Interdisciplinary Japanese Studies On Site

DIJ Newsletter 70

Winter 2022/23

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Welcome to the Winter 2022/23 issue!
The year 2022 is drawing to a close, but there is no end in sight to two major crises: the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine which, according to estimates, has already claimed more than 200,000 lives, as well as the repeated rise in global Covid-19 infection figures since mid-October. In Japan, the 50,000th death was registered in December. As a consequence of the pandemic, the average life expectancy of Japanese men and women declined for the first time in ten years in 2021, according to recent data published by the health ministry.
For the DIJ, 2022 meant a new dawn: in the summer, we were able to reopen the Institute for public on-site events, visiting scholars, PhD students, and interns. We also successfully tested hybrid event formats, which we will continue using to reach as large an audience as possible, both locally and globally. There has also been a major change internally, with the recent departure of our long-serving administrative staff. We bid them farewell and welcome their successors in this Newsletter. Also in this edition of the DIJ Newsletter: information on new publications and some of our recent academic and outreach activities in November and December.
We hope you will enjoy exploring this edition of the DIJ Newsletter. If you haven't yet done so, you can subscribe to receive it directly to your inbox here. We also welcome your feedback and updates to your email address via email to newsletter@dijtokyo.org
From all of us at the DIJ, we wish you a peaceful Christmas holiday and good start to the new year 2023!
Torsten Weber

Research News ・Neues aus der Forschung ・研究活動ニュース

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Photo © Franz Waldenberger

New Research Cluster on Sustainability
Sustainability and resilience lie at the heart of any long-term strategy. Whereas sustainability is concerned with the intertemporal allocation of scarce resources, resilience focuses on the ability to cope with adverse events. Projects in this new research cluster study developments and events that put sustainability and resilience in Japan at risk, such as fiscal debt, ageing and population decline, climate change, pandemic diseases, and natural disasters. They also analyse how and to what extent sustainability and resilience are conceived, pursued, and achieved. This new research cluster is led by Markus Heckel.

New Publications Gerade erschienen 新刊

2022 cover Alterung und Pflege als kommunale Aufgabe

Cover © Springer

New Book on Ageing and Elderly Care
Co-edited by DIJ director Franz Waldenberger, Hiroko Kudo, Tomoo Matsuda, and Gerhard Naegele, the open-access anthology Alterung und Pflege als kommunale Aufgabe analyses the challenges and strategies of ageing and elderly care in Japanese and German communities from a multidisciplinary perspective. Themes include civil society engagement, legal frameworks, caregiver shortages, technology concepts for care-giving, and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The book 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 (see below). A Japanese version of the book is being prepared.
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Cover © Taylor&Francis

New CJ Issue with Special Section on 3.11
The newest edition of Contemporary Japan (vol. 34, no. 2) features a special section on “Continuity and Change 10 Years after 3.11: Processes and Dynamics in State-Society Relations”, guest edited by Anna Wiemann, Florentine Koppenborg, and Tobias Weiss; an invited commentary by Norio Okada, who provides a reflection on his 30 years of fieldwork in so-called “depopulated areas”; and the English translation of the VSJF Prize Paper by Isabel Fassbender. The book review section covers English and German language publications in the fields of education, family, history, religious studies, and black studies.
Recent journal articles and book chapters by DIJ researchers include:

Forthcoming Publication ・Erscheint in Kürze ・ 近刊

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Cover © Routledge

Edited Volume Literature after Fukushima
This publication examines how aesthetic representation contributes to a critical understanding of the 3.11 triple disaster – the Great East Japan earthquake, tsunami, and meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in 2011. Based on key works from the 3.11 literature the book explores how the disaster reframed discourse in trauma studies, eco-criticism, regional identity, food safety, civil society, and beyond. Literature after Fukushima is the first English-language book to provide an in-depth analysis of a wide range of representative post-3.11 literature and its social ramifications. It is co-edited by Linda Flores and DIJ's Barbara Geilhorn.

DIJ News Aus dem DIJ研究所ニュース

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Photo © DIJ

DIJ Researchers meet Federal President
Several DIJ researchers participated in meetings and briefings with German Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his wife Elke Büdenbender during their recent visit in Japan. DIJ director Franz Waldenberger moderated a talk on volunteering in Germany and Japan (photo), Celia Spoden explained how avatars support the social inclusion of physically impaired people, and Nora Kottmann participated in a gender equality table at the reception in the German Embassy.
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Photo © Nichibunken

DIJ Research Partnership in Western Japan
In October, a delegation from the DIJ visited the German Consulate General in Osaka and the International Research Center for Japanese Studies (Nichibunken) in Kyoto to strengthen the DIJ’s research cooperation activities in the Kansai region. Ahead of the Osaka EXPO 2025, the DIJ is planning to start cooperation projects with the German diplomatic representation in Western Japan in 2023. At the Nichibunken, DIJ director Franz Waldenberger and Nichibunken’s Director-General Inoue Shōichi signed a memorandum of understanding which extends the current cooperation between both institutes.
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Photo © DIJ

