission here.