Event: “More than Sushi: A Conversation with Debra Samuels and Cornelia Reiher about popular Japanese Cuisine in Berlin and beyond”

Join us for the Open Monday Special Edition on Food at JDZB.

Date: February 5, 2024

Time: 6 pm

Location: Japanese German Center Berlin (JDZB), Saargemünder Str. 2, 14195 Berlin

Presenters: Debra Samuels (NPO: TABLE FOR TWO USA, Content and Program Developer) and Prof. Dr. Cornelia Reiher (Freie Universität Berlin, Japanese Studies)

Link: https://jdzb.de/de/veranstaltungen/openmondayjdzb-special-food-edition

Vortrag „Kulinarische Authentizität als Emotion. Japanische Gastronom*innen in Berlin und ihre vegetarische/ vegane Kundschaft“

Vortragende: Cornelia Reiher (Freie Universität Berlin, Professorin für Japanologie)


Universität Potsdam



Datum: 23.01.2024

Zeit: 10:15 – 11:15

New Publication on vegan and vegetarian variations of Japanese food in Berlin

Another publication related to the “Berlin’s Japanese Foodscapes” project just came out in the journal Food, Culture and Society. Please check it out online:

Cornelia Reiher (2022): Negotiating authenticity: Berlin’s Japanese food producers and the vegan/vegetarian consumer, Food, Culture & Society (online first) https://doi.org/10.1080/15528014.2022.2076028


This paper introduces “feelings of authenticity” as an analytical category in the scholarship on culinary globalization and ethnic food producers to understand changes in cosmopolitan foodscapes by transcending economic conceptualizations of authenticity. It discusses how Japanese food entrepreneurs, chefs and food workers making and selling Japanese food in Berlin feel about and negotiate consumer demands for vegan and vegetarian variations of Japanese cuisine. Why are some Japanese food producers in Berlin more flexible in adjusting their menus to customer demands than others? This paper argues that different responses are related to food producers’ feelings of authenticity informed by different personal standards of what authentic Japanese food is and should be. These standards emerge from their personal biographies, professional backgrounds and values. Based on six years of fieldwork, this paper introduces three groups of Japanese food producers who perceive authentic Japanese food differently and shows how ethnic food producers’ perceptions and feelings of authenticity affect negotiations between food producers and consumers.

NEW PUBLICATION: Berlin’s Japanese foodscapes during the COVID-19 crisis: Restaurateurs’ experiences and practices during the spring 2020 shutdown

Prof. Dr. Cornelia Reiher published a new paper in Berliner Blätter 86/2022 on the experience of Japanese restaurateurs in Berlin during the shutdown from March to May 2020 following the outbreak of COVID-19 in Berlin. It asks whether and how they continued selling food during the shutdown, compares their experiences and points out similarities and differences that are based on the type of eateries, the restaurateurs’ personal migration histories and the degree of their local embeddedness in Berlin

Website: https://www.berliner-blaetter.de/index.php/blaetter/article/view/1112/57

Informal book launch: Studying Japan: Handbook of Research Designs, Fieldwork and Methods

Since the handbook came out in December 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic has been going on worldwide. Although we gave some book talks at a few universities, we could not have an onsite book launch to celebrate the handbook’s publication with our authors.

Therefore, we decided to organize an online event. As the second best option, we invited all authors to join us for a celebration via Zoom on May 18. The intercontinental celebration featured toasts and short thank you speeches, but most importantly offered authors the chance to get to know each other or meet friends during breakout sessions. While colleagues from the US had their morning coffee, authors from Asia and Australia enjoyed their after work beer.

Although the Covid-19 pandemic and the current situation with regard to vaccination in the different countries was a big topic, some authors also shared their experiences with using the handbook in class. We are looking forward to a real book launch party, hopefully in the near future.

The long wait is over! Studying Japan: Handbook of Research Designs, Fieldwork and Methods is out now

On December 18, 2020, the long-awaited Studying Japan Handbook of Research Designs, Fieldwork and Methods edited by Nora Kottmann and Cornelia Reiher will finally be published. It emerged from the method courses taught by both editors at FUB and HHU Düsseldorf including this project on „Japanese foodscapes in Berlin“.

Studying Japan is the first comprehensive guide on qualitative methods, research designs and fieldwork in social science research on Japan. More than 70 Japan scholars from around the world provide an easy-to-read overview on qualitative methods used in research on Japan’s society, politics, culture and history. The book covers the entire research process from the outset to the completion of a thesis, a paper, or a book.

The authors provide basic introductions to individual methods, discuss their experiences when applying these methods and highlight current trends in research on Japan. The book serves as a foundation for a course on qualitative research methods and can also be used as a reference for all researchers in Japanese Studies, the Social Sciences and Area Studies. It is an essential reading for students and researchers with an interest in Japan!

Nomos Webshop:
Flyer with table of content:

Vortrag: Coping with uncertainty: Berlin’s Japanese restaurateurs during the Covid-19 pandemic

Diesen Donnerstag, den 03.12.2020 um 12:00 Uhr findet im Rahmen der GEAS Digital Lecture Series: East Asian Responses to Crisis ein Vortrag von Cornelia Reiher zur Situation der japanischen Restaurants in Berlin während der Covid-19 Pandemie statt.

Die Freie Universität Berlin nutzt für diese Vortragsserie das Videokonferenzsystem Webex von Cisco, für das keine Vorinstallation notwendig ist. Voraussetzung für die Teilnahme ist lediglich eine Registrierung. Folgen Sie dafür bitte folgendem Link:

03.12.2020, 