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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

August 12, 2020

DIJ research at ‘Asia’s New Ruralities’ online conference

Our research fellows Sonja Ganseforth and Isaac Gagné will present their latest research on different aspects of rural Japan at the upcoming ‘Asia’s New Ruralities’ online conference (August 12-13) at the University of Vienna. Based on case studies of small family businesses, cooperatives, and revitalization programmes in different fishing villages in Kyushu, Sonja’s paper “New Marinalities of Japanese Fishing Villages” studies multiple influences on the shaping of new marine ruralities. Isaac’s paper “Local Economies of Care: The Impact of Demographic Changes on Social Welfare in Rural Japan” analyzes the emergence of a resilient and innovative local economy of care among local actors and is based on results of his fieldwork in a rural community in Nagano Prefecture. Full programme and registration details here.

July 14, 2020

Franz Waldenberger in NHK World interview on recent stock market developments

Screenshot © NHK World

The value of tender offers, i.e. public takeover bids to purchase a major portion or all of a companies outstanding stock, have risen to a record in Japan this year. According to some experts the surge has been caused by the COVID-19 crisis because companies are now rushing to consolidate amid the business slowdown. On NHK World TV, DIJ director Franz Waldenberger explains what the increase in tender offers means for the Japanese economy and how the surge is related to the digital transformation. The interview was broadcast on NHK World’s Newsroom Tokyo programme on July 14, 2020 and can be viewed for one month on NHK World’s website.

March 21, 2020

Barbara Holthus in JDZB interview on Tokyo Olympics

“Japan and Tokyo are trying to reinvent themselves with the Olympic and Paralympic Games as a place of diversity, inclusion, cosmopolitanism, “coolness”, and hospitality. They will also try to present the nuclear disaster of Fukushima as “overcome”. All in all, Tokyo 2020 serves as a prism in which the hopes of a wide range of stakeholders are paired with the commercial interests of the IOC and the sponsors.”

In the current issue of jdzb echo, the newsletter of the Japanese-German Center Berlin, Barbara Holthus is interviewed on the Tokyo Olympics and the book project Japan through the Lens of the Tokyo Olympics, of which she is a co-editor. Please note: the JDZB event scheduled for April 2 has been postponed. 

February 28, 2020

Temporary closure of the institute

Following recommendations by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare regarding measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the DIJ has decided to close its institute temporarily (incl. library) and to cancel all public events until further notice. We ask for your kind understanding.


DIJ Senior Research Fellow awarded prestigious dissertation prize

Harald Kümmerle, senior research fellow at the DIJ since January of this year, has been selected as the recipient of the Johannes Zilkens Dissertation Prize 2020. Every year, the German Academic Scholarship Foundation (Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes) awards this prize for an outstanding dissertation from the humanities and social sciences. It is endowed with 5,000 euros.

Kümmerle has defended his dissertation on the “Institutionalization of mathematics as a science in Meiji- and Taishō-era Japan” at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg in January 2019. According to the interdisciplinary jury, it “impressively bridges mathematics, Japanese Studies, and social sciences”. The work gives “important impulses for the advancement of Japanese Studies, and extending beyond this, for the understanding of the development of sites of science and the organization of knowledge transfer”.



Business and Management Environment of Technology Intensive Startups in the Far East (a collaborative research by universities in Japan, PR-China, and ROK with the German Institute for Japanese Studies (DIJ))

Fujisawa, October 8, 2019 — IBER-Kotosaka of Keio University announced today that it will be collaborating with the German Institute for Japanese Studies (DIJ) to conduct a survey on the business and management environment of technology intensive startups in Japan.

This research project is a collaboration between not just Keio University and DIJ, but along with researchers from Korea University, Hoseo University, Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, and Chongqing University

Working mums have it tough in Japan – creating Instagram-worthy, healthy lunches is one of many pressures they say they face

Barbara Holthus was interviewed for BBC on the continuing importance of mothers for providing lunch bento boxes to their children.


Upcoming Events

Nothing from August 9, 2020 to January 9, 2021.

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.

Call for Papers

Interdisciplinary Conference “Climate Change, Energy, and Sustainability in the Pacific Region. Knowledge, Policies, and Transfers (1970s – Present)”, DIJ Tokyo, 19-20 April 2021

Extended deadline for proposals: 21 August 2020.
Read full CfP → conference page.

Project: Tokyo Olympics

“Japan through the lens of the Tokyo Olympics”

For more information see our
→ project page.

“Whose city is Tokyo?” Watch @purkflo in ep. 8 of our Author Interviews’ series ‘Japan through the lens of the #TokyoOlympics’ on Tokyo’s architecture, urban structure, corporate monoculture & change ... in an ever-changing city

How to use the #OlympicVillage: hospitals? Homeless shelters? Watch ep. 7 of our Author Interviews’ series ‘Japan through the lens...’ with Ralph Lützeler on #Tokyo2020, neighborhood transformation & ... entrepreneurial city politics

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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. 32, No. 1
Contemporary Japan is open year-round for rolling submissions, with accepted publications published immediately online. Please see the instructions for submission here.