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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 21, 2024

DIJ co-organizes Annual Conference of the Japan Economy Network

Together with Hitotsubashi University, the DIJ co-organizes this year’s Sixth Annual Conference of the Japan Economy Network (JEN) on March 21-22. The conference features thirty-six speakers in ten sessions, including a dinner keynote speech by Nobuko Nagase (Ochanomizu University), chaired by DIJ economist Markus Heckel. DIJ advisory board member David Chiavacci (University of Zurich) will give a presentation on “Transnationalism and foreign workers in Japan: Between state policies and market forces”. The full programme is available here (PDF).

Event Series
March 19, 2024

Hybrid Study Group discusses Japanese career women’s identity conflict

© LMU Munich School of Management

This presentation explores how career-minded Japanese women experience and respond to identity conflict. Based on 125 in-depth interviews with Japanese women who face incompatible expectations for their roles in their professional and private lives, it shows how this dilemma leads to an identity conflict to which the women react with different identity work strategies: Individuals may either sacrifice their career ambitions or forego starting a family; alternatively, they might attempt to reconcile professional and personal role expectations by relinquishing perfectionism in both spheres, or seek partners whose personal expectations align more closely with their career objectives. While these strategies may resolve incompatible external role expectations, this study reveals that they do not effectively diminish internalized dilemmas. Possible solutions to resolve the dilemma will be discussed. Details and registration here

Helene Tenzer, LMU Munich School of Management
March 11, 2024

Harald Kümmerle speaker at Oxford’s Free and Open Indo-Pacific conference

© Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies

DIJ researcher Harald Kümmerle will present his paper on “‘Data Free Flow with Trust’ as a pillar of economic security in the digital realm” at the conference The Free and Open Indo-Pacific: Japan’s Strategic Vision Goes Global at Oxford University on March 11. Harald’s paper will highlight Japan’s initiative Data Free Flow with Trust (DFFT) as an important aspect of the development of economic security in the digital realm. He will discuss DFFT as a promising regulatory framework for the cross-border flow of non-personal data. One focus of his talk will lie on the data regulation and economic security discourse involving a variety of actors and positions that followed a scandal concerning the access of private data of Japanese social media users by a Chinese subcontractor firm. The two-day conference exploring the Indo-Pacific’s role in global politics is hosted by Oxford University’s Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies. Details here

Event Series
February 29, 2024

Hybrid Study Group on AI and Jesuit Written Artefacts

© Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel

Between 1595 and 1610, the first recorded contacts between Europeans and Japanese took place. In the Jesuit Colleges in Kyushu, lectures were delivered on Aristotelian philosophy, theology, and Ptolemaic cosmology. In Germany, almost 450 years later in 2019, this tripartite work on science and religion is discovered in the Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel: the first complete Japanese translation of the so-called Compendia compiled in Japan. Bridging the gap between computer science and historical linguistics, this talk will present a novel approach of understanding this written artefact by applying the possibilities artificial intelligence offers. It will address the challenges of finetuning AI-powered tools to historical Japanese, training AI models for text recognition in multiple text directions and writing systems, coding scripts tailored to historical romanization, and conducting quantitative analysis of a comparative text corpus of Jesuit codices. Details and registration here

Sophie Takahashi, Ruhr University Bochum/DIJ Tokyo
Event Series
February 21, 2024

Hybrid Study Group on Feminist Foreign Policy in Japan

© Women7/Yuichi Mori

In recent years, feminist foreign policy (FFP) has become a buzzword in foreign policy. Since 2015, the Japanese government has been trying to push for more gender equality in its foreign policy and adopted a National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security. In 2023, the Kishida cabinet appointed the second woman in Japan’s history as foreign minister and Japan’s latest National Action Plan includes even more gender-sensitive norms. At the same time, Japan is under intense scrutiny for consistently ranking last among G7 countries on gender equality and women’s empowerment. This clashes sharply with Japan’s international image as an ethically “good state”. Against this background, this lecture examines how Japan attempts to catch up with the international trend of FFP and the promotion of pro-gender norms in its foreign policy. Details and registration here

Annika Clasen, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf/DIJ Tokyo
March 14, 2024

DIJ researchers at conference on Digital Humanities and Digital History

DIJ researchers Harald Kümmerle and Nicole M. Mueller will participate in the international conference Exploring Epistemic Virtues and Vices: Data, Infrastructures, and Episteme between Collaboration and Exploitation in Luxembourg from March 14 to 16. Harald will deliver the keynote speech on “Epistemological challenges of doing research in/on Japan in the age of Digital Humanities”. Nicole will give her paper discussing “Epistemic Potentials and Pitfalls of Scalability” in the panel on Epistemic Virtues and Vices of Digital Research Practices. The conference is organized by the Luxembourg Centre for Contemporary and Digital History (C²DH) in collaboration with the German Historical Institute Washington, the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, and the DIJ. Details here

March 14, 2024

Workshop explores relationship in human-machine interaction

When humans and machines interact, do they form (real) relationships? At the workshop Relationship in Human-Machine Interaction, six keynote speakers will share insights on the relationship-building aspects of humans and robots, avatars, or devices. Their talks will cover social psychology, media studies, computer science, and engineering viewpoints, including a presentation by DIJ researcher Celia Spoden on avatar robots as alter ego for hospitalized students. The talks and discussions are followed by the interactive workshop “Detour: Brand characters, tonalities, and emotions”. The event highlights the potential of technology to support communication, ease loneliness and decrease isolation, and enable new ways to organize work and life. All participants are invited to join the discussions and share their perspectives. The workshop is organised by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the German Centre for Research and Innovation Tokyo (DWIH Tokyo). It is co-supported by the DIJ. Details and registration here

February 13, 2024

Barbara Holthus panelist at pet industry conference

As part of her research on the sociology of pets in contemporary Japan, DIJ deputy director Barbara Holthus will participate in a panel discussion on the challenges resulting from the cohabitation of humans and pets in Japan’s super-aged society. The panel is part of an event organised by the Japan Animalpic Committee, an association that promotes the well-being of and interactions between humans and animals. Other panelists include former Minister of State Katayama Satsuki, pet activists Katsumata Kazuyoshi (Japan Animalpic Committee), Ito Hiroshi (Medical Ark School), Hosoda Nobuyuki  (Japan Animalpic Committee), and dog trainer Ito Tetsuro. The event takes place on February 13 in Tokyo’s Office Building of the House of Representatives. Details and registration here (in Japanese)

Upcoming Events

  • DIJ Study Group
    18:30 ~ 20:00

    Fairness in Law: A Comparative Analysis of the Abuse of Rights Principle in Japan and Germany

  • DIJ Study Group
    18:30 ~ 20:00

    The Role of Imagined Futures in Gendered Educational Trajectories: Adolescents’ Expectations and Uncertainty in Japanese Selective High Schools

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    Call for Submissions

    Contemporary Japan
    current issue Vol. 36, No.1
    Contemporary Japan is open year-round for rolling submissions, with accepted publications published immediately online. Please see the instructions for submission here.

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    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



    DIJ-ARI Asian Infrastructures Research Partnership