New edited volume studies German and Japanese approaches to ageing and elderly care in communities
The contributions to the open-access anthology Alterung und Pflege als kommunale Aufgabe: Deutsche und japanische Ansätze und Erfahrungen (in German) describe and analyse the challenges and strategies of ageing and elderly care in Japanese and German communities from a multidisciplinary perspective. Themes include legal frameworks, civil society engagement, caregiver shortages, technology concepts for caregiving, and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the situation of elderly citizens and those in need of care. The comparison of the approaches and experiences of both countries broadens the options for actions and can provide impulses for a reorientation of existing strategies. The book is co-edited by DIJ director Franz Waldenberger, Hiroko Kudo (Chuo University), Tomoo Matsuda (Mitsubishi Research Institute), and Gerhard Naegele (TU Dortmund). It is an outcome of the project Ageing and Elderly Care in German and Japanese Communities whose results were recently presented at an international conference in Tokyo (Details). A Japanese version of the book is currently being prepared.
New open access article studies effects of pandemic on singles’ relationships
Singles (unmarried individuals) are a growing part of the Japanese population that has not received much attention in the context of the COVID pandemic. A new article by DIJ social scientist Nora Kottmann and Laura Dales (University of Western Australia) addresses the ways in which the pandemic and its associated interventions affect singles’ personal relationships and practices of intimacy as well as perceptions of singlehood and ‘solo activities’. Based on exploratory analyses of data from an online survey conducted in early 2021 , “Doing Intimacy in Pandemic Times: Findings of a Large-Scale Survey Among Singles in Japan” (Social Science Japan Journal, online first) shows that changes of practices of intimacy throughout the pandemic are less dramatic than anticipated. Nevertheless, changes are highly gendered and seem to support media and public discourse on how individuals are coping with the pandemic: an increase in social isolation, distress, acceptance of being single, and ‘solo activities’.
New article by David M. Malitz studies influence of Meiji Constitution on Siamese/Thai political thought
A new research article by DIJ historian David M. Malitz studies how the Meiji Constitution of 1889 and the Japanese Imperial Diet became crucial reference points in the development of Siamese/Thai political ideas from the 1880s to the 1940s. Published in the International History Review (October 2022), “‘What Is Good about the Japanese System of Governance?’ — The Reception of Imperial Japanese Parliamentarism in Siamese/Thai Political Thought (1880s–1940s)” is based on David’s contribution to the Symposium on the Occasion of the 130th Anniversary of the Opening of the Japanese Parliament, which he organized in November 2020 with the DIJ.
New book publication on Japan in transition
DIJ director Franz Waldenberger and deputy director Barbara Holthus have each contributed one chapter to the German-language publication Japan. Ein Land im Umbruch (“Japan. A country in transition”), recently published by Bebra Verlag Berlin. The book’s 17 chapters look at Japan’s past, present, and future to explain the country’s struggle with the challenges of an ageing society, geopolitical conflicts, and the consequences of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Franz’ chapter “Armer Staat, reiches Land. Japans Staatsverschuldung” (Poor state, rich country. Japan’s national debt) explains why Japan’s record debts is a solution rather than problem. Barbara’s chapter “Covid-Olympia 2020/2021. Japans Wunsch nach Neuerfindung” (Covid Olympics 2020/2021. Japan’s desire for reinvention) studies in how far the Tokyo Olympics have contributed to more sustainability, diversity, and inclusion in Japanese society. The book is co-edited by DIJ alumna Verena Blechinger-Talcott (FU Berlin), David Chiavacci (Zurich), and Wolfgang Schwentker (Osaka). Details here
The autumn issue of our DIJ Newsletter provides up-to-date insights into our research and publication activities, recent and upcoming events, news from the institute, a new article in our Catchword series (kokusō), updates on our outreach activities, and DIJ alumni news. We hope you will enjoy exploring this new edition of the DIJ Newsletter. If you haven’t done so yet, you can subscribe to receive our Newsletters directly to your inbox. The full issues and subscription form are available here.
New Working Paper studies East and Southeast Asian perspectives on Russia’s war on Ukraine
How have societies in East and Southeast Asia reacted to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine? This open access collection of essays provides preliminary answers from Japan, Thailand, the Philippines, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, and ASEAN. Focusing on press and social media, they reveal that the responses to the war are heterogeneous and may not always agree with the foreign policy stances by the respective governments. The essays are published as Working Paper No. 135 in the East Asian Studies series (Institute of East Asian Studies, University of Duisburg-Essen), edited by DIJ’s David M. Malitz and Surachanee Sriyai (Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok). David’s own paper (“Strong Public Support for the Japanese Responses to the Russian Invasion of Ukraine”) outlines the Japanese government’s economic sanctions, delivery of equipment to Ukraine, and acceptance of Ukrainian refugees. Against the background of the strained Japanese-Russian relations, it explains why the public in Japan has been supportive of Ukraine and of these responses by the government.
New article on romantic and familial relationships in Japanese TV dramas
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on love, marriage, and family life. Employing both social science and cultural studies perspectives, this new article by DIJ social scientist Nora Kottmann, Forum Mithani, and DIJ alumna Elisabeth Scherer discusses romantic and familial relationships and their respective depictions in four Japanese romantic dramas (ren’ai dorama) produced under pandemic conditions. The article touches upon the COVID-19 pandemic and related policies in Japan, elaborates on conditions of TV production during the pandemic, and asks: How have TV series addressed love, dating and (marital) relationships during the pandemic? “Screening Love: Relational practices in Japanese TV dramas produced during the COVID-19 pandemic” (Japan Focus: The Asia-Pacific Journal 20 (14/3): 1–21) identifies a trend consistent with ‘re-traditionalization’ on the one hand, and depictions of diverse, unconventional relational practices that are critical of the marital institution on the other. It is available open access.
We have just published the summer issue of our DIJ Newsletter featuring updates on our research, publications, and events, including a new research project on Green Finance; a symposium on Art in the Countryside in August; introducing a DIJ visiting professor and our new DIJ brochure; a new article in our Catchword series (LINE Mondai); Alumni news; and a milestone in our Twitter outreach. We hope you will enjoy exploring this new edition of the DIJ Newsletter. If you haven’t done so yet, you can subscribe to receive it directly to your inbox. The full issues and subscription form are available here.