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Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien

Torsten Weber

Head of Humanities Section
Modern East Asian History

weber@dijtokyo.org

Torsten Weber is a historian of modern East Asia. He received his doctoral degree from Heidelberg University where he completed a dissertation on historical Asia discourse and the inception of Asianism as a political concept in Japan and China during the early 20th century. His research interests include the history of political thought in Japan and China, Japanese-Chinese exchange and interactions during the first half of the 20th century, the First World War and the interwar period in East Asia, historical memory and reconciliation, and history politics in contemporary East Asia. His first project at the DIJ analyzed different conceptions of happiness in modern Japan`s socio-political discourse with a focus on women, family, and marriage. His current project studies different aspects of the East Asian ‘history wars’, including the apology issue, war memory, and the instrumentalization of history in Japanese and Chinese mass media.

DIJ Projects

Geschichtspolitik in Ostasien

Socio-political discourse on happiness in Imperial Japan: Towards a historical contextualization of the Japanese concept of happiness

Completed DIJ Projects

Happiness in Japan: Continuities and Discontinuities

Memberships

Publications

Editorship

2015
[With: Holdgrün, Phoebe Stella] Contemporary Japan 27, No. 2. Contemporary Japan 27. Berlin and New York: de Gruyter. 123 p.

Articles

2015
Pan-Asianism
In: Ness, I.; Cope, Z. (Ed.) The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Imperialism and Anti-Imperialism. London/New York: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 923-932.
2015
Coming to Terms with Asianism: Historical Reconciliation and Asianist History Politics in Contemporary China and Japan
In: Frey, M.; Spakowski, N. (Ed.) Asianisms: Regionalist Interactions& Asian Integration. Singapore: National University of Singapore Press. pp. 181-208.
2015
Same Race, Same Fate? Theories of Asian Commonality and the Shift of Regional Hegemony in East Asia after the First Sino-Japanese War (1894/5)
In: Barth, V; Cvetkovski, R. (Ed.) Imperial Co-operation and Transfer, 1870-1930. Empires and Encounters. London: Bloomsbury. pp. 153-170.
2015
Geschichtspolitik, lieux de mémoire und regionale Integration: Zur Debatte um eine Ostasiatische Gemeinschaft, 2000 – 2010
In: Zachmann, Urs M.; Uhl, C. (Ed.) Japan und das Problem der Moderne. Festschrift Wolfgang Seifert zu Ehren. München: iudicium Verlag. pp. 151-168.
2014
Πολιτικές Χρήσεις του Παρελθόντος στην Ανατολική Ασία [Political Uses of the Past in East Asia]
In: Επιστήμη και Κοινωνία [Science & Society]. Autumn 2014, vol. 32. pp. 121-143.
2014
[With: Hübner, S.] Introduction: National and Regional Belonging in Twentieth-Century East Asia
In: Hübner, S.; Weber, TorstenXXX (Ed.) National and Regional Belonging in Twentieth-Century East Asia. (Comparativ 23-3). pp. 6-16.
2014
Imagined Territoriality: Visual Portrayals of ‘Asia’ in the Age of Nationalism in East Asia
In: Hübner, S.; Weber, TorstenXXX (Ed.) National and Regional Belonging in Twentieth-Century East Asia. (Comparativ 23-3). pp. 37-56.
2012
Die Gegenwart der Vergangenheit in Ostasien: Das Nanking-Massaker als chinesisch-japanisches Geschichtsproblem [The Presence of the Past in East Asia: The Nanjing Massacre as a Sino-Japanese History Problem]
In: Geschichte in Wissenschaft und Unterricht (GWU). Nr. 7/8, 2012. pp. 402-419.
2012
Wer und was spricht für „Großasien“? Chancen und Grenzen eines transnationalen Diskurses im Interbellum Ostasiens, 1919-1931 [Who and what speaks for ‘Greater Asia‘? Chances and Limits of a transnational discourse, 1919-1933]
In: Kunkel, S.; Meyer, C. (Ed.) Aufbruch ins postkoloniale Zeitalter: Globalisierung und die außereuropäische Welt in den 1920er und 1930er Jahren. Frankfurt: Campus. pp. 145-167.
2012
Sun Yat-sen and the Japanese
In: Perez, Louis G. (Ed.) Japan at War: An Encyclopedia. Santa Barbara: ABC-Clio. pp. 412-415.
2011
The Greater Asia Association and Matsui Iwane, 1933
In: Saaler, S.; Szpilman, C.W.A. (Ed.) Pan-Asianism: A Documentary History 1860-2010. Vol. 2. Boulder: Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 137-147.
2011
Remembering or overcoming the past? ‘History politics’, Asian identity, and visions of an East Asian Community
In: Asian Regional Integration Review. Tokyo: Waseda University. pp. 39-55.
2011
Wang Yi: ‘Neo-Asianism’ in 21st Century China
In: Saaler, S.; Szpilman, C.W.A. (Ed.) Pan-Asianism: A Documentary History 1860-2010. Vol. 2. Boulder: Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 359-370.
2011
Nanjing’s Greater Asianism: Wang Jingwei and Zhou Huaren
In: Saaler, S.; Szpilman, C.W.A. (Ed.) Pan-Asianism: A Documentary History 1860-2010. Vol. 2. Boulder: Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 209-220.
2010
Sun Yat-sen’s 'Sanminzhuyi' (Three Principles of the People), 1921
In: Milestone Documents in World History: Exploring the Primary Sources That Shaped the World. Vol. 3. Dallas: Salem Press. pp. 1264-1277.
2009
„Unter dem Banner des Asianismus“: Transnationale Dimensionen des japanischen Asianismus-Diskurses der Taishō-Zeit (1912-26) [Under the banner of Asianism: transnational dimensions of Japanese Asianism discourse in the Taishō period, 1912-26]
In: Comparativ. Vol. 18, No. 6.

