Peter Backhaus received his PhD from Duisburg-Essen University, Germany. He has worked at the German Institute for Japanese Studies since September 2005. Within the institute’s research focus on “Challenges to demographic change” he has been running a project on communication in institutional elderly care. His research interests include sociolinguistics and language change, conversation analysis, and writing and orthography. Since April 2010 Peter Backhaus is Assistant Professor at Waseda University, Tokyo.