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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.

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Veranstaltungen und Aktivitäten

23. April 2021

Barbara Holthus interviewed about Olympic volunteers

Screenshot © CNN

Three months before the scheduled opening of the Tokyo Olympics, DIJ deputy director Barbara Holthus was interviewed by Japanese and international media about Olympic volunteers. In Fuji TV’s news show ‚Viking More‘, Barbara explained that volunteers are provided only with insufficient measures to protect against a Covid infection. There are also neither PCR testing nor vaccinations planned for volunteers. In the Japanese daily Mainichi Shinbun, she commented that the Games should not be held in the midst of the pandemic as they would neither have the expected economic impact nor create a positive legacy. Barbara also appeared on a CNN TV programme which was broadcast 100 days before the scheduled opening of the Games on April 14. What was meant to be a „once-in-a-lifetime“ opportunity has now turned into „a really dangerous experience,“ she said. The video can be viewed here. For more information on research related to the 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

25. März 2021

Barbara Holthus quoted in international media about Tokyo Olympics


As the Olympic torch relay started this week, the Tokyo Olympics are back in the focus of international media. DIJ deputy director Barbara Holthus was interviewed and quoted by several media about the current mood in Japan towards the Olympics. For CNN International, Barbara comments on Japan’s lost opportunity to re-imagine itself and get an economic boost from Olympia-related tourism. In the New York Times, Barbara explains how the 110,000 volunteers are being prepared for their roles at the Games during the pandemic. In Austrian TV’s ORF Sport am Sonntag, she comments on the exploding costs and the likelihood of the Olympics going ahead as scheduled. For an AP News article, Barbara contextualizes the recent scandals over sexist comments. In Deutsche Welle, she explains why the decision to exclude foreign spectators is a concession to the Japanese people who have become increasingly skeptical of the Olympics. For more information on research related to the 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

10. März 2021

Barbara Holthus interviewed about 3.11 by German newspaper

© Frankfurter Rundschau

The German newspaper Frankfurter Rundschau has interviewed DIJ deputy director Barbara Holthus about the continuing effects of the ‚triple disaster‘ on Japanese society. In „Fukushima war eine Zäsur“ (Fukushima was a watershed), Barbara explains how 3.11 has caused the rebirth of social movements in Japan, increased mistrust of the Japanese government and of mainstream media, and also influences the critical attitude of many Japanese towards the Tokyo Olympics. „The anti-Olympics movement is directed, among other things, against the idea of the so-called Recovery Olympics: that the problem of Fukushima has been overcome. Of course, this is absolute eyewash, but that’s how the Games were advertised“. Barbara’s current research includes projects on Social movements and gender in post-3.11 Japan and a special project on the Tokyo Olympics. The newspaper article appeared online and in the FR’s print edition on March 10. A collection of DIJ research and publications related to 3.11 is available here.

23. Februar 2021

Election campaign film available on DIJ YouTube channel

Pictures at an Election is a 68 min. documentary that shows Japan’s electoral machinery in full steam and focuses on the question of how Japanese candidates try to appeal to voters. It depicts different strategies and techniques, and presents a lively picture of political culture in Japan. It was filmed by political scientist and then DIJ senior research fellow Axel Klein (now Duisburg-Essen University, Germany) during the electoral campaigning in July 2007. Until today the documentary has been distributed for free to more than 100 universities all over the world. Since the pandemic has made on campus teaching impossible and online access to teaching material has become indispensable, the DIJ and Axel Klein have decided to publish the documentary on the DIJ’s YouTube channel. Coincidentally, the (unintended) protagonist of the documentary, Marukawa Tamayo, became Minister in charge of Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equality and Minister of State for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games in February 2021. This documentary shows how she started her political career with her first election campaign. Details

22. Februar 2021

Torsten Weber quoted in Süddeutsche Zeitung article on Japanese history textbooks

© Süddeutsche Zeitung

DIJ historian Torsten Weber was interviewed by the German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung for an article on the debate about history textbooks in Japan. Torsten explains that due to the so-called „neighbouring country clause“ the majority of Japanese history textbooks presented a mainstream and relatively well-balanced narrative of Japanese imperialism and war-time aggression. The main objective of the textbooks was to prepare for entry exams. Consequently, they focused on teaching facts, causal relations, and omitted interpretations and controversial statements. Torsten gives the example of the Nanjing atrocities which are explicitly mentioned in the textbooks, including the victimization of Chinese civilians by the Japanese military. However, they avoided giving a number of victims as this remains a contested issue between the governments of Japan and the PR China. The article „Es geht um das, was nicht drinsteht“ (It’s about what’s not in it) appeared in the print version of the SZ on 22 February and can be read online here.

19. Februar 2021

DIJ researchers in Belgian and German media on Tokyo Olympics

Screenshot © De Standaard

DIJ human geographer Sonja Ganseforth and historian Torsten Weber are quoted in newspaper articles in the Belgian daily De Standaard and the German weekly Die Zeit. Sonja comments on recent criticism in Japan of the Tokyo Olympics. „Activists have been criticizing the exorbitant spending and corruption in the run-up to the Games for years“, she is quoted in the article „Japanners vrezen dat Spelen zullen fungeren als superverspreider“ (Japanese fear that Games may act as superspreader). „The expensive postponement due to the Covid crisis also leads to skepticism“, Sonja says. Torsten’s comments on how the Tokyo Olympics have become linked to promoting nationalism in Japan are quoted in „Olympia 2021 in Japan: Japans Nationalisten und ihr Plan mit den Spielen“ (Japan’s nationalists and their plan with the Games). Their research on the impact of the 2020 Olympics on Japanese society is part of the DIJ’s special project on the Tokyo Olympics and the open access book publication Japan Through the Lens of the Tokyo Olympics.

