Interdisciplinary Japanese Studies On Site

DIJ Newsletter 69

Autumn 2022

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Welcome to the Autumn 2022 issue!
The world rarely experiences two state funerals within 8 days. To pay respects to the late Queen Elizabeth II, the Japanese imperial couple travelled to London but was heavily criticised in the Japanese media for not wearing masks during the funeral service. A storm in a teacup compared to the recent criticism of Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio: for weeks he has been in the line of fire for his decision to honour his pre-predecessor Abe Shinzo with a state funeral. Too expensive, too undemocratic, and out of touch with the worries of ordinary people, his critics argued. Regardless of this criticism and Kishida's plummeting poll ratings, the state funeral still took place. 'Kokusō' (state funeral) has been on everyone's lips. You can read more on the controversy surrounding the Abe state funeral in the Catchword section below.
Also in this edition of the DIJ Newsletter: information on new publications and some of our recent as well as upcoming online, on-site, and hybrid events in October and November.
We hope you will enjoy exploring this edition of the DIJ Newsletter. If you haven't yet done so, you can subscribe to receive it directly to your inbox here. We also welcome your feedback and updates to your email address via email to newsletter@dijtokyo.org
From all of us at the DIJ, we wish you a healthy and peaceful autumn!
Torsten Weber

New Publications Gerade erschienen 新刊

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East Asia & Russia's War against Ukraine
This open access volume examines how societies in East and Southeast Asia have reacted to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Focusing on news reporting and social media, it provides preliminary answers from Japan, South Korea, and five ASEAN countries. The essays show that the responses to the war are heterogeneous and often differ from the governments' foreign policy stances. Working Paper No. 135 in the East Asian Studies series (IN-EAST, University of Duisburg-Essen) is edited by DIJ’s David M. Malitz and Surachanee Sriyai (Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok). It also includes a chapter by David on Japanese responses to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Recent journal articles by DIJ researchers include:

Upcoming Events Kommende Veranstaltungen今後のイベント

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DIJ Researchers at Nichibunken Seminar
To commemorate the new academic exchange agreement between the DIJ and the International Research Center for Japanese Studies (Nichibunken), researchers from both institutes will discuss the state and future of research in Japanese Studies at the 249th Nichibunken Evening Seminar on 6 October. The DIJ delegation includes director Franz Waldenberger, deputy director Barbara Holthus, research fellows Barbara Geilhorn, Nora Kottmann, Harald Kümmerle, and David M. Malitz. The seminar will be held in a hybrid format at the Nichibunken in Kyoto and online (Zoom), moderated by Edward Boyle.
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DJW meets DIJ Online Socializing Event
In cooperation with the DIJ, the Japanese-German Business Association (DJW) invites everyone interested in the future of work to participate in the online socializing event 'DJW meets DIJ' on 27 October. Together with the DIJ and Haruo Shimada's study group, participants can discuss ideas and challenges for the future of work in Japan and Germany. Participation is free of charge but registration (link above) is required.
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Photo © Nora Kottmann

Workshop on Intimacy in the Pandemic
On 5 November, the DIJ will host the international workshop 'The Intimate in and beyond Pandemic Times: Family, Personal Relationships and Singlehood'. Its speakers will introduce results of a large-scale survey conducted in January 2021 and discuss multi-dimensional effects of the pandemic and its global and local influences on the intimate. They will address stay-at-home policies, teleworking, domestic violence, personal space, cohabitation among same-sex couples, and (solo)sociality. The workshop is organised by DIJ social scientist Nora Kottmann and Laura Dales (University of Western Australia).
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Japanese-German Conference on Ageing
Together with Chuo University, the Mitsubishi Research Institute, and TU Dortmund, the DIJ organises the conference 'Inclusion of elderly citizens in German and Japanese Communities: civic engagement and the COVID pandemic' on 10 November. The speakers will analyse the role of civic engagement in German and Japanese communities by and for elderly citizens as well as the impact of the pandemic on their living conditions. The conference takes place at Chuo University's Korakuen Campus (Tokyo) and is co-organised by the Japanese-German Center Berlin and Friedrich Ebert Foundation.

DIJ News Aus dem DIJ研究所ニュース

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New Research Partnership with ARI
In July, DIJ director Franz Waldenberger signed a new research partnership with the Asia Research Institute (ARI) at the National University of Singapore (NUS). It relaunches the DIJ-NUS cooperation that has existed since 2017 and builds on the Max Weber Foundation Research Group on Borders, Mobility and New Infrastructures. The DIJ-ARI partnership focuses on 'Asian Infrastructures', including health, migration, transport, digital networks, finance, knowledge, and competing infrastructure initiatives of China and Japan. It is coordinated jointly by ARI director Tim Bunnell, James D. Sidaway (Department of Geography, NUS), and Franz Waldenberger.

