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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

March 18, 2023

DIJ researchers at AAS conference in Boston


DIJ historian David M. Malitz and social scientist Nora Kottmann will present results from their latest research at the upcoming annual conference of the Association for Asian Studies (AAS) in Boston. David will give his paper “Written out of History: Japanese-Siamese (Thai) Relations Prior to the 1932 Revolution” in the panel Hedging Towards Hegemony: Deconstructing the Myth of the “Bamboo Diplomacy” in Thailand. Nora is organizer and chair of the panel Privileged transnational families in and from East Asia: Gendered practices, gendered spaces? Her paper “(Un)Voluntarily trapped in heteronormativity: Familial decision making of transnational professionals in Tokyo” analyzes how and where transnational corporate professionals and their families ‘do family’ from a gender perspective.

February 17, 2023

Franz Waldenberger chairs panel on ‘Digital and green transformation’

© Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies

DIJ director Franz Waldenberger will chair the panel ‘Digital and green transformation’ at the two-day conference Reforming Capitalism, Going Digital and Going Green: Does Japan Hold Answers? organized by Oxford University’s Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies. Its goals are to go behind the international headlines on inflation, cost of living crises, and interest rates to ask what can we learn from the Japanese experience of our shared challenges. Topics include productivity and investment, ‘leveling up’, digital and green transformation, and the common quest to reform capitalism and build a new ‘growth model’. The conference brings together sixteen experts from Japan and Europe, across the academic, business, and political spectrum to help develop shared solutions to our shared problems. It takes place on February 17-18, 2023 at Saïd Business School in Oxford. Details and programme here

February 20, 2023

Online roundtable on Japanese-Thai Defense Relations in the Indo-Pacific Era

© Prime Minister’s Office of Japan

In December 2022, the Japanese government announced major changes to its defense policies, including a new National Security Strategy. As a founding member of ASEAN enjoying long and close relations with Japan, Thailand offers an interesting case study of Japan’s defense diplomacy in the region. Since 2005, Japan has been participating in annual US-Thai hosted multinational military exercises. At the same time, Thailand has also strengthened its defense relationship with China. Nevertheless, a bilateral defense agreement was signed in May 2022 during Prime Minister Kishida’s visit to Thailand. This online roundtable will explore Japanese-Thai defense relations in the light of Japan’s new National Security Strategy, of the Japanese-Thai bilateral defense agreement, and of the closer relations between Thailand and China from Japanese and Thai perspectives. Moderated by DIJ’s David M. Malitz, it features Saya Kiba (Kobe City University of Foreign Studies/National Defense Academy of Japan) and Kitti Prasirtsuk (Thammasat University, Bangkok). Details here

February 2, 2023

Barbara Holthus comments on Japanese living abroad for Japan Times article

Screenshot Japan Times

According to a recent survey by the Japanese Foreign Ministry a record number of Japanese nationals (557.034) were living abroad as permanent residents in 2022. The figure has nearly doubled from 285.705 in 2002. International marriages, work-related postings, seeking a better environment for child-rearing or job opportunities are seen as factors behind the steady rise of Japanese living abroad. Commenting for a Japan Times article (2 February 2023) on why more than 60% of those are women, DIJ sociologist Barbara Holthus explains that women tend to be more open to experiencing a life overseas. In addition, Japan’s gender gap and the pursuit of work-life balance are also behind their choices. “The opportunity costs in Japan are still very high. You still can’t have it all. You can’t have a career and a fulfilling marriage and kids”.

