Events and Activities
Studying Japan: The impact of transnationalization and technological innovation on methods, fieldwork and research ethics
During two days an interdisciplinary group of renowned scholars from Australia, Europe, Singapore and the US will discuss new trends, opportunities and challenges that have changed the conduct of research on Japan. Starting out with a general discussion of research methods in area studies as well as social science research on Japan, the conference will discuss practices of collecting, analyzing and presenting data and findings individually, and the role and function of these practices within the whole research process. The conference focuses mainly on the methodological opportunities and challenges brought about by transnationalization as well as by technological innovations and digital transformation, with attention being paid to good research practice and ethics.
The conference is organized by Cornelia Reiher (Freie Universität Berlin) and Nora Kottmann (German Institute for Japanese Studies Tokyo) and jointly funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), the German Institute for Japanese Studies (DIJ), the Freie Universität Berlin and the Ernst-Reuter-Gesellschaft.
This workshop investigates recent themes and issues in contemporary Japanese theatre. Themes that will be discussed include regional theatre, theatre and community, the role of the avantgarde and contemporary challenges. We consider some of the urgent issues that Japanese theatre is addressing today. Featuring a mix of presentations by senior scholars and new voices in the field, this workshop is open to everyone interested in theatre in the contemporary world. Presentations are in English.
Recreational outdoor sports, such as hiking, mountain biking, and trail running are enjoying increased popularity in Japan and worldwide. Proponents argue that these activities contribute to physical and mental health on the one hand and bring about economic and social benefits for rural areas on the other. At the same time there are concerns of over-use and environmental degradation. Focusing on mountain biking, Prof. Yuichiro Hirano and Prof. Wolfram Manzenreiter will be comparing the current situation in Austria and Japan and try to line out possible futures for sustainable outdoor tourism that benefits rural areas and protect the environment equally.
Yuichiro Hirano, Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, Tsukuba
Wolfram Manzenreiter, University of Vienna
The DIJ travels to Leiden. The ICAS conference is held July 10 to 15 in Leiden, the Netherlands. More than 2000 scholars are expected to present their research.
The DIJ is represented through Barbara Holthus, Hanno Jentzsch and Nora Kottmann. Nora is the organizer of the panel on (No) Sex in the City, in which she and Barbara present their research. Hanno will present his paper on Governing the Man-Made Disaster – Revitalizing Local Governance in Japan’s Peripheries.
Detailed information on the breadth of the DIJ research activities and publications is available at the Max Weber Foundation exhibition table in the book exhibit hall. Please come see us there!
Looking forward to seeing many of you in Leiden!
Negotiating Difference: Educational Experiences of Deaf and Hard-of-hearing Students in Mainstream Japanese Schools
Japan is part of a global trend in which enrollment in schools for the deaf is in decline due to a pedagogical shift: first towards ‘integration’ and later towards ‘inclusion’. As a result, it is rapidly becoming the norm for deaf and hard-of-hearing students in Japan to be educated alongside hearing peers rather than among deaf and hard-of-hearing ones. Comparative research suggests that these mainstreamed students face social neglect and isolation. Yet, as studies have shown, Japanese youth are not passive actors. They can work to actively interpret and transform their situation.
This presentation focuses on the results of a 15-month ethnographic study on young (18 to 24 year-old) Japanese self-identified ‘inte’ (a shortened version of the loanword for integration) who were educated in ‘hearing schools’.
Jennifer M. McGuire, Doshisha University
How the current Chinese leadership views Japan is not just a question concerning both major countries in East Asia. It is also interwoven with a series of Chinese domestic troubles and crises: how to deal with Japan both as a major contributor to the industrial upgrading of the Chinese economy and as an essential competitor in Asia and beyond; how to handle Tokyo in the light of its ever closer alliance with the United States which aims at containing China’s rise; how to fulfill, in the light of these constraints, the superpower promise that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has given to the Chinese people.
This presentation will outline Beijing’s internal predicaments and its changing perspectives on Japan. It will also address Chinese concerns about Japanese efforts to involve a growing number of European countries into the geopolitical competition with China, for example in the South China Sea.
Shi Ming, Berlin
Happiness research has gained tremendous popularity, yet research by anthropologists and sociologists trails behind in comparison to economists and psychologists. A sociological study that aims to understand the multidimensionality of happiness in Japan by focusing on a culture-sensitive understanding of happiness remains a desideratum. Therefore we developed a three-partite approach to studying happiness and life satisfaction: (1) word association, (2) in-depth conversation on happiness and life satisfaction issues using a bullseye-structured chart, which we refer to as “board game”, with tokens for visualization of dimensions’ overall importance, and satisfaction and dissatisfaction with them, (3) three quantitative questions on happiness, followed by in-depth discussion to tie to the multitude of existing quantitative studies. To test the methodology, we conducted 23 semi-structured interviews with Japanese men and women in rural Japan. We find that happiness is multidimensional, is an interpretative process, varies over the life course, and that the desire to maximize happiness is not universal. We argue to have created a methodology which we believe can be modified to be used in any country and with diverse population groups, while remaining culture-sensitive throughout.