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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
May 22, 2019

Merits and Challenges of Deliberative Democracy in Japan

Like other representative democracies, Japan has been facing democratic challenges which have eroded democratic representation, political accountability and legitimacy. The voter-turn-out for the last Lower House elections, for instance, was at a record low. Consequently, the legitimacy of the parliamentary representatives was diminished. Decreasing trust in state elites has additionally fueled the political abstinence. To counteract this (partial) democratic “crisis”, Japanese national and local governments have implemented numerous democratic innovations, or in other words new institutionalized forms of participatory decision-making processes, especially deliberations.

Based on theoretical concepts dealing with the quality of democracy and with democratic innovations (Diamond and Morlino 2005; Smith 2009; Geissel 2012), this talk asks whether implementing deliberations can counteract the “crisis” of Japanese representative democracy. Therefore, two deliberative methods, namely mini-publics and deliberative polls, are evaluated in this talk.

Speaker:
Momoyo Hüstebeck, University of Duisburg-Essen

Events
May 23, 2019

Androids and Virtual Reality – Simulations of the Human in Japanese Theatre

Contemporary artists are increasingly creating works that lack the presence of the human, as if to imagine a posthuman world, a posthumous world, a world without us. Such posthuman use of androids draws attention to the significance of negotiating different states of perception and transcending established value systems to sustain a viable position in a global world. But the human instinct to create images of ourselves is still strong, as we see not only in the androids used in the robot theatre of Ishiguro Hiroshi and Hirata Oriza, but also in such popular virtual idols as Hatsune Miku. Prof. Mari Boyd will situate the new 21st century development in Japanese robot/android theatre in two contexts: first, the karakuri (trick) automata popular from the 17th century and, second, the present national push in branding Japan as a society 5.0, i.e. a technology-based society emerging through the fourth industrial revolution.

Speakers:
Mari Boyd, Sophia University, Tokyo
M. Cody Poulton, University of Victoria, Canada

Events
June 12, 2019

Making the Most of Scarcity? The Role of Natural Assets in Pre-WWII Japanese Economic Development

What role did natural assets play in the rise of living standards in industrializing nations during the 19th and 20th century? In the case of Japan, initial conditions were characterized by an exceptionally efficient use, by the international standards of the time, of very scarce natural resources, particularly in forestry and silviculture (Totman 1989; Saito 2009, 2014). In spite of their scarcity, natural assets played a critical role in the initial phase of Japanese economic transformation, in the late Tokugawa and early Meiji. In this paper, we estimate the evolution of the comprehensive wealth, the total stock of assets per capita, which includes human and natural assets, and can be regarded as the most relevant indicator of sustainable well-being (Dasgupta 2001, 2009).

Speaker:
Jean-Pascal Bassino, ENS Lyon; CNRS research fellow at the French Research Institute on Japan at Maison Franco Japonaise

Events
May 14, 2019

How Can We Explain the Lag of Japan’s Sharing Economy?

In recent years, the emergence of “sharing economy” has brought people plenty of conveniences to collaboratively make use of under-utilized inventory through fee-based sharing. The topic of the sharing economy has also caught attention in public and academic debate. According to Yano Institute, the size of the Japanese sharing economy by transaction is 0.64 billion USD in 2017 and is estimated to reach only about 1.24 billion USD by 2022, which is relatively weak compared with other developed countries and even some developing countries. The Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications also states that the size of Japan’s sharing economy is relatively small. This research tries to seek answers to the question of why Japan’s sharing economy has evolved relatively slowly. Because there is no existing theory to explain the lag of Japan’s sharing economy, this research regards the sharing economy as a new form of process innovation that creates a new way for people to get access to goods and services. Taking a macro perspective theoretically informed by the National Systems of Innovation (NSI) literature, this research adopts semi-structured interviews to acquire in-depth insights from industry insiders.

Speaker:
Junxi Yao, University of Sheffield

Events
April 18, 2019

Protecting Children in Family Separation

As Japan has the sole custody system after divorce, there are a number of parental disputes over child custody and visitation or access nowadays. Currently, only 1/3 of children with divorced parents can have access to their non-custodial parent, and only 1/4 of children obtain child support from their non-custodial parent. In contrast, Germany and other Western countries have implemented joint custody after divorce, which requires both parents to consult with each other and take joint decisions in relation to long-term issues concerning their children.

The divergent legal settings and societal conditions between Japan and Western countries yield difficult questions in a cross-border family separation. Prof. Nishitani will address the historical, legal and societal background of these differences in family law institutions between Japan and Western countries with a particular focus on Germany. Prof. Odagiri will show what we have learned about the impact of divorce on children from research in psychology and what actions are now being taken.

