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Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien

German-Japanese Relations

The project explores the German-Japanese relations in past and presence. It integrates history, theory, and methodology on a sound empirical foundation and gives a comprehensive overview of different layers of the historical process (cultural, economic, political, social) of the German-Japanese relations. An all-inclusive encyclopaedic approach is to be avoided in favour of a clear-cut problem-oriented one. This premise means at the same time to consciously reflect on the specific perspectives, subjects, and approaches by which history was and still is depicted. Alltagsgeschichte (history of everyday life) and history from the perspective of ruling elites, that is to say history from the bottom up and history from the top down must not be looked upon historiographically as antipodes, but can be dealt with logically in an integrated way without compulsive grouting. That is true also for the so-called conventional political history (including diplomatic history) and the so-called modern social and economic history. The scrutiny of power and influence structures leaves enough opportunity to take into consideration sociocultural contexts of microhistorical Lebenswelten (life-worlds). System theory, modernisation theory, and class theory are by no means theoretically transcended. Essentialism, relativism, and historism constantly come in again, with and without “neo-“. Within the framework of German-Japanese relations the cultural, economic, political, and social contacts in real terms should be categorially separated from images of Japan and images of Germany.


Previous Staff

Matthias Koch
Social and Economic History of Japan, Business History, Germany and Japan in Comparative Studies, German-Japanese Relations
Head of German-Japanese Relations and Comparisons Section

Selected Publications


[Krebs, Gerhard] Japan und Preußen . DIJ Monograph Series. Munich: iudicium Verlag. 356 pp.
[Möhwald, Ulrich] Changing Attitudes towards Gender Equality in Japan and Germany. Japan and Europe. Historical Relations and Comparative Studies. Munich: iudicium Verlag. 148 p., kt.
[Krebs, Gerhard; Bernd Martin] Formierung und Fall der Achse Berlin-Tōkyō (Formation and Fall of the Berlin-Tōkyō Axis). DIJ Monograph Series. Munich: iudicium Verlag. 256 pp., hardcover
[ドイツ-日本研究所、サントリー美術館、横浜開港資料館、長崎県立美術博物館] ドイツ人の見た元禄時代-ケンペル展 (Engelbert Kämpfer - Ein Deutscher sieht das Japan der Genroku-Periode). Exhibition Catalogs. Tokyo: Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien. 165 p.


May 18, 2005
Other Events
Der Russisch-Japanische Krieg 1904/05 im Spiegel deutscher Bilderbogen

October 27, 1997
Symposia and Conferences
Aging and Social Policy - A German-Japanese Comparison

April 28, 1995
Symposia and Conferences
Wertewandel in Industrienationen: Ein Vergleich Deutschland, Japan und Osteuropa (Transformation of Values in Industrialized Nations: A Comparison between Germany, Japan, and Eastern Europe)

April 5, 1995
Symposia and Conferences
1945 in Europe and Asia - Reconsidering the End of Word War II and the Change of the World Order