4. Februar 2021

Online cooperation meeting with University of Vienna

Screenshot Zoom Meeting

On February 4, seven researchers from the DIJ and its cooperation partner at the University of Vienna met online. Due to the pandemic, Vienna doctoral students are forced to modify their Japan research: travel to Japan has not been possible for over a year, and the doctoral students turn to hiring a Japanese company to conduct survey research on their behalf. DIJ deputy director Barbara Holthus and DIJ researchers Sonja Ganseforth and Nora Kottmann, who have all conducted their own surveys in Japan provided hands-on advice on research companies, costs involved, possible sampling strategies, questionnaire construction and the importance of sharei (incentives). Former DIJ PhD students Florian Purkarthofer and Dennis Askitis as well as Stefan Hundsdorfer, who are all currently doctoral students at Vienna, attended the meeting. It was part of the tight-knit cooperation between the DIJ and Japanese Studies at the University of Vienna. The cooperation started in 2010 with Wolfram Manzenreiter, who also participated in the online meeting, joining the editorial board of Contemporary Japan. Since 2014, one DIJ researcher per year has been teaching a class in Vienna.

25. Januar 2021

Barbara Holthus im DLF Kultur-Interview zu Tokyo 2020

© Franz Waldenberger

Ein halbes Jahr vor der geplanten Eröffnung der olympischen Spiele hat Soziologin und stellvertretende Direktorin Barbara Holthus im Interview mit DLF Kultur die geschwundene Olympia-Begeisterung in Japan kommentiert. Die Euphorie von 2013, als Tokyo die Spiele zugesprochen wurden, sei Skepsis und Unverständnis über die ausufernden Kosten gewichen. Meinungsumfragen zufolge befürworteten aktuell rund 80% der Bevölkerung eine Absage oder neuerliche Verschiebung. In der andauernden Pandemie bestünde zudem die Gefahr, dass „Olympia zu einem Super-Spreader-Event würde“, so Holthus. Dennoch wolle „Tokyo unbedingt diese Spiele haben, komme was wolle“. Barbara Holthus ist Mitherausgeberin des Olympia-Buches Japan through the lens of the Tokyo Olympics (Routledge 2020, open access), das Japans Gesellschaft, Politik und Wirtschaft anhand der Vorbereitungen auf Tokyo 2020 untersucht. Das DLF-Interview kann hier nachgehört werden.   

Nächste Veranstaltungen

27. September 2021
  • Workshop
    19:00 ~ 21:00

    Studying Japan. Perspectives from 'Inside' and 'Outside'

30. September 2021
  • DIJ Gender & Sexuality Lecture Series
    18:30 ~ 20:00

    Touching the Unreachable: Love of the Object and of the Self through Kawabata

  • MWS Web Forum Series 'The Digital Transformation'
    21:00 ~ 23:00

    Governance in the Digital Age

7. Oktober 2021
  • DIJ Business & Economics Study Group
    18:00 ~ 19:30

    Japan’s economic management: decades of self-induced paralysis?

  • Workshop (Tag 1)
    21:00 ~ 00:00

    Fascism in Motion: Concepts, Agents and the Global Experiences

8. Oktober 2021
  • Workshop (Tag 2)
    ~ Oktober 9, 2021

    Fascism in Motion: Concepts, Agents and the Global Experiences

9. Oktober 2021
  • Workshop (Tag 3)
    ~ Oktober 10, 2021

    Fascism in Motion: Concepts, Agents and the Global Experiences

Vorübergehende Schließung des Instituts

Einer Empfehlung des japanischen Ministeriums für Gesundheit, Arbeit und Wohlfahrt bezüglich Maßnahmen zur Eindämmung des Coronavirus folgend bleibt das Institut (inkl. Bibliothek) bis auf Weiteres für Publikumsverkehr geschlossen.

DIJ Forschung zum 11. März

Eine Übersicht über aktuelle Publikationen und Aktivitäten des Instituts und seiner Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftler zu den Folgen der Dreifachkatastrophe vor zehn Jahren finden Sie auf unserer Sonderseite 10 Years After 3.11 – A Collection of DIJ Research on the ‚Triple Disaster‘

Neue Konjunkturprogramme oder doch Normalisierung der Geldpolitik? DIJ Ökonom Markus Heckel kommentiert die geldpolitischen Maßnahmen der Bank of Japan in @DiePressecom: "in der Rhetorik wird
oft versucht, die Risiken runterzuspielen." ... @FelixLill

How does #DigitalTransformation impact gender equality, health & regulation? Find out in the 2nd session 'Governance in the Digital Age' of our Web Forum Series, Sept 30 (9 pm JST) with speakers @hayaschik ... @mesahinol @franzDIJTokyo

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Tokyo Olympics

„Japan through the lens of the Tokyo Olympics“

Weitere Informationen finden Sie auf unserer → Projektseite.

DIJ Monographienreihe

Unsere Monographien sind nach einem einjährigen Embargo Open Access Open Access und können hier heruntergeladen werden:
→ DIJ Monographien

Call for Submissions

Contemporary Japan
Aktuelle Ausgabe Vol. 33, Nr. 2
Contemporary Japan akzeptiert Einsendungen ganzjährig ohne Abgabefrist. Zur Veröffentlichung angenommene Artikel werden umgehend online publiziert. Weitere Details finden Sie hier.


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Max Weber Foundation Research Group on Borders, Mobility and New Infrastructures