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Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien

Liquid Diplomacy: Germans and the Meiji Beer Industry, 1869-1949 (ドイツと日本の明冶時代のビール産業について)

2000年6月29日 / 6.30 P.M.


Most research on the historical influence of Germany on Japan explores the fields of law, medicine, diplomacy, philosophy, government, education and the military, whereas less has been written about the history of German-Japanese business relations, especially in the area of consumer industries. Considering the worldwide stereotypical association of Germany with beer-drinking, it is surprising how little is known of the contribution of German models, know-how, advisers, entrepreneurs, machinery and raw materials to the establishment of mass production facilities and to the spread of popular acceptance of beer consumption in Japan. My presentation explores the role of German, and other Western, people and ideas in different stages of the development of the Japanese beer brewing industry, arguing that they were crucial catalysts in turning beer from an exotic luxury into a needed commodity.

Harald Fuess’ Farewell
The DIJ History Study Group is intended as an informal forum for young historians and Ph.D. candidates. Once a month a scholar presents his research topic for about 45 minutes, which is then discussed by participants. The above event will be the last presentation organized by Harald Fuess, who is leaving his position at the German Institute for Japanese Studies at the end of June 2000. All are welcome to attend, but please register by June 27 with Harald Fuess (

The DIJ History Study Group will be continued by Sven Saaler, who is joining the German Institute for Japanese Studies in the fall.