by Cornelia Reiher
The summer term just started in Berlin and the method course on Berlin’s Japanese foodscapes is back. This year we are meeting in person for the first time after two years of online teaching and online interviewing. Ten MA students will design and carry out their own research projects about Japanese food in Berlin experimenting with different methods and filming the research process. Students already formed three groups. One group will focus on Japanese sweets in Berlin. Another group investigates Japanese liquor and izakaya. The third group will study food labels. This includes the question of how Japanese food and drink are labeled in terms of “organic”, “vegan” or “halal”. As usual, we start our course with joint interview practice by inviting guests and a field trip to a Japanese restaurant before students do fieldwork for their own projects.
We also continue the cooperation with Seikei University we started last year. Yoko Kawamura’s students will meet online with our students for their very first interview experience. FU students will ask students from Japan about their eating habits, experiences with foreign food in Japan and with Japanese food abroad. For the first time, we will collaborate with the University of Vienna this season. Hanno Jentzsch is also teaching a method course in Vienna and his students – inspired by our project – investigate Japanese food in Vienna. Students will meet online and discuss their projects, give feedback to each other and exchange experiences with fieldwork in the Japanese foodscapes of both cities. This enables interesting comparisons, I believe, and I am very much looking forward to this new perspective.