Speakers:
Yuko Nishitani, Kyoto University
Noriko Odagiri, Tokyo International University

Events
March 13, 2019

Autonomy, Belonging and Long-Distance Relationships in Europe and Japan

Individualization and mobility increasingly define romantic relationships. ‘Despatialization’ and internationalization of work and education have intensified tensions between occupation and relationships. Therefore, as couples negotiate and coordinate their lives, flexibility and agency become more necessary to sustain relationships. Decisions along the life course demand privileging either individual autonomy or dyadic belonging. As all options likely imply trade-offs, actors will try to balance autonomy and belonging. This is for example the case in long-distance relationships (LDR), which can be seen as ‘solutions’ to systemic challenges, that, however, cause new challenges. Against this background, my talk asks how long-distance couples ‘manage’ distance, belonging and their life courses.

Speaker
Markus Klingel, Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences

Events
March 4, 2019

Regulating for a Better Work-life Balance: German and Japanese Experiences

Germany and Japan have experienced rapid growth in non-standard employment and particular in part-time work in the last 30 years. Nevertheless, both countries differ considerably when it comes to important indicators of work-life balance such as working time. According to the OECD, in Japan around 22 per cent of workers have a work week of 50 hours or more, whereas in Germany this applies to less than 5 per cent. Annual average working hours in Japan stand at 1,600 hours but only at about 1,300 in Germany. Despite these differences, in both countries policies that aim at more flexible working time regimes, including measures to reduce working hours, are currently high on the political agenda.

At this DIJ Forum we ask how the differences between the two countries can be explained and to what extent current debates are comparable.

Speakers:
Hartmut Seifert, WSI Düsseldorf
Katsutoshi Kezuka, Chuo University

Events
March 1 - March 29, 2019

Joint Exposition of Books
Nō und Kyōgen

Wie wird die klassische japanische Bühnenkunst im Ausland gesehen und welche Forschung gibt es dazu?

Die International House of Japan Library, die Bibliothèque de la Maison franco-japonaise sowie die Bibliothek des Deutschen Instituts für Japanstudien geben im Rahmen einer gemeinsamen Bücherausstellung Einblicke in englisch-, französisch- und deutschsprachige Übersetzungen sowie Forschungsliteratur zum Thema Nō und Kyōgen.

Falls Sie Fragen zu Inhalten oder zum Besuch der Ausstellung haben sollten, kontaktieren Sie bitte die jeweilige Bibliothek.

Upcoming Events

May 22, 2019
  • DIJ Social Science Study Group
    18:30 ~ 20:00

    "Merits and Challenges of Deliberative Democracy in Japan"

May 23, 2019
  • DIJ Forum
    18:30 ~ 20:30

    Androids and Virtual Reality – Simulations of the Human in Japanese Theatre

June 3, 2019
  • DIJ Social Science Study Group
    18:30 ~ 20:30

    Technologies of Presence: Modeling Emotion in Robots with Heart

June 12, 2019
  • DIJ Business & Economics Study Group
    18:30 ~ 20:00

    Making the Most of Scarcity? The Role of Natural Assets in Pre-WWII Japanese Economic Development

DIJ 30th Anniversary

Anniversary Event

In October 2018 we celebrated the DIJ’s foundation 30 years ago — with lots of inspiring speeches and fruitful conversations.

→ Event page

Anniversary Booklet

“30 Years Interdisciplinary Research on Site. 1988 – 2018”

Our anniversary booklet gives an overview of the past 30 years here at the DIJ.
Available for download now!

→ Publication page

Call for Papers

Contemporary Japan
Issue 32, No. 2
until August 1, 2019

Exlibris

DIJ Monographien, Volume 62

DIJ Monographien, Volume 62

“Parental well-being. Satisfaction with work, family life, and family policy in Germany and Japan”
— by Barbara Holthus and Hans Bertram

Twitter|@dij_tokyo

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📊💡 Upcoming! #DIJStudyGroup on 🔜 June 3rd: "Technologies of Presence: Modeling Emotion in Robots with Heart" 👤 Sp… t.co/0kb9o9rW1Q

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Upcoming! 💡🔜 #DIJForum: "Androids and Virtual Reality – Simulations of the Human in Japanese Theatre" 👤 Speaker:… t.co/I7X5XGb0G7

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🎈イベント🎈 5月23日  #初音ミク #オトナロイド をはじめとした #ボーカロイド#アンドロイド と演劇やポップカルチャーの発展についてのイベントがドイツ日本研究所@dij_tokyoにて開催されます.t.co/JgFyqEJsET

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