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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

October 24, 2022

Japan-Stipendien für Promovierende

Für das Jahr 2023 vergibt das DIJ wieder attraktive Stipendien zur Förderung von Forschungsaufenthalten in Japan im Rahmen von Promotionsvorhaben. Die Stipendien sind mit zurzeit 2400 Euro/Monat dotiert und werden für die Dauer von drei bis maximal zwölf Monaten vergeben. Gefördert werden Forschungsaufenthalte, deren Beginn in den Zeitraum zwischen 1. Februar und 1. Dezember 2023 fällt. Über die Voraussetzungen sowie das Bewerbungsverfahren informiert unsere Stipendienordnung. Bewerbungsschluss für diese Ausschreibung ist der 11. Dezember 2022.

December 3, 2022

Barbara Holthus to deliver keynote lecture at AJJ 2022 conference


DIJ deputy director Barbara Holthus and Wolfram Manzenreiter (University of Vienna) will deliver the keynote lecture at the Anthropology of Japan in Japan (AJJ) Annual Meeting at Kyoto University on December 3, 2022. Their presentation “The Social DNA of Happiness: Looking back, looking ahead” will outline the main research foci and results in a field that has become increasingly informed by findings from genetics, sociology, and anthropology. It will also introduce findings from their own studies in the field of happiness and well-being in Japan, including the relationality of well-being and happiness in rural Japan; life satisfaction among parents with young children and in social-movements; a new research tool to illustrate the multidimensionality of well-being in interviews. Looking ahead, their presentation will address the need for more anthropological engagement in this world of permanent flux, instability, threatened democracies, climate crisis, and the Covid-19 pandemic.

November 8, 2022

Starke DIJ-Präsenz beim Japan-Besuch von Bundespräsident Steinmeier

Mehrere Forscher und Forscherinnen des DIJ nahmen in der vergangenen Woche an Veranstaltungen im Rahmen des Japan-Besuchs von Bundespräsident Frank-Walter Steinmeier und seiner Frau Elke Büdenbender teil. Zu den zentralen Anliegen ihres Aufenthaltes zählten gesellschaftlicher Zusammenhalt und Inklusion. DIJ-Direktor Franz Waldenberger (im Foto 2. von rechts) moderierte eine Diskussionsrunde zum Thema Freiwilligenarbeit in Deutschland und Japan, zu der der Bundespräsident und seine Frau junge engagierte Volunteers eingeladen hatten. Im DAWN Avatar Robot Café berichtete Sozialwissenschaftlerin Celia Spoden zusammen mit Kentarō Yoshifuji, CEO des OryLabs und Entwickler der OriHime, einer Delegation um Frau Büdenbender, wie der OriHime-Avatar die Selbstständigkeit, Freiheit und gesellschaftliche Partizipation von körperlich eingeschränkten Menschen unterstützt. Am Empfang des Bundespräsidenten in der Residenz des Deutschen Botschafters nahmen die stellvertretende Direktorin Barbara Holthus und Sozialwissenschaftlerin Nora Kottmann teil. Am Thementisch zu “Gender equality” diskutierte Nora mit Frau Büdenbender sowie dem ehemaligen DIJ-Beiratsmitglied Kaori Hayashi (Universität Tokyo), Yuko Hayashi (Universität Yamaguchi) und Karen Makishima (Mitglied des Unterhauses, ehemalige Digitalministerin) über “Starke Frauen in Japan”.

October 27, 2022

DIJ founding director receives prestigious Japanese Studies award


DIJ founding director Josef Kreiner has been announced winner of the International Prize in Japanese Studies 2022 awarded by the Japanese National Institutes for the Humanities (NIHU). “As founding director, Professor Josef Kreiner made a significant contribution to the positive reception and reputation of the DIJ in Japan. The award shows that his research is still held in extremely high esteem today. We are very happy for him and congratulate him very warmly”, said DIJ director Franz Waldenberger. Josef Kreiner is Professor Emeritus of the University of Bonn and Visiting Researcher of Hosei University Research Center for International Japanese Studies. He was instrumental in the negotiations that led to the founding of the DIJ in 1988 and served as its director from 1988 to 1996. The NIHU International Prize in Japanese Studies was established in 2019 with the aim to promote the development of Japanese Studies and deepen the understanding of Japanese culture internationally. The awards ceremony and commemorative lecture will take place on 20 January 2023 at The Japan Academy.