Reviews

2017
Transnational Japan as History: Empire, Migration, and Social Movements. Ed. by Pedro Iacobelli, Danton Leary and Shinnosuke Takahashi, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016.
In: Asian Review of World Histories. Vol. 5, No. 1 (January 2017). pp. 175-178.
2015
Paul Morris et al. (ed.): Imagining Japan in Post-war East Asia. Identity Politics, Schooling and Popular Culture. London: Routledge 2013
In: ASIEN. The German Journal on Contemporary Asia. No.136 (July 2015). pp. 147-149.
2013
Zheng Wang. Never Forget National Humiliation: Historical Memory in Chinese Politics and Foreign Relations. New York: Columbia University Press, 2012
In: Journal of International and Global Studies. Vol. 5, No.1.
2013
Kenneth J. Ruoff, Imperial Japan at its Zenith. The Wartime Celebration of the Empire’s 2,600th Anniversary. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press 2010
In: IIAS Newsletter. No. 64, Summer 2013. p.40.
2012
Mark Beeson and Richard Stubbs (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Asian Regionalism, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon; New York, NY: Routledge, Routledge handbooks 2012
In: Journal of International and Global Studies. Vol. 4, No.1.
2011
Gotelind Müller (ed.), Designing History in East Asian Textbooks. Identity Politics and Transnational Aspirations, London and New York: Routledge 2011
In: Monumenta Serica. Journal of Oriental Studies. Vol. LIX, 2011. pp. 583-586.
2007
Wang, Ping: Jindai Riben de Yaxiya zhuyi [Modern Japanese Asianism]
In: Backhaus, PeterXXX (Ed.) Japanstudien 19. Familienangelegenheiten (Family affairs). Japanstudien 19.00. München: iudicium Verlag. 284 p.

Academic Awards

Teaching

Spring 2016
Asia in Global History
Faculty of Liberal Arts, Sophia University Tokyo

Spring 2015
Asia in Global History
Faculty of Liberal Arts, Sophia University Tokyo

Spring 2015
Japanese Relations in Asia
Rikkyo University Tokyo

Spring 2014
Asia in Global History
Faculty of Liberal Arts, Sophia University Tokyo

Winter term 2012/13
Einführung in das Studium der Sinologie [Introduction to Chinese Studies]
Institute for Chinese Studies, Freiburg University

Winter term 2011/12
Freunde, Feinde, Nachbarn: China und Japan im 20. Jahrhundert“ [Friends, Enemies, Neighbours: China and Japan in the 20th Century]
Institute for Chinese Studies, Freiburg University

Winter term 2008/09
Ostasien in der Weltgeschichte: Fokus Japan [East Asia in World History: Focus Japan]
Centre for East Asian Studies, Heidelberg University

Winter term 2008/09
History of Modern Japanese Political Thought
Institute for Asian Studies, Leiden University, Netherlands

Summer term 2008
Nationalisms of Modern Japan
Institute for Japanese and Korean Studies, Leiden University, Netherlands

Presentations

November 21, 2016
Geschichtspolitik in Ostasien: Nationale und internationale Dimensionen der Instrumentalisierung des Nanking Massakers. Forschungskolloquium zur Vergleichs- und Verflechtungsgeschichte, Friedrich-Meinecke-Institut, FU Berlin.

September 25, 2016
East-Asia and the International Order after the Great War: Prospects, Hopes, and Disappointments [discussant]. 2nd EAJS in Japan Conference, Kobe University, Japan.

