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Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien

Barbara Holthus

Barbara Holthus
Deputy Director
Since April 2018

Profile on ORCID

Barbara Holthus holds two Ph.D. degrees, in Japanese Studies from the University of Trier, Germany, 2006, and in Sociology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2010. Before taking up the position of deputy director at the German Institute for Japanese Studies Tokyo in April 2018, she was assistant professor at the Department of East Asian Studies / Japanese Studies at the University of Vienna. Her research is on marriage and the family, child care, happiness and well-being, volunteering, media, gender, rural Japan, as well as demographic and social change. She was principal investigator of a German Science Foundation (DFG) funded research project on comparing parental well-being in Germany and Japan (2014-2017).

Her most recent publications are Japan through the lens of the Tokyo Olympics (2020; co-editors I. Gagne, W. Manzenreiter, F. Waldenberger). Parental well-being: Satisfaction with work, family life, and family policy in Germany and Japan (2018; co-editor H. Bertram), Life course, happiness and well-being in Japan (2017; co-editor W. Manzenreiter), Happiness and the good life in Japan (2017; co-editor W. Manzenreiter).

You can reach Barbara at or follow her Twitter account @barbGhawaii.

Current DIJ Projects

Regional diversity of well-being in Japan

Social movements and gender in post-3.11 Japan

COVID-19: Japan’s handling of a new challenge in international comparison

Special project:
Japan through the lens of the Tokyo Olympics

Completed DIJ Projects

The meaning of local community for happiness and selfhood

Parental well-being in the rural periphery of Germany and Japan: Choices, challenges, and considerations

Gender and Political Participation in post-3/11 Japan

Parents against Radiation. A case study

Social Aspects of Low Fertility in Japan

Marital Happiness and Discord: Discourses in Japanese Women’s Magazines

Parental Well-Being - Germany and Japan in Comparison

Great East Japan Earthquake

Childcare and Work-Life Balance in Low Fertility Japan

Fertility and Social Stratification