Goodbyes After More Than Two Decades
After a total of more than 20 years at the DIJ, head of administration Joachim Röhr has left the Institute and retired. As a farewell, he served the traditional Feuerzangenbowle for a last time, which has become an integral part of our annual DIJ Christmas parties. We also had to say goodbye to Elisabeth Jakubassa, who worked for the DIJ as administrative assistant for more than 26 years. We thank both of them for their many years of service and wish them a happy retirement!
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Photo © DIJ

New Administrative Staff and Researchers
In October, we welcomed three new colleagues in our administration: Elisabeth Köller (MA Global History), centre, joined us from Forum Transregional Studies in Berlin as new head of administration; Sabina Muriale (MA Cultural Anthropology), left, and Patricia Schmitt (BA Japanese Studies, Bachelor of Laws in Administration), right, joined us as Administrative Assistants. In September, Michael Dietrich (History, MLU Halle-Wittenberg) became our first PhD student after the outbreak of the pandemic. In November, Sebastian Polak-Rottmann (PhD, University of Vienna) joined the DIJ as senior research fellow.
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Join the DIJ's Researcher Team
We are hiring a senior research fellow to conduct independent academic research in one of our current research clusters Digital Transformation, Japan in Transregional Perspective, or Sustainability and Resilience. The successful applicant must hold a PhD degree, have good knowledge of the Japanese language and research experience in Japan. The position is limited to three years, with a possibility of extension for another two years. It is to be filled from April 2023. The deadline for applications is 31 January 2023.

Past Events Vergangene Veranstaltungen最近のイベント

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Photo © DIJ

Japanese-German Conference on Ageing
Together with Chuo University, the Mitsubishi Research Institute, and TU Dortmund, the DIJ organised the conference 'Inclusion of Elderly Citizens in German and Japanese Communities: Civic Engagement and the COVID Pandemic' on 10 November. Eight speakers from Germany and Japan analysed the role of civic engagement in German and Japanese communities by and for elderly citizens as well as the impact of the pandemic on their living conditions. The conference was supported by the Japanese-German Center Berlin and Friedrich Ebert Foundation.
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Poster © DIJ/UWA

Workshop on the Intimate in the Pandemic
On 5 November, the DIJ hosted the international workshop 'The Intimate in and beyond Pandemic Times: Family, Personal Relationships and Singlehood'. Eight scholars presented papers in three sections on singlehood, the home and personal space in the city as well as relationships ‘beyond’ the heterosexual family. They addressed stay-at-home policies, teleworking, domestic violence, personal space, cohabitation among same-sex couples, and (solo)sociality. The workshop was organised by DIJ social scientist Nora Kottmann, Laura Dales, and Akiko Yoshida.

DIJ in the Media ・ In den Medienメディアで知るDIJ

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Screenshot © AP News

DIJ Expertise in International Media
In an interview with German radio HR Info, DIJ director Franz Waldenberger explained how Japan tries to tackle problems of ageing, retiring, and work. Given Japan's low labour productivity, late retirement and flexible re-employment may be solutions to demographic challenges Japan shares with Germany. For an AP news report, deputy director Barbara Holthus commented on the Japanese players' and fans' habit to clean up after their World Cup matches in Qatar. "From a very young age you learn you are responsible for the cleanliness of your own space", she explained.

Alumni News Unsere Ehemaligen DIJ 同窓会

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Photo © DIJ

DIJ Founding Director receives NIHU Prize
Josef Kreiner, Professor Emeritus of the University of Bonn and Visiting Researcher of Hosei University Research Center for International Japanese Studies, has been announced winner of the International Prize in Japanese Studies 2022 awarded by the Japanese National Institutes for the Humanities (NIHU). Josef Kreiner served as DIJ director from 1988 to 1996. "As founding director, Professor Josef Kreiner made a significant contribution to the positive reception and reputation of the DIJ in Japan. The award shows that his research is still held in extremely high esteem today. We are very happy for him and congratulate him very warmly", said DIJ director Franz Waldenberger. The award ceremony and commemorative lecture will take place on 20 January 2023 at The Japan Academy.
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Photo © DIJ

DIJ Alumni Meeting at VSJF Conference
At this year's annual meeting of the German Association for Social Science Research on Japan (VSJF) in Zurich, deputy director Barbara Holthus hosted a DIJ alumni gathering. The photo shows Barbara with Ursula Flache (2003-06, Staatsbibliothek Berlin), Steffen Heinrich (2014-19, FU Berlin), Hanno Jentzsch (2016-20, University of Vienna), Sonja Ganseforth (2017-22, University of Freiburg), and Susanne Kreitz-Sandberg (1995-2002, Stockholm University). Future alumni meetings are being planned.
If you are part of the growing group of DIJ alumni and have recently published a book or have any other news to share with us, please contact us via newsletter@dijtokyo.org

Social Media Soziale Medienソーシャルメディア

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Screenshot © YouTube

The Future of Liberalism now on YouTube
In June, the online symposium 'The Future of Liberalism' attracted more than 700 participants from around the globe. Videos of the keynote speech by French economist Thomas Piketty (EHESS), the round table discussion with Uno Shigeki (University of Tokyo) and Lisa Herzog (Groningen) as well as the opening session and concluding remarks are now available on the DIJ's YouTube channel. The conference was jointly organised by the DIJ, the French Institute of Research on Japan at the Maison franco-japonaise, and the Nippon Institute of Research Advancement.
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