Interdisciplinary Japanese Studies On Site

DIJ Newsletter 73

Autumn 2023

Welcome to the Autumn 2023 issue!
In calendar terms, autumn has begun with the autumn solstice holiday on 23 September. But for many people in Japan, summer remains tangible and visible. Hot temperatures continue with no sign of the autumn foliage so far. Instead, the paddy fields are resplendent in vibrant green. The DIJ equally is in full swing: in August, many of our researchers and DIJ alumni took part in the tri-annual conference of the European Association of Japanese Studies (see below). It was the first in-person EAJS conference in six years. In Tokyo, we held several workshops and study group sessions, including an exciting event on digital transformation (see below). Also in this edition of the DIJ Newsletter: a call for applications for PhD fellowships, introductions of new DIJ team members and guests, Alumni news, a new Catchword (doryoku gimu), information on new publications as well as a selection of our recent and upcoming 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 a cool and enjoyable autumn season!
Torsten Weber

New Publication Gerade erschienen 新刊

Cover © Leopoldina

Book on Mathematics as Science in Japan
The open access book Die Institutionalisierung der Mathematik als Wissenschaft im Japan der Meiji- und Taishō-Zeit (1868–1926) by DIJ researcher Harald Kümmerle examines the rapid institutionalization of mathematics as a scientific discipline in Meiji and Taishō-era Japan. This development was based on a rich pre-existing tradition of knowledge and is analysed with a focus on the foundations, the course, and the characteristics of knowledge circulation. To this end, Harald's study examines the organisational formation, standardisation, professionalisation, and disciplinary training of mathematics in Japan. The book is based on Harald's PhD dissertation which was awarded the Johannes Zilkens Dissertation Award in 2020.
Recent journal articles and book chapters by DIJ researchers include:

Upcoming Events Kommende Veranstaltungen今後のイベント

Poster © DIJ

Hybrid DIJ Forum on New Security Policy
In February 2022, Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz proclaimed a Zeitenwende (“epochal shift”) denoting a shift away from close economic ties with Russia and announcing a massive investment in Germany’s defense capabilities. This talk by Claus Leggewie (Giessen University) will evaluate what the Zeitenwende means for Germany’s present and future with a particular focus on security policy. Hideshi Tokuchi (Research Institute for Peace and Security) will provide comments and a Japanese view on the changing global security landscape. The event takes place on 5 October at the DIJ and online.

Poster © DIJ

Symposium 'Mediated Social Touch'
What is the future role of mediated social touch for social inclusion and societal participation in the context of the increasing digitalisation and diversification of Japanese and German societies? To gain a comprehensive and multi-perspective understanding of mediated social touch and its potential for connecting humans in a digitalized world, experts and practitioners from social sciences, neuroscience, haptics and computer science/AI will discuss various topics of tactile/haptic human-machine-human interactions. The public symposium on 18 October at the OAG Hall in Tokyo is preceded by a three-day internal workshop.

DIJ News Aus dem DIJ研究所ニュース


DIJ Fellowships for PhD Students
The DIJ once again awards attractive fellowships to support research stays in Japan during 2024 as part of doctoral degree projects. The fellowships are currently endowed with 2400 Euros/month and are awarded for a period of three to a maximum of twelve months. Funding is available for research stays that begin between 1 February and 1 December 2024. Information on the requirements and the application procedure can be found in our fellowship regulations (in German). The closing date for applications for this call is 20 October 2023.

Photo © private

DIJ Welcomes Affiliate Senior Researcher
In April Christina Polak-Rottmann has joined the DIJ as Affiliate Senior Research Fellow. She received her PhD at the University of Vienna in 2021 after defending her dissertation on the constructions of female protagonists in digital games released for the Japanese market between 1997 and 2017. Her current research project methodologically explores how digital games may be used as a tool for academic research output.

