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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
March 14, 2024

Workshop explores relationship in human-machine interaction

When humans and machines interact, do they form (real) relationships? At the workshop Relationship in Human-Machine Interaction, six keynote speakers will share insights on the relationship-building aspects of humans and robots, avatars, or devices. Their talks will cover social psychology, media studies, computer science, and engineering viewpoints, including a presentation by DIJ researcher Celia Spoden on avatar robots as alter ego for hospitalized students. The talks and discussions are followed by the interactive workshop “Detour: Brand characters, tonalities, and emotions”. The event highlights the potential of technology to support communication, ease loneliness and decrease isolation, and enable new ways to organize work and life. All participants are invited to join the discussions and share their perspectives. The workshop is organised by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the German Centre for Research and Innovation Tokyo (DWIH Tokyo). It is co-supported by the DIJ. Details and registration here

Event Series
Events
March 19, 2024

Hybrid Study Group discusses Japanese career women’s identity conflict

© LMU Munich School of Management

This presentation explores how career-minded Japanese women experience and respond to identity conflict. Based on 125 in-depth interviews with Japanese women who face incompatible expectations for their roles in their professional and private lives, it shows how this dilemma leads to an identity conflict to which the women react with different identity work strategies: Individuals may either sacrifice their career ambitions or forego starting a family; alternatively, they might attempt to reconcile professional and personal role expectations by relinquishing perfectionism in both spheres, or seek partners whose personal expectations align more closely with their career objectives. While these strategies may resolve incompatible external role expectations, this study reveals that they do not effectively diminish internalized dilemmas. Possible solutions to resolve the dilemma will be discussed. Details and registration here

Speaker:
Helene Tenzer, LMU Munich School of Management
Event Series
Events
February 29, 2024

Hybrid Study Group on AI and Jesuit Written Artefacts

© Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel

Between 1595 and 1610, the first recorded contacts between Europeans and Japanese took place. In the Jesuit Colleges in Kyushu, lectures were delivered on Aristotelian philosophy, theology, and Ptolemaic cosmology. In Germany, almost 450 years later in 2019, this tripartite work on science and religion is discovered in the Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel: the first complete Japanese translation of the so-called Compendia compiled in Japan. Bridging the gap between computer science and historical linguistics, this talk will present a novel approach of understanding this written artefact by applying the possibilities artificial intelligence offers. It will address the challenges of finetuning AI-powered tools to historical Japanese, training AI models for text recognition in multiple text directions and writing systems, coding scripts tailored to historical romanization, and conducting quantitative analysis of a comparative text corpus of Jesuit codices. Details and registration here

Speaker:
Sophie Takahashi, Ruhr University Bochum/DIJ Tokyo
Event Series
Events
February 21, 2024

Hybrid Study Group on Feminist Foreign Policy in Japan

© Women7/Yuichi Mori

In recent years, feminist foreign policy (FFP) has become a buzzword in foreign policy. Since 2015, the Japanese government has been trying to push for more gender equality in its foreign policy and adopted a National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security. In 2023, the Kishida cabinet appointed the second woman in Japan’s history as foreign minister and Japan’s latest National Action Plan includes even more gender-sensitive norms. At the same time, Japan is under intense scrutiny for consistently ranking last among G7 countries on gender equality and women’s empowerment. This clashes sharply with Japan’s international image as an ethically “good state”. Against this background, this lecture examines how Japan attempts to catch up with the international trend of FFP and the promotion of pro-gender norms in its foreign policy. Details and registration here

Speaker:
Annika Clasen, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf/DIJ Tokyo
Events
February 13, 2024

Barbara Holthus panelist at pet industry conference

As part of her research on the sociology of pets in contemporary Japan, DIJ deputy director Barbara Holthus will participate in a panel discussion on the challenges resulting from the cohabitation of humans and pets in Japan’s super-aged society. The panel is part of an event organised by the Japan Animalpic Committee, an association that promotes the well-being of and interactions between humans and animals. Other panelists include former Minister of State Katayama Satsuki, pet activists Katsumata Kazuyoshi (Japan Animalpic Committee), Ito Hiroshi (Medical Ark School), Hosoda Nobuyuki  (Japan Animalpic Committee), and dog trainer Ito Tetsuro. The event takes place on February 13 in Tokyo’s Office Building of the House of Representatives. Details and registration here (in Japanese)

Event Series
Events
February 1, 2024

Online Study Group on Japanese Female Doctors in the Meiji Era

This online presentation offers a novel perspective on the historical study of education in Japan by focusing on Japanese female medical students in Germany. It will examine the educational experience of two pioneer females, Dr. Urata Tada (1873-1936) and Dr. Fukui Shigeko (1874-1961) who received their MD degrees from Marburg University. Upon returning to Japan, Urata became dean of Dōjin Hospital in Tianjin, China, and Fukui worked as an obstetrician and gynecologist at the Osaka Ogata Hospital. Urata and Fukui achieved a breakthrough in the status of female doctors in the Japanese medical profession. This presentation will argue for their roles in facilitating the dissemination of knowledge during Japan’s modernization in medical areas. Importantly, it offers insights into the reform of Japanese female higher education in modern Japan. Details and registration here

Speaker:
Wen-Wei Lan, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU Munich)
Event Series
Events
January 31, 2024

Hybrid Study Group on Traffic Accident Disputes in Japan

Compared to other industrialized nations, the litigation rate for traffic accident disputes in Japan is remarkably low, leading to the widespread belief that the Japanese tend to avoid taking legal action. This has sparked a debate about the ‘legal consciousness’ in Japanese society. Julien Schickling will present research findings from expert interviews conducted with judges, lawyers, insurance companies, and dispute resolution institutions to shed light on the system for resolving traffic accident disputes in Japan. In addition, he will analyze the rise in litigation rates for traffic accident disputes in Japan observed since the early 2000s, with the aim of providing comprehensive reasons for this shift. Details and registration here

Speaker:
Julien Schickling, Goethe University Frankfurt/DIJ Tokyo
Event Series
Events
December 11, 2023

Workshop on communicative spaces in rural Japan and Germany

Example for a communicative space in an abandoned elementary school in rural Japan
© Christina & Sebastian Polak-Rottmann

Rural areas in Japan have been facing challenges due to ongoing demographic decline and high rates of aging — but they are often also home to vibrant places offering space for deliberation, communication, networking, and political activities. While some of these spaces can be small in size, focusing on specific local problems, others may have goals reaching far beyond the local sphere. The DIJ workshop Conceptualizing communicative spaces in rural areas in Japan and Germany brings together scholars who have been analysing and conceptualising such spaces in their research in Japan and Germany. The speakers will present their research, followed by a discussion to conceptualize these dynamic spaces and to reflect on the differences between Japan and Germany. The aim of the workshop is to exchange ideas on how these places might help to deal with current challenges in rural areas and to establish a network of scholars and practitioners working on the topic. Details and registration here

Upcoming Events

19/03/2024
  • DIJ Business & Economics Study Group
    18:00 ~ 19:30

    Japanese Career Women’s Persistent Identity Conflict

27/03/2024
  • DIJ Social Science Study Group
    18:30 ~ 20:00

    Socialising the Soldier: Negotiating History, Tradition, and Identity at Japan’s National Defense Academy

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    Call for Submissions

    Contemporary Japan
    current issue Vol. 35, No. 2
    Contemporary Japan is open year-round for rolling submissions, with accepted publications published immediately online. Please see the instructions for submission here.

    DIJ Monograph Series

    Our monograph series is Open Access Open Access after a one-year embargo period. Downloads are available on our
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