Düsseldorf is the perfect location for Japanese Studies. Over 6000 Japanese nationals live in Germany, and if one includes neighbouring cities like Neuss or Meerbusch, the total exceeds 10,000. Since the 1950s, many Japanese companies have settled in Düsseldorf, leading some to call it the "Little Tokyo" of Europe. But Düsseldorf is more than just the centre for Japanese business activity in Germany; over the decades, an entire Japanese infrastructure has emerged, featuring institutions like restaurants, shops, doctors, lawyers, schools, and many others. The "three pillars" of the diaspora deserve special mention: The General Consulate, the Japanese Club, and the Japanese school were built in the 1960s and 1970s, primarily through efforts by members of the diaspora. Institutions like the Japanese garden and the Eko-Haus furthermore reflect the cultural connection of Düsseldorf to Japan.
We actively include these institutions in our research, and diaspora research is a focus of our department. Projects like The History of Düsseldorf as a Business Location to Japan or The Japanese Diaspora Network in Europe After Brexit aim to reconstruct the historical development of the diaspora in Düsseldorf and to analyse the effects of current political developments.
Contact with the diaspora is regularly maintained through field studies, talks, trips, and internships. Our department has already organised several symposia and lectures in cooperation with Japanese institutions. The proximity to a number of well-known Japanese companies offers our graduates several potential career paths.