January 23, 2023

Nora Kottmann nimmt an Förderungsprogramm “Zia – Visible Women in Science” teil

© Phil Dera

Um Frauen in der Wissenschaft noch sichtbarer zu machen, hat der Zeitverlag Gerd Bucerius GmbH das Förderungsprogramm “Zia – Visible Women in Science” initiiert. Förderinstitutionen sind das Deutsche Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, die Hochschulen Bonn-Rhein-Sieg und Ruhr West, die Universitäten Heidelberg, Köln und Potsdam, der Hochschulmedizin Deutschland e.V., das Berlin Institute of Health und die Max Weber Stiftung. Für den Förderplatz der Max Weber Stiftung, der das Deutsche Institut für Japanstudien angehört, wurde Nora Kottmann ausgewählt. In den kommenden zwölf Monaten wird sie Gelegenheit haben, an Fellow-Netzwerktreffen mit Förderern, Netzwerkpartnern und Role Models sowie drei Live-Workshops teilzunehmen. Im Fokus der Initiative stehen interdisziplinäre Vernetzung, Austausch, individuelle Entwicklung, Sichtbarkeit und voneinander Lernen. Mehr Informationen zum Programm finden Sie in der Pressemitteilung des Zeitverlags hier

December 9, 2022

DIJ Newsletter Winter 2022/23


The winter issue of our DIJ Newsletter provides up-to-date insights into our research and publication activities, looks back to recent DIJ events, introduces new staff, and gives updates on our outreach as well as on DIJ alumni actvities. We hope you will enjoy exploring this new edition of the DIJ Newsletter. If you haven’t done so yet, you can subscribe to receive our Newsletters directly to your inbox. The full issues and subscription form are available here.

November 1, 2022

New issue of Contemporary Japan with special section on 10 years after 3.11

© Taylor&Francis

The newest edition of Contemporary Japan (vol. 34, no. 2)  features a special section on “Continuity and Change 10 Years after 3.11: Processes and Dynamics in State-Society Relations”, guest edited by Anna Wiemann, Florentine Koppenborg and Tobias Weiss; an invited commentary by Norio Okada (Tottori University), who provides a fascinating reflection on his 30 years of fieldwork in so-called “depopulated areas”; and the English translation of the 2022 VSJF Prize Paper by Isabel Fassbender. Rounding out the issue, the book review section covers English and German language publications in the fields of education, family, history, religious studies, and black studies. Please see the full issue here

February 10, 2023

Joint DIJ & ICAS book talk The EU Migrant Generation in Asia

© Bristol University Press

Jointly with the Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies (ICAS) at Temple University Japan, the DIJ sponsors the book talk The EU Migrant Generation in Asia – Middle-Class Aspirations in Asian Global Cities (Bristol UP, 2022) by Helena Hof. Hof’s book studies early-career migration by young Europeans and the changing outlook of Japan and Singapore. It shows how migration to Asian business centres has become a way of distinction and an alternative way of middle-class reproduction. Japan’s and Singapore’s changing migration regimes, however, pose different barriers to the migrants, which results in ambiguous feelings towards their host societies. Helena Hof is Senior Research and Teaching Fellow at the University of Zurich and a Research Fellow at the Socio-Cultural Department of the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity. The talk takes places on February 10 from 19:00-20:30 JST at Temple University Japan Campus. Registration is not required.

Upcoming Events

March 1 – May 15, 2023

Book exhibition Mori Ōgai

  • International Conference of the Max Weber Foundation
    14:00 ~ 18:00

    Transnational Research in a Multipolar World (Day 1)

  • International Conference of the Max Weber Foundation
    09:00 ~ 20:00

    Transnational Research in a Multipolar World (Day 2)

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    DIJ Brochure

    Please see the DIJ Brochure for more information about our institute (v. 7/2022)

    Special Project:
    Tokyo Olympics

    “Japan through the lens of the Tokyo Olympics”

    For more information see our
    → project page.

    Registration is now open for the Max Weber Foundation @webertweets Conference 'Transnational Research in a Multipolar World', May 8-9 @dij_tokyo @SophiaUniv_ENG. Keynote on world history & panels on international conflict, academic ... freedom, gender. Details

    Reminder: You can still sign up for tomorrow's ONLINE DIJ Method Talk with @drchikawatanabe who will discuss 'Patchwork Ethnography: Interpenetrations of the Personal and the Professional in Research' @kott_no Registration ...

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