September 8, 2016
Barbarian, Demonizer, Paper Tiger? History Politics and the Portrayal of China in the Japanese journal Sapio. Joint East Asian Studies Conference, University of London (School of Oriental and African Studies, SOAS), England.

August 18, 2016
Finding China’s ‘Asia’ in Japanese Asianism. International Workshop Translating the Occupation: Texts from Wartime China, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.

July 2, 2016
The Nanking Massacre and the Use of History in Japanese-Chinese Relations. 20th Annual Conference of the Asian Studies Conference Japan, International Christian University Tokyo.

March 31, 2016
The Re-Definition of ‘Asia’ in China and Japan: Three Theses on the Significance of Asianism in 1919. 75th Annual Conference of the Association for Asian Studies (AAS), Seattle, USA.

November 25, 2015
The Politics of Apologies & Non-Apologies in East Asia: Japan`s strategies to deal with its wartime past in Japanese-Chinese and Japanese-Korean diplomacy. International Conference on “State-sponsored History after 1945”, Ghent University, Belgium.

November 22, 2015
Das Nanking-Massaker im japanisch-chinesischen „Geschichtskrieg“ [The Nanking Massacre in the Japanese-Chinese history wars]. VSJF-Jahreskonferenz, Universität Leipzig, Fachgruppe Geschichte.

October 22, 2015
Deutschlandbilder in der historischen Aussöhnung in Ostasien [Images of Germany in the process of historical reconciliation in East Asia]. 1. Konferenz der Ostasiatischen DAAD-Zentren, „Nation, Nationalismus und nationales Gedächtnis“, Peking Universität, VR China.

September 10, 2015
"Uncivilized then and now”: History Politics and anti-Koreanism in the Japanese journal Sapio. 5th Congress of Asian & Pacific Studies 2015, INALCO, Paris.

June 30, 2015
Regional Integration in East Asia: Present, Past, and Future. Japanese Studies Programme, Sophia University, Tokyo.

June 23, 2015
The Politics of the Past and Japanese Media Coverage of China. AAS-in-Asia Conference, Academia Sinica, Taipei.

June 20, 2015
Marriage or Happiness? Women and the Pursuit of Freedom in Early Twentieth Century Japan. Nineteenth Asian Studies Conference Japan (ASCJ), Meiji Gakuin University, Tokyo.

March 5, 2015
History Politics in Japanese Mass Media: A case study of anti-Korean and anti-Chinese discourse in the journal Sapio. Eleventh NAJS Conference, Lund University, Sweden.

November 22, 2014
Hatespeech im Spannungsfeld von Meinungsfreiheit und Xenophobie: Anti-koreanische Diskurse in Sapio. Fachgruppensitzung „Kultur und Medien”, VSJF-Jahrestagung, Berlin.

November 6, 2014
Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness: Imaginations of Well-Being in Imperial Japan. Japanese History Group, University of Tokyo.

October 28, 2014
Geschichtspolitik und die japanisch-chinesischen Beziehungen. Jugendbotschafter nach Japan 2014, (Robert Bosch Stiftung), DIJ Tokyo.

September 16, 2014
The First World War and East Asia. WeberWorldCafé: Narrating the First World War – Experiences and Reports from Transregional Perspectives, Berlin.

September 5, 2014
Humanitarianism in Early Imperial Japan: Concepts and Activism between Nationalization and Westernization. Fourth European Congress on World and Global History, École Normale Supérieure, Paris.

August 28, 2014
Does Family and Marriage Make You Happy? Individual Happiness and Social Institutions in Early 20th Century Japan. 14th Conference of the European Association for Japanese Studies (EAJS), University of Ljubljana, Slovenia.

August 21, 2014
Individual Happiness and Social Institutions in Early 20th Century Japan. 13th Conference of the International Society for Utilitarian Studies (ISUS XIII), Yokohama National University, Japan.

July 8, 2014
Regional Integration in East Asia: Present, Past, and Future. Japanese Studies Programme, Sophia University.

July 29, 2014
Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness: Imaginations of Well-Being in Imperial Japan. Improving the people’s lot? Different conceptions of well-being between promises and reality.

February 6, 2014

February 6, 2014
Hate Speech and History Problems: Anti-Koreanism in Sapio and Sankei. Hate Speech and Japanese-Korean Relations: Ideology, Implications and Origins.

March 12, 2014
Das kleine und das große Glück. Vom Alltags- und Kampfbegriff im Imperialen Japan. , Deutsche Gesellschaft für Natur- und Völkerkunde Asiens (OAG), Tokyo.

