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Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien

Torsten Weber

Torsten Weber
Principal Researcher
Modern East Asian History
Science Communication & Public Relations
Since April 2013

Profile on ORCID

Torsten Weber is a historian of modern and contemporary East Asia specializing in the history of Japanese-Chinese relations and interactions. Trained in History and East Asian Studies at the universities of Mainz, Shanghai (Fudan), London (SOAS), and Leiden, he received his Ph.D. in Japanese Studies from Heidelberg University in 2012. His monograph Embracing ‘Asia’ in China and Japan. Asianism Discourse and the Contest for Hegemony (Palgrave Transnational History Series, 2019) analyzes how ‘Asia’ as a contested concept in mainstream public discourse has challenged political and epistemological hierarchies in East Asia and the world. At the DIJ, Torsten’s research includes projects on the First World War and the interwar period in East Asian history, happiness in modern Japan’s socio-political discourse, war memory and the ‘history wars’ in East Asia. For his ongoing research project on John Rabe’s Nanjing war diaries he was awarded a three-year research grant by the German Research Foundation (DFG). Since February 2020, Torsten has been in charge of the DIJ’s science communication and public relations.

Research blog on the Rabe Diaries project:

Current DIJ Projects

John Rabe's Nanjing Diaries - Testifying and Contesting War Experiences in China and Japan

History Politics in East Asia

Completed DIJ Projects

Global Dimensions of the First World War and the Interwar Period in East Asia

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

Recent Publications

Weber, Torsten & Scherer, Anke (2023). "Geschichte und Geschichtsbewusstsein in Japan im Jahr 2022". In: Chiavacci, David & Wieczorek, Iris (Eds.), Japan 2023. Politik, Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft (pp. 161-176). Iudicium. LINK
Weber, Torsten & Becker, Michael (2023). "Clio-Guide: Japan". In: Daniel, Silvia, Enderle, Wilfried, Hohls, Rüdiger, Meyer, Thomas, Prellwitz, Jens, Prinz, Claudia, Schuhmann, Annette & Schwandt, Silke (Eds.), Clio Guide – Ein Handbuch zu digitalen Ressourcen für die Geschichtswissenschaften. Clio-online – Historisches Fachinformationssystem e.V.. LINK
Weber, Torsten & Scherer, Anke (2022). "Geschichte und Geschichtsbewusstsein in Japan im Jahr 2021". In: Japan 2022. Politik, Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft (pp. 260-280). Iudicium.
Weber, Torsten (2022). "Alternative internationalisms in East Asia: The Conferences of the Asian Peoples, Japanese-Chinese Rivalry, and Japanese Imperialism 1924-1943". In: Legg, Stephen, Heffernan, Mike, Hodder, Jake & Thorpe, Benjamin (Eds.), Placing Internationalism. International Conferences and the Making of the Modern World (pp. 199-215). Bloomsbury. LINK
Weber, Torsten & Scherer, Anke (2021). "Geschichte und Geschichtsbewusstsein im Jahr der Jahrestage 2020". In: Chiavacci, David & Wieczorek, Iris (Eds.), Japan 2021: Politik, Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft (pp. 213-233). Iudicium.
Weber, Torsten (2021). "Olympic Dreams and Traumata. Looking back at Tokyo 2020". IIAS Newsletter, Vol. 90 (pp. 14-15). LINK
Weber, Torsten (2021). "Pan-Asianism". In: Ness, Immanuel & Cope, Zak (Eds.), The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Imperialism and Anti-Imperialism (pp. 2164-2174). Palgrave Macmillan. LINK
Weber, Torsten (2021). "Finding China’s ‘Asia’ in Japanese Asianism". In: Henshaw, Jonathan, Smith, Craig A. & Smith, Norman (Eds.), Translating the Occupation. The Japanese Invasion of China, 1931–45 (pp. 209-222). University of British Columbia Press. LINK
Weber, Torsten (2020). "A Lost Chance for Peace: The China Crisis of 1919 and the Debate on Japanese-Chinese Friendship in Japan". In: Minohara, Tosh & Dawley, Evan (Eds.), Beyond Versailles. The 1919 Moment and a New Order in East Asia (pp. 185-206). Lexington Books. LINK
Weber, Torsten (2020). "Tokyo’s 1940 ‘Phantom Olympics’ in public memory: when Japan choose war". In: Holthus, Barbara, Gagné, Isaac, Manzenreiter, Wolfram & Waldenberger, Franz (Eds.), Japan through the lens of the Tokyo Olympics (pp. 66-72). Routledge. LINK
Weber, Torsten (2020). "Success story: The 1964 Tokyo Olympics". In: Gagné, Isaac, Holthus, Barbara & Waldenberger, Franz (Eds.), Japan through the lens of the Tokyo Olympics (pp. 52-52). Routledge. LINK
Weber, Torsten (2019). Embracing ‘Asia’ in China and Japan. Asianism Discourse and the Contest for Hegemony, 1912-1933. Palgrave Macmillan (Palgrave Macmillan Transnational History Series). LINK
Weber, Torsten (2019). "Der schwierige Umgang mit der Schuld". Damals, Jg. 51, Heft 7 (pp. 42-46). LINK
Weber, Torsten (June 27, 2019). "Die Nanking Tagebücher John Rabes – Historische Quellen im multilingualen Kontext". TRAFO Blog for Transregional Research. LINK
Weber, Torsten (2018). "Apology Failures: Japanese Strategies in Dealing with its Imperialist Past Towards China and Korea". In: Bevernage, B. & Wouters, N. (Eds.), The Palgrave Handbook of State-Sponsored History After 1945 (pp. 801-816). Palgrave. LINK