Interdisciplinary Japanese Studies On Site

DIJ Newsletter 72

Summer 2023

Welcome to the Summer 2023 issue!
Summer, sunshine, heat, and sweat it is that time of the year again. But summer also means conference season. Traditionally, a large delegation of DIJ researchers and alumni attend the tri-annual conference of the European Association for Japanese Studies, as will also be the case this year in Ghent in August (see below).
In May, the DIJ successfully hosted the Max Weber Foundation Conference 'Transnational Research in a Multipolar World', co-organized with Sophia University (details below). One of its key themes was global challenges to academic freedom, a very timely topic given the rise of autocratic regimes and populist tendencies in democracies. The keynote speech by Kaoru Iokibe (University of Tokyo) is now available on the DIJ's YouTube channel. Also in this edition of the DIJ Newsletter: a farewell after 34 years and welcomes to new DIJ team members, Alumni news, information on new publications as well as a selection of our recent academic and outreach activities.
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 email address updates via email to newsletter@dijtokyo.org
From all of us at the DIJ, we wish you an enjoyable summer season, wherever you are!
Torsten Weber

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

Logo © EAJS

DIJ Researchers at EAJS Conference
Six DIJ researchers and more than twenty DIJ alumni will present their latest research at this year's tri-annual conference of the European Association for Japanese Studies (EAJS). Paper presenters include Franz Waldenberger and Markus Heckel (Economics, Business and Political Economies section), Nora Kottmann (Anthropology and Sociologies section), Torsten Weber (History section), Sebastian Polak-Rottmann (Urban, Regional and Environmental Studies section), and Sarah Pützer (Modern Literatures section). The conference takes place at Ghent University from August 17-20, 2023.

New Publications Gerade erschienen 新刊

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Cover © Routledge

CJ Special Issue on Tokyo Olympics
Tokyo Olympics 2020: Between Dream and Contention is the title of a Special Issue of Contemporary Japan, guest edited by David Chiavacci and Iris Wieczorek. It features an interdisciplinary collection of seven articles covering the success/failure of the Olympics for various stakeholders, urban development strategies, media narratives, online political discourses, the anti-Olympic movement, Olympic reality and fantasy in anime, and a theoretical critique of capitalist realism, as well as two commentaries critiquing the costs and corruption of the Games and Japan’s treatment of migrants in the name of Olympic preparations. Also in this issue: four book reviews of English and Japanese language publications from the fields of history, policy studies, and anthropology.

Cover © Japanologie Wien

New Book Research into Japanese Society
This book collects three group research projects involving students from Sophia University, the University of Vienna, and FU Berlin. In all three cases, students as researchers actively participated in gathering data and reflected on their experiences. The volume shows that students, rather than being mere receivers of knowledge, may also actively contribute to academic research and be part of the collaborative production of knowledge. It also demonstrates how research in a team can be conducted, albeit in an adjusted manner, during the ongoing pandemic. The volume is published in the University of Vienna's Beiträge zur Japanologie series and is co-edited by Antonia Miserka and DIJ's Sebastian Polak-Rottmann.
Recent journal articles and book chapters by DIJ researchers include:

Library News ・ Aus der Bibliothek図書室ニュース

Photo © DIJ

Yoko Horikoshi Retires from the DIJ
After 34 years at the DIJ, our librarian Yoko Horikoshi (right) has retired and was given a very warm farewell by director Franz Waldenberger (left) and the entire DIJ staff. During her time at the DIJ, the library holdings grew considerably and its unique collection became accessible via the Japanese NACSIS catalogue, into which she entered the entire holdings retrospectively. Yoko Horikoshi was also responsible for the library's exhibitions of books, since 2015 jointly organized with the International House of Japan Library and the Bibliothèque de la Maison franco-japonaise. She says she holds particular fond memories of the great number of researchers in Japanese Studies she was able to meet at the DIJ. Yoko Horikoshi is now looking forward to spending more time playing the viola with old friends and as a member of an orchestra.

Photo © DIJ

Yoko Nagamine Starts as DIJ Librarian
In April 2023, Yoko Nagamine began her position as new librarian at the DIJ. Previously, she worked as a library technician for 22 years at the U.S. Marine Corps Base Library in Okinawa. To pursue a career in librarianship, she left the base library and enrolled in the University of Hawaii's Master of Library and Information Science programme in 2020 and graduated in 2022. After Yoko Horikoshi's retirement, Yoko Nagamine is now managing the DIJ library as a solo librarian. We warmly welcome her at the DIJ!

DIJ News Aus dem DIJ研究所ニュース

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Photo © TMG

MWS Delegation Meets Tokyo Governor
A delegation of the Max Weber Foundation, led by DIJ director Franz Waldenberger and the Foundation’s president Ute Frevert, was met by Tokyo Metropolitan Governor Yuriko Koike on May 10. Governor Koike welcomed the group and shared her ideas about how to tackle the challenges faced by Tokyo, Japan, and Germany, including demographic change, migration, climate change, and gender equality. Drawing on her own experience of studying abroad, Koike also emphasized the importance of international academic exchange facilitated by organizations such as the Max Weber Foundation. The delegation visited Tokyo for the conference Transnational Research in a Multipolar World and further meetings of the Foundation’s bodies.

Photo © DIJ

DIJ Welcomes New PhD Students
During the past three months four new PhD students have joined the DIJ on our doctoral scholarship programme to undertake research for their PhD projects (from left to right): Josko Kozic (Heidelberg), studies religious practices with a focus on Shugendō; Sarah Pützer (Oxford) examines the intersection of text and space in contemporary Japanese experimental poetry; Sophie Neutzler (Bochum) analyzes translation processes in the Jesuit mission in 16th to 17th-century Japan; and Ben Moeller (Oxford) examines how history, tradition, and identity are taught at the National Defense Academy of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces.