November 23, 2013
Ehe, Hund und Kinder? Die Suche nach „Glück“ in japanischen Frauenzeitschriften der 1920er und 1930er Jahre. Fachgruppensitzung „Kultur und Medien”, VSJF-Jahrestagung, Berlin.

June 24, 2013
Reconciling `Asia` with its Past: The Resurgence of Asianism in Political Activism and Historical Consciousness. 8th International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS), Macao, PR China.

February 27, 2011
In Search for East Asian lieux de mémoire? History Politics, Asian Identity and Visions of an East Asian Community, 2000–2010. Internationales Symposium 'Globalization, Identity, and Regional Integration in East Asia, 1861–2011: Reassessing the Impact of Globalization and the Future of East Asia', Internationales Wissenschaftsforum Heidelberg.

March 24, 2013
Organizing 'Asia': Transnational Activism and Visions of an Asian League in the Interwar Period. Annual Conference, Association for Asian Studies (AAS), San Diego, USA.

January 18, 2013
‘Asia’ as Empire: Modes of Cooperation and Hegemony in Interimperial Discourse after the First Sino-Japanese War (1894/95). International Conference “Encounters of Empires: Interimperial Transfers and Imperial Manifestations, ca. 1870-1950”, Internationales Kolleg Morphomata, Universität zu Köln.

October 12, 2012
The Politics of the Past in East Asia: How does it work? Does it Work?. International Workshop “Politics of Experience: Theorizing the politics of the past”, Finnland-Institut in Deutschland, Berlin.

September 8, 2012
The New Quest for ‘Asia’: A Site of Chinese-Japanese History Politics?. XIX Biennial Conference of the European Association of Chinese Studies (EACS), Paris.

August 29, 2012
Eine asianistische Wendung der japanischen Idee des Nationalstaats in der Taishō-Zeit?. 15. Deutschsprachiger Japanologentag, Gesellschaft für Japanforschung (GJF)/Universität Zürich [German Association for Japanese Studies (GJF)/University of Zurich].

July 20, 2012
Identity and the Nation in 20th Century Asia: A Research Agenda. Internationaler Workshop "Identity and the Nation in 20th Century Asia", Jacobs University Bremen.

March 30, 2012
Ajia meishu: The Debate on Japanese Uniqueness in Asia during the Taishō Period. Internationaler Workshop "East-West Civilization Discourse and Japan's Place in the World", Oslo University, Norway.

October 15, 2011
Dreaming Different Dreams? On the Functions and Limits of Asianisms in East Asia in the 21st Century. International Conference "Asianisms and Regional Interaction and Integration in Asia", Freiburg University.

September 12, 2011
「「アジア」を抱きしめて : アジア主義の転換としての大正時代」[Embracing ‘Asia’: the Taishō Era as a turning point of Asianism]. アルザス日欧知的交流事業 日本研究セミナー「大正/戦前」 [Research Session, Intellectual Exchanges between Japan and Europe, Japanese Studies Seminar „The Taishô Era and pre-war Japan“], Centre européen d’études japonaises d’Alsace (CEEJA), Centre européen d’études japonaises d’Alsace (CEEJA), Kientzheim, France.

August 26, 2011
Asian integration ‘from below’? Popular participation in regional identity formation and visions of an East Asian Community. 13th International Conference of the European Association of Japanese Studies (EAJS), Tallinn University, Estonia.

April 16, 2011
Towards an East Asian Community? ‘Post-Asianism’ and the shadows of the past in the present. Third European Congress on World and Global History, London School of Economics and Political Science, London.

April 2, 2011
Re-discovering “Asia” in China: History Politics and the Revision of Asianism in 21st Century China. Joint conference of the Association for Asian Studies (AAS) and International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS), Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.

CV


Since 2013
Senior Research Fellow at the German Institute for Japanese Studies, Tokyo

2012-2013
Instructor, Institute for Chinese Studies, University of Freiburg

2011-2012
Research Associate, Institute for Asian Studies, University of Freiburg (DFG project „Asianisms“)

2009-2011
Research Associate, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Jacobs University Bremen (DFG project „Asianisms“)

2008-2009
Instructor, Centre for East Asian Studies, Heidelberg University

2007-2008
Junior Research Fellow, Institute for Asian Studies, Leiden University, Netherlands

2006-2007
Doctoral Research Fellow, DIJ Tokyo

2003-2006
Junior Research Fellow, School for Non-Western Studies (CNWS), Leiden University, Netherlands

2001-2003
Postgraduate Diploma in Japanese Language and Culture, University of Tübingen; Dōshisha University, Kyoto; Hiroshima University

2001
M.A. in Chinese Studies, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London

1998-2000
Study of Chinese History and Language, Fudan University Shanghai, PR China