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Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien

Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien

Wir sind ein deutsches Forschungsinstitut mit Sitz in Tokyo. Unsere Forschung befasst sich mit dem modernen Japan im globalen Kontext.

Mehr Infos

Veranstaltungen und Aktivitäten

21. Juni 2019

Bullseye view: Developing a sociological method for studying happiness

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.


ORF Interviews: „Olympia 2020: Das Abenteuer Tokio“

Das DIJ wurde für den Bericht „Olympia 2020: Das Abenteuer Tokio“ in der ORF-Sendung „Sport am Sonntag“ (Erstausstrahlung: 16.06.2019, 18 Uhr im ORF) interviewt.

Die ganze Sendung können Sie sich in der Mediathek des Österreichischen Rundfunks ansehen (Zugriff nur aus Österreich möglich).

Das DIJ arbeitet momentan an einem Buch, welches eine große Bandbreite an Themen im Zusammenhang mit den Tokyo Olympics abdecken wird. Der Arbeitstitel lautet „Japan through the lens of the Tokyo Olympics“. Das Buch wird im Januar 2020 bei Palgrave erschienen.

14. Juni 2019

Local Responses to the Revision of the Seed Law: The Seed Registration System, GMOs and Rice

In January of 2018, the Japanese legislature abolished its 1952 Seed Law, which provided the legal basis for local agricultural committees that provide assistance to rice farmers including help with seeds, seed planting and nearly all aspects of rice farming. The abolishment of the law is related to a number of other key shifts currently at play in Japanese politics, including the reform of JA Zenchu (Japan Agriculture, the National Central Union of Cooperatives) and power shifts within the bureaucracy alongside international trade commitments. Consumer groups, especially those concerned with genetically modified organisms (GMOs), advocates for sustainable farming practices and those that insist on local control over food, argue that these changes may open rice farming to corporate control, including foreign ownership.

This research begins by examining the landscape of international legal frameworks related to GMOs and the domestic context that influenced changes occuring in agricultural policy including the repeal of the Seed Law.

Nicole L. Freiner, Bryant University

13. Juni 2019

Making the Most of Scarcity? The Role of Natural Assets in Pre-WWII Japanese Economic Development

What role did natural assets play in the rise of living standards in industrializing nations during the 19th and 20th century? In the case of Japan, initial conditions were characterized by an exceptionally efficient use, by the international standards of the time, of very scarce natural resources, particularly in forestry and silviculture (Totman 1989; Saito 2009, 2014). In spite of their scarcity, natural assets played a critical role in the initial phase of Japanese economic transformation, in the late Tokugawa and early Meiji. In this paper, we estimate the evolution of the comprehensive wealth, the total stock of assets per capita, which includes human and natural assets, and can be regarded as the most relevant indicator of sustainable well-being (Dasgupta 2001, 2009).

Jean-Pascal Bassino, ENS Lyon; CNRS research fellow at the French Research Institute on Japan at Maison Franco Japonaise

5. Juni 2019

Farmers, Local Agency, and the Development of Peri-Urban Spaces

This study provides a comprehensive examination of the postwar history of the Atago Mountain area as a mirror to reflect and interpret broader changes affecting peri-urban spaces in Japan. The Atago Mountain area is located on the outskirts of Kofu City, the capital of Yamanashi Prefecture. As with many other similarly-sized communities across Japan, the area changed from a rural into a peri-urban community over the postwar period. Once known for timber production, farmers have transitioned through a number of agricultural crops including mulberry, peaches, kiwi, table grapes, and grapes for wine. Agricultural land was also sold, and replaced with higher-end housing, now often unoccupied. A children’s museum was built. Grape tourism establishments and wineries went out of business. Solar panels, abandoned fields, and prefabricated apartments have split up the remaining farmland, which continues to form the foundation for the livelihoods of a shrinking number of local farm households.

3. Juni 2019

Technologies of Presence: Modeling Emotion in Robots with Heart

Intersections between entertainment industries and artificial intelligence research in Japan have resulted in a growing interest in modeling affect and emotion for use across a variety of media platforms, including wearable devices, virtual reality, and in particular companion robots. Combining advances in computing with market explorations in technologies of care and companionship, the most recent social robots created for popular consumption in Japan augment a sense of presence and intimacy by literally giving these platforms a face. This attention to the design and ascription of agency to media technologies enables a feeling of co-awareness that incorporates non-human entities into the social network of relationships. Moreover, as these robots connect human users while also inviting them to interact directly with robot bodies via tactile features such as furry bodies and wagging tails, with sensors connected to cloud-based artificial intelligence, they not only facilitate affective interactions but also enable the collection of new kinds of emotional data.