Photo © private

New Visiting Researcher at the DIJ
In May, Thomas Wilkins has joined the DIJ as visiting researcher. He is Associate Professor in the Centre for International Security Studies at the University of Sydney and a specialist on Japanese security policy. His research agenda is concerned with Indo-Pacific security affairs, especially Japanese security policy and the Australia-Japan bilateral relationship. At the DIJ, he researches Japan’s developing security relations with Southeast Asia and Europe as part of its expanded network of “strategic partnerships”. He will introduce his research at the DIJ Forum 'Japan’s Strategic Partnerships and Great Power Competition in South East Asia' on July 25.

Photo © GJSSS

In Memoriam Hans-Joachim Kornadt
The DIJ mourns the death of Professor Dr. Dr. h.c. Hans-Joachim Kornadt, who passed away on April 24, 2023 at the age of 95. Kornadt was Professor of Educational Psychology and Educational Science at Saarland University from 1968 until his retirement in 1995. He significantly supported the work of the DIJ with his expertise as member and later as chairman of our advisory board during the first seven years (198895). Beyond this time, he followed our work with benevolent interest. For his services, including those to German-Japanese academic relations, Professor Kornadt was awarded the German-Japanese Research Prize in 1988 and the Federal Cross of Merit First Class in 2006.

Past Events Vergangene Veranstaltungen最近のイベント

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Poster © MWS

MWS Conference 'Transnational Research'
On May 8 and 9, the DIJ together with Sophia University Graduate School of Global Studies hosted the Max Weber Foundation conference Transnational Research in a Multipolar World. In five panel sessions it discussed the impact of the growing geopolitical tensions on transnational research, with a particular focus on the limitations to academic research in autocratic regimes. It also looked at how national research organizations and universities have responded to these challenges. The second day focused on research on and in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and the Indo-Pacific. The conference closed with a keynote speech by Kaoru Iokibe (University of Tokyo) on world history made in Japan.

Photo © DIJ

Workshop on 'Interconnected Crises'
At the two-day workshop Caught yet blind in Indra’s Net: Reflections on Interconnected Crises in the Late Capitalist Anthropocene fifteen scholars discussed holistic multispecies worldviews against the background of the ongoing period of global crises. The workshop was inspired by the philosophical traditions of South, East, and Southeast Asia which know the metaphor of Indra’s Net to express the fundamental interconnectedness and interdependence of all existence. The presentations connected recent theoretical debates to case studies for advancing social and environmental justice. The hybrid workshop was supported by the German Centre for Research and Innovation Tokyo.

Screenshot © JDZB

Online Conference Countryside Democracy
How does a vital democracy manifest itself in rural regions? On May 11, seven experts and political activists from Japan and Germany discussed the future of democracy at the conference Countryside Democracy in Japan and Germany: Trends in Political Participation to identify opportunities, trends, and challenges in both countries. Participants included DIJ political scientist Sebastian Polak-Rottmann as panelist, DIJ alumnus Yosuke Buchmeier as moderator, alumna Gabriele Vogt as commentator, and deputy director Barbara Holthus. The conference was jointly organized by the DIJ and the Japanese-German Center Berlin (JDZB).

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

Screenshot © DLF

DIJ Expertise in German Radio & Podcast
What is the balance sheet of more than ten years of Kuroda Haruhiko heading the Japanese central bank? What can be expected from his successor Ueda Kazuo? In an interview with German radio Deutschlandfunk, DIJ economist Markus Heckel explained that the future Bank of Japan under Ueda will be able to act more independently. For the German-language podcast 'Japan und dann das', created and hosted by DIJ alumnus Axel Klein, Barbara Holthus and Sebastian Polak-Rottmann explained recent developments in Japan's demographic change.

Alumni News Unsere Ehemaligen DIJ 同窓会

Cover © Hakusuisha

DIJ Alumna Translates Marx into Japanese
Karl Marx' Die Geschichte der Geheimdiplomatie des 18. Jahrhunderts: Über den asiatischen Ursprung der russischen Despotie, co-translated by DIJ alumna Yufei Zhou (2019–22), was recently published in Japanese as 一八世紀の秘密外交史. ロシア専制の起源 (Hakusuisha 2023). The book also contains a previously untranslated preface by Karl August Wittfogel on whom Yufei Zhou has published extensively. Upon leaving the DIJ, she joined the Department of Global Japanese Studies, Faculty of Language Studies at Teikyo University as Lecturer (Japanese Intellectual History).

Cover © Routledge

New Book Studies 'Disciplined Liberalism'
This new book by former DIJ director Florian Coulmas (2004–14) offers a fresh view on Japanese society, focussing on the role of comportment for group cohesiveness. It explores the stereotype that Japan is the world’s most polite country by examining how proper conduct is acquired and expressed. How is the apparent conflict with some of the concepts considered essential for Western modernity, such as society, freedom and the individual, balanced with Japan’s great emphasis on courtesy, politeness and civility? By comparing the present situation in Japan with behavioural standards of former periods as well as with other cultural traditions, the book explains some of the distinctive features of present-day Japanese society. Florian Coulmas is Senior Professor for Japanese Society at the University of Duisburg-Essen.
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

Screenshot © YouTube

Keynote Lecture on DIJ YouTube Channel
How has Japan's entry into the Western-oriented society from the 19th century onwards influenced Japanese historiography? Find out in the keynote lecture 'World history made in Japan' by Kaoru Iokibe (University of Tokyo) which is now available on the DIJ YouTube channel. The keynote was delivered on May 9 at the international conference Transnational Research in a Multipolar World. On our YouTube channel you will also find videos of other DIJ conferences and events with DIJ members.
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