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Sonja Ganseforth leaves DIJ
At the end of September, Sonja Ganseforth will leave the DIJ to take up a research position in the Max Weber Foundation's Partnership Positions Programme in the Institute of Environmental Social Sciences and Geography at the University of Freiburg. Sonja joined the DIJ in 2017 and was head of the research group Future of Local Communities. At the DIJ, her research focused on fishing communities in Kyushu and Japan's blue economies. She also co-organised (with Hanno Jentzsch) the international conference "What is the 'local'?" which resulted in the recent publication of Rethinking Locality in Japan (Routledge 2022).

Past Events Vergangene Veranstaltungen最近のイベント

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Symposium 'Art in the Countryside'
How can rural communities benefit from cultural policies and the merging link between culture and tourism? Hosted by the DIJ, 'Art in the Countryside. Symposium on Art and Regional Revitalization through Case Studies from Japan' investigated the potential of the arts to develop creative responses to the multiple challenges and opportunities Japan's diverse regions face. Seventeen academic presentations and two artists' talks offered a broad variety of perspectives on art and regional revitalization. Co-organised by DIJ's Barbara Geilhorn and Gunhild Borggreen (University of Copenhagen), the symposium was well attended online and on-site.
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DIJ Researchers at Japanologentag
In August, six DIJ researchers and more than 30 DIJ alumni participated in the virtual 18th German-speaking Japanese Studies Conference (Japanologentag) as panelists, chairs, and section organisers. Harald Kümmerle, Markus Heckel, and Celia Spoden gave presentations on their ongoing research projects in the conference's Economics section. Harald also presented a paper on 'Big Data' in a digital methods panel. Together with co-editor and DIJ alumnus Hanno Jentzsch, Sonja Ganseforth gave a book talk on Rethinking Locality in Japan in the Ethnology section. Barbara Holthus and Nora Kottmann convened the Sociology section.

Library News ・ Aus der Bibliothek図書室ニュース

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Joint Book Exhibition 'Ryukyu/Okinawa'
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Okinawa's return to the mainland on 15 May 1972. In this special exhibition, the libraries of the International House of Japan, the Maison franco-japonaise, and the DIJ will showcase research books and articles on the history and culture of Ryukyu and Okinawa, written in English, German, and French. The exhibition at the DIJ is open to the public from 4 to 31 October. For more information on opening times and entry regulations, please contact the respective library in advance.

DIJ in the Media ・ In den Medienメディアで知るDIJ

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DIJ Expertise on Olympics and Finance
One year after the opening of the Tokyo Olympics DIJ deputy director and Olympic volunteer Barbara Holthus commented on the Games’ legacy and Japan’s future Olympic ambitions for an AP article. “People were so upset that Thomas Bach pushed the Olympics down everybody’s throat without consideration for Japanese sentiments”, she said. “And now they want to do it again without asking the people of Sapporo.” In September, DIJ director Franz Waldenberger provided insights into Japan's monetary policy and the future of financial systems for the eXponential Finance Podcast. He also introduced the open access book publication The Future of Financial Systems in the Digital Age (Springer 2022).

Alumni News Unsere Ehemaligen DIJ 同窓会

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Political Populism: two talks by Axel Klein
During his research stay in Tokyo, University of Duisburg-Essen political scientist and former DIJ senior research fellow Axel Klein (2007–2011) will give two presentations on his new project on populist parties in Japan. On 6 October, he will give a talk (in German) at the OAG Tokyo, followed by a presentation (in English) in the DIJ Social Science Study Group on 11 October. His research is part of a larger project presently underway at the University of Duisburg-Essen entitled 'Populism in East Asian Democracies'. Axel is currently in Japan as a JSPS fellow.
If you are part of the growing group of DIJ alumni and have recently published a book or have any other news to share with us, please contact us via newsletter@dijtokyo.org

Aktueller Begriff Catchword流行語

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State funeral: Kokusō
When former Prime Minister Abe Shinzo was assassinated in July, Japan and the world were in shock. Since then, the attention in Japan has shifted to discussions about whether Abe should be honoured with a state funeral (kokusō) or not. The government refers to Abe's long service for Japan and his reputation abroad, but others criticise the immense costs and undemocratic procedure. In this edition of our Catchword series, DIJ historian Torsten Weber explains the background to the recent kokusō controversy.
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