Daniel White, Freie Universität Berlin
Hirofumi Katsuno, Doshisha University

Please note, this Social Science Study Group will take place on June, Monday 3rd

23. Mai 2019

Androids and Virtual Reality – Simulations of the Human in Japanese Theatre

Contemporary artists are increasingly creating works that lack the presence of the human, as if to imagine a posthuman world, a posthumous world, a world without us. Such posthuman use of androids draws attention to the significance of negotiating different states of perception and transcending established value systems to sustain a viable position in a global world. But the human instinct to create images of ourselves is still strong, as we see not only in the androids used in the robot theatre of Ishiguro Hiroshi and Hirata Oriza, but also in such popular virtual idols as Hatsune Miku. Prof. Mari Boyd will situate the new 21st century development in Japanese robot/android theatre in two contexts: first, the karakuri (trick) automata popular from the 17th century and, second, the present national push in branding Japan as a society 5.0, i.e. a technology-based society emerging through the fourth industrial revolution.

Mari Boyd, Sophia University, Tokyo
M. Cody Poulton, University of Victoria, Canada

22. Mai 2019

Merits and Challenges of Deliberative Democracy in Japan

Like other representative democracies, Japan has been facing democratic challenges which have eroded democratic representation, political accountability and legitimacy. The voter-turn-out for the last Lower House elections, for instance, was at a record low. Consequently, the legitimacy of the parliamentary representatives was diminished. Decreasing trust in state elites has additionally fueled the political abstinence. To counteract this (partial) democratic “crisis”, Japanese national and local governments have implemented numerous democratic innovations, or in other words new institutionalized forms of participatory decision-making processes, especially deliberations.

Based on theoretical concepts dealing with the quality of democracy and with democratic innovations (Diamond and Morlino 2005; Smith 2009; Geissel 2012), this talk asks whether implementing deliberations can counteract the “crisis” of Japanese representative democracy. Therefore, two deliberative methods, namely mini-publics and deliberative polls, are evaluated in this talk.

Momoyo Hüstebeck, University of Duisburg-Essen

Nächste Veranstaltungen

27. Juli 2019
  • Workshops
    10:30 ~ 17:30

    Contemporary Japanese Theatre Workshop

1. August 2019
  • DIJ Forum
    18:30 ~ 20:30

    The Mountains Belong to Everybody? Conflicts about Recreational Forest use in Austria and Japan


Die Monographien des DIJ sind ab sofort
Open Access Open Access.

Downloads sind direkt hier verfügbar:
→ DIJ Monographien.

Bitte beachten Sie: Ausgaben sind ein Jahr nach der Erstveröffentlichung als Open Access verfügbar.

Join Us!

Das Institut sucht zu Beginn des Jahres 2020 eine Mitarbeiterin / einen Mitarbeiter (PDF, 68 KB).

DIJ 30th Anniversary

Anniversary Event

In October 2018 we celebrated the DIJ’s foundation 30 years ago — with lots of inspiring speeches and fruitful conversations.

→ Event page

Anniversary Booklet

„30 Years Interdisciplinary Research on Site. 1988 – 2018“

Our anniversary booklet gives an overview of the past 30 years here at the DIJ.
Available for download now!

→ Publication page

Call for Papers

Contemporary Japan
Ausgabe 32, Nr. 2
bis 1. August 2019

Contemporary Japan
Special Issue
bis 31. Juli 2019


DIJ Monographien, Volume 62

DIJ Monographien, Volume 62

„Parental well-being. Satisfaction with work, family life, and family policy in Germany and Japan“
— by Barbara Holthus and Hans Bertram


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DIJ Tokyo

✨📰✨ The #DIJNewsletter No. 59 is out now! As usual, German and English versions are available for download on our…

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DIJ Tokyo

Upcoming! 💡🔜 #DIJForum: "The Mountains Belong to Everybody? Conflicts about Recreational Forest use in Austria and…

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Torsten Weber

Great pleasure to welcome Professor Alexandra Ludewig's students of German Studies at the University of Western Aus…

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