Photos © private

New Visiting Researchers at the DIJ
The DIJ currently hosts two researchers in its Scholar in Residence Programme. Wen-Wei Lan (LMU Munich) studies historical dimensions of education, gender dynamics, and knowledge dissemination. In Japan, she conducts fieldwork for her research project on the transfer of medical knowledge between Germany and Japan. DIJ alumnus Hanns Günther Hilpert (1999-2002) is Senior Fellow at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, Berlin, with a focus on East Asia and foreign economic relations. His main areas of interest are recent developments in Japan's trade policy and the interplay between trade policy and foreign policy.

Photo © private

DIJ Welcomes New PhD Student
In September, Jane Khanizadeh (LMU Munich) joined the DIJ as a PhD student to conduct onsite research for her project "Challenging Mono-ethnicity in the 2019 Rugby World Cup". Her research aims to explain the dynamics of national identity in Japan, examining factors that support the maintenance of established identities and that influence the reform of national identity.

Past Event Vergangene Veranstaltung最近のイベント

Poster © DIJ

Workshop on Digital Transformation
Including perspectives from and on Japan, this workshop brought together 20 scholars from media and cultural studies, anthropology, the history of science, and science and technology studies to discuss connecting approaches and analytical concepts in digital transformation. Discursive and material dimensions of the digital transformation explored visions, practices, and narratives in politics, research and development, and science fiction related to robots, artificial intelligence, and algorithms. It also discussed the use of data and the development of data infrastructures with regard to their socio-cultural, economic, and historical situation.

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

Screenshot © Document

DIJ Expertise in International Media
On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, comments by DIJ historian Torsten Weber on the massacre of Koreans following the earthquake were quoted in Berliner Zeitung, Badische Zeitung, Neues Deutschland, and other German print and online media. DIJ anthropologist Isaac Gagné contributed to the article "A preternatural attraction to cuteness" published in the New York arts and fashion magazine Document in August. "The capacity for Japan to serve as a canvas for projecting the desires, imagination, and fetishes of people from outside Japan is a common trope in anthropology", he is quoted.

CatchwordAktueller Begriff 流行語

Poster © TMPD

The Duty to Make an Effort: doryoku gimu
On 1 April 2023, mandatory helmets for cyclists were introduced in Japan. However, according to this new law, cyclists are only "obliged to make an effort" (doryoku gimu) to wear a helmet. As so-called soft law, doryoku gimu is a regulation without sanctions and simply a request to behave sensibly. As DIJ director Franz Waldenberger explains in this edition of our Catchword series, Japan’s soft use of executive power can be found in many regulatory areas, including in prior antitrust law and gender equality policy measures.

Alumni News Unsere Ehemaligen DIJ 同窓会

Photo © DIJ

DIJ Alumni Meeting at EAJS Conference
Several DIJ alumni joined the 50th birthday party of the European Association for Japanese Studies (EAJS) at its tri-annual conference in Ghent in August. The photo shows DIJ alumni Maren Haufs-Brusberg (2018), Florian Purkarthofer (2018-19), Hanno Jentzsch (2016-20), Ronald Saladin (2016-17), Yosuke Buchmeier (2020) as well as active DIJ researchers Sebastian Polak-Rottmann (far right) and Torsten Weber (3rd from left). We also congratulate DIJ alumni Urs Matthias Zachmann (2002-03), Kristina Iwata-Weickgenannt (2008-13), Barbara Geilhorn (2018-23), and DIJ advisory board member David Chiavacci on their election as EAJS officer and council members.

Screenshot YouTube © 中日新聞 東京新聞 将棋

DIJ Alumnus Receives Shogi Award
On 8 September 2023, DIJ alumnus Frank Rövekamp (1996-97) received the prestigious Oyama Yasuharu Award for his contributions to the popularisation of shogi (Japanese chess) in Europe. He received the award from Habu Yoshiharu, President of the Japan Shogi Federation. A video of the award ceremony at Tokyo's Shogi Kaikan is available on YouTube. Congratulations to Frank for this outstanding recognition!
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 © X (Twitter)

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