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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 6, 2017

Gender Representations in East Asian Television Advertisements: Hong Kong, Japan, and South Korea

Gender representations in television advertisements have been a subject of academic research for many years. However, comparatively few studies have looked into television advertisements’ gender representations in societies with a Confucian legacy, particularly from a comparative perspective. This study compares the representation of men and women in 1,694 television advertisements from Hong Kong, Japan, and South Korea. It uncovers stereotypical gender representations related to age, clothing/nudity, work, authority, and beauty. Overall, gender representations were highly stereotypical in all three cultures, which may be due to a shared common cultural background based on Confucianism. In terms of the degree of gender stereotyping, Hong Kong was more gender-egalitarian than Japan and South Korea; this finding is consistent with results from some international gender indices indicating that Hong Kong is more gender egalitarian than Japan and South Korea. Finally, this talk discusses the possible effects of stereotypical gender representations on audiences.

June 26, 2017

Womenomics – Remedy or Illusion?

„Womenomics”, one of the policies by Prime Minister Abe Shinzo introduced in 2014 to reinvigorate Japan’s economy has come as a surprise not only to his government and politicians but also to the Japanese society. Gender and gender issues have long been a seemingly untouchable topic in Japan’s political discourse.

This talk presents the main characteristics of this concept, its aims and goals. It looks at the motivations and expectations on the side of policy-makers, of employers and of those most concerned: women and their families.

Picture: CC BY 2.0 | flickr/Steven-L-Johnson

June 21, 2017

“The Slow Way Home: Civic Engagement and Walkability in Japanese Neighbourhoods”

Documentary film screening & discussion

The documentary film “Slow Way Home” explores this divergence, examining how American families have largely given up on keeping streets and public spaces safe enough for children, while Japanese communities have mobilized to keep their streets safe and walkable, not only for children but for everyone in society. Following a screening of the film, Prof. Schoppa will offer remarks on the forces that keep parents and local residents in Japan civically engaged in working to preserve the safety of streets for local school children, when similar dynamics do not seem to operate in the United States.

June 8, 2017

Revolution and Empire: the Northern Expedition in the Japanese Press, 1926-28

With the Northern Expedition (1926-28), the Nationalist Party (GMD) emerged in China as the leading force for reunification of the country. The foreign powers had thus to face a new government in Nanjing that claimed back for China the sovereign rights it had lost with the ‘unequal treaties’ in the late Qing period. To Japan, in particular, the establishment of the Nationalist regime posed a threat to its ‘special interests’ in Northeast China.

Historians have studied extensively the political process that in 1931 led to the Japanese invasion of Manchuria, taking into account both domestic conditions and the wider international context. Public opinion in Japan, however, has remained rather on the sidelines of research.

Picture: CC BY-SA 3.0 | Source

May 12, 2017

Demographischer Wandel als kommunalpolitische Herausforderung – Lösungsstrategien japanischer und deutscher Gemeinden

Der durch niedrige Geburtenraten, einen steigenden Anteil älterer, vor allem auch pflegebedürftiger Personen und einen Rückgang der Bevölkerung gekennzeichnete demographische Wandel trifft die Gemeinden in besonderem Maße. Hier wird auch die Komplexität der Herausforderung deutlich.

Unsere Konferenz wird diese demographische Herausforderung am Beispiel japanischer und deutscher Gemeinden erörtern sowie konkrete Lösungsstrategien auf nationaler wie auf lokaler Ebene vorstellen und diskutieren.

May 25, 2017

Seoul’s Namsan under Japanese Influence – Japanese Ritual Life and Assimilation Policy in Korea, 1890-1945

Namsan is a small mountain in central Seoul. It was used for propaganda both by the Japanese who settled there in the 1890s and by Koreans until the democratization of South Korea in the 1980s. However, as Namsan nowadays has become a famous leisure attraction for tourists as well as locals, the fact that it has a troubled and politically charged history is mostly forgotten.

This talk outlines the changes on Namsan around the period of Japanese rule. During that time, Shintō shrines and Buddhist temples were continuously built on and around Namsan, turning it into the center of Japanese ritual life. At the same time, by removing traditional Korean ritual sites, Koreans were estranged from their own spiritual traditions. From 1925, when the Japanese Government and the Government-General of Chōsen decided to build Chōsen Jingū on Namsan, the issue of Koreans visiting Namsan and taking part in Japanese ritual life became even more politicized. As a result, Namsan was slowly turned into a space of assimilation of Koreans into Japanese – a development that reached its pinnacle when Koreans were forced to pray at shrines during the wartime years.

May 11, 2017

Living Diversity: A Comparative View on Identity, Gender and Sexual Orientation in Contemporary Japan and Germany

Homogeneity is a myth. Diversity, on the other hand, has become a buzzword in Japan and elsewhere. It can be understood as both a chance for society to become more open and tolerant, or as a risk to grow heterogeneity and inequalities.

This panel discussion will reflect what diversity means for a society and how this is connected to the reality of everyday life. By focusing on issues of identity, gender and sexual orientation in Japan, Germany and beyond, we bring together two activists and a scholar who address multiple dimensions of diversity.

April 25, 2017

Culture at work. On the interplay of cultural change and job satisfaction in a Japanese multinational company

Job satisfaction in Japan has become a widely-debated issue, especially since research findings indicated that it ranks among the lowest in the world (e.g. Hipp and Givan Kolins 2015).
Moreover, surveys suggest that compared to other aspects of life, such as family or education, Japanese are least satisfied with their working lives (Holthus et al. 2015).

At the same time, global megatrends and market forces are reshaping Japanese workplaces, for example in the form of international mergers and acquisitions, which lead to direct confrontations of different cultures and elicit inevitable changes to the existing work culture. So far, however, the implications of such changes for organizational cultures and employee satisfaction have rarely been addressed in qualitative research. My study aims to provide a deeper understanding of the interrelations between job satisfaction, globalization and culture and asks to what extent job satisfaction interacts with and depends on culture.

Upcoming Events

September 28, 2017
  • DIJ Forum
    18:30 ~ 20:00

    "Changing dynamics of multilevel democracy in Japan"

October 6, 2017
  • Workshop
    ~ October 7, 2017

    "Do labour market inequalities erode support for democracy? Experiences and perspectives from France, Germany and Japan"

October 31, 2017
  • VSJF Annual Conference 2017
    ~ November 2, 2017

    “Rural Japan Revisited: Autonomy and Heteronomy in the Peripheries”

Call for Papers

Contemporary Japan
Issue 30, No. 1


DIJ Tokyo
Jochi Kioizaka Bldg. 2F
7-1 Kioicho Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
102-0094 Japan
Where to find us

+81 (0)3 3222-5077
+81 (0)3 3222-5420


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💡 #VSJF2017 will be held from 31 October – 2 November in 🇦🇹Vienna! More info and ✍️ registration: 🔎…

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Do labour market inequalities erode support for democracy? 💡 Joint workshop of DIJ, @EHESS_fr and JDZB in Paris.…

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Der 📰 #DIJNewsletter 55 ist erschienen! 👇 Downloads wie immer auf unserer Website: 🇩🇪 🇬🇧…