October 14, 2022

DIJ steps up research cooperation in Western Japan

On October 5 and 6, a delegation from the DIJ visited the German Consulate General in Osaka and the International Research Center for Japanese Studies (Nichibunken) in Kyoto to intensify the DIJ’s research cooperation activities in the Kansai region. Ahead of the EXPO 2025 in Osaka, the DIJ is planning to start cooperation projects with the German diplomatic representation in Western Japan next year. At the Nichibunken, DIJ director Franz Waldenberger and Nichibunken’s Director-General Inoue Shōichi signed a memorandum of understanding which extends the current cooperation between both institutes. The DIJ’s membership in the Consortium for Global Japanese Studies, which is administered by the Nichibunken, was also upgraded from observing to full member. The signing event was followed by the Nichibunken Evening Seminar where six DIJ researchers gave presentations on their research projects and exchanged with Nichibunken researchers on the current state and future of Japanese Studies.     

August 11, 2022

Job opening: Research Fellow in Asian Infrastructures at NUS

Screenshot ARI

The Asia Research Institute (ARI) at the National University of Singapore (NUS) invites applications for one Research Fellowship (Postdoctoral/Research Fellow) in Asian Infrastructures. This position is funded by a new research partnership between the DIJ and ARI which was concluded in July 2022. The position is based at NUS and the successful applicant is expected to commence duties in January 2023, or as soon as possible thereafter. Applicants are expected to hold a PhD degree (or awaiting conferment) and have research interests in a relevant area of the social sciences and a record of publication (or potential to deliver) in high impact journals and/or reputable publishing houses. The initial appointment will be for a period of two years, with the possibility of renewal for two more years. Closing date for applications is 30 September 2022. For more details on this position and the application procedure see here

July 22, 2022

Barbara Holthus comments on legacy of Tokyo Olympics

Screenshot © AP

One year ago the Tokyo Olympics were opened. What remains as their legacy? DIJ deputy director Barbara Holthus, who was a volunteer at the Games, commented on the Games’ legacy and Japan’s future Olympic ambitions for an AP article (21 July 2022). “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 it again without asking the people of Sapporo.” But Barbara also noted a positive shift in volunteers’ attitudes towards their involvement in the Games: whereas one year ago many of them “didn’t want to be seen in their neighborhood with the uniform on”, the “bad taste of the uniform now is kind of gone”, she explained. For more information on research related to the Tokyo Olympics, see the DIJ’s special project on the Tokyo Olympics and the open access book publication Japan Through the Lens of the Tokyo Olympics

July 20, 2022

New research partnership with Asia Research Institute

© Asia Research Institute

DIJ director Franz Waldenberger has signed a new research partnership on Asian infrastructures with the Asia Research Institute (ARI) at the National University of Singapore (NUS). The partnership is interested in infrastructures in a broad sense, focusing on knowledge networks, health and migration infrastructures, transport infrastructures, digital and financial infrastructure networks and nodes as well as China’s Belt and Road Initiative. This new research partnership with ARI replaces the Max Weber Foundation Research Group on Borders, Mobility and New Infrastructures that was established in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at NUS in June 2017. The new DIJ-ARI partnership will be coordinated jointly by ARI director Tim Bunnell, James D. Sidaway (Department of Geography, NUS), and Franz Waldenberger. See also announcement on ARI’s website here

Upcoming Events

  • International Conference (Day 1)
    13:00 ~ 18:30

    Caught yet blind in Indra’s Net: Reflections on Interconnected Crises in the Late Capitalist Anthropocene

  • International Conference (Day 2)
    08:30 ~ 12:30

    Caught yet blind in Indra’s Net: Reflections on Interconnected Crises in the Late Capitalist Anthropocene

  • DIJ Study Group
    18:00 ~ 19:30

    The Realization and Implementation of the “Growth-oriented Carbon Pricing Concept” in Japan

  • DIJ History & Humanities Study Group
    18:00 ~ 19:30

    Patronage and “Confucian Diplomacy”: New Perspectives on Early Modern Scholarship in Kaga Domain between 1650 and 1720

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    DIJ Brochure

    Please see the DIJ Brochure for more information about our institute (v. 4/2023)

    Special Project:
    Tokyo Olympics

    “Japan through the lens of the Tokyo Olympics”

    For more information see our
    → project page.

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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
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    Call for Submissions

    Contemporary Japan
    current issue Vol. 35, No. 1
    Contemporary Japan is open year-round for rolling submissions, with accepted publications published immediately online. Please see the instructions for submission here.