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Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien


German Institute for Japanese Studies
3-3-6 Kudan-Minami, Chiyoda-ku
Tokyo 102-0074
Tel: 03-3222-5077
Fax: 03-3222-5420


Registration Info

Registration is necessary and can be made until December 3. Please contact

Linguistic landscaping in changing language regimes – the case of Japan

December 11, 2004

 Linguistic landscape research deals with language on signs. It is a relatively new research field concerned with problems of multilingualism, language contact, language rights, and language planning. The study of the linguistic landscape casts light on existing language regimes and ongoing transformation processes.
This workshop examines the linguistic landscape of Japan. It brings together various research perspectives, including city and traffic planning, multilingualism research, and economics. The aim of the workshop is to reflect on the growing linguistic diversification of the Japanese society and how this development becomes manifest in the country’s linguistic landscape.


Welcoming remarks

Florian Coulmas

German Institute for Japanese Studies

10.00 - 12.00
Session 1


Inoue Fumio (Tokyo University of Foreign Studies)

Multilingualism and the linguistic landscape (J)

Shōji Hiroshi (National Museum of Ethnology)

Braille in the city – About a survey of Braille signs on the handrails of the stairs in Tokyo railway stations (J)

Yamashiro Kanji (Tokyo Society for the Protection of Visually Disabled Persons’ Lives and Rights)

12.00 - 13.00

13.00 - 15.00
Session 2


Shōji Hiroshi

The administrative background to Tokyo's linguistic landscape (J)

Peter Backhaus

German Institute for Japanese Studies

The linguistic landscape in areas with high concentration of Korean population – Examples of Osaka's Ikuno Ward and Tokyo's Shinjuku Ward (J)

Kim Miseon (Kwansei Gakuin University)

15.00 - 15.30
Coffee Break

15.30 - 17.30
Session 3


Florian Coulmas

German Institute for Japanese Studies

Multilingual shop signs in Tokyo

Laura MacGregor (Gakushuin University) (E)

The role of economics in linguistic landscaping

Inoue Fumio (Tokyo University of Foreign Studies) (J)

* J = presentation in Japanese, E = presentation in English
* The time for each presentation contains ca. 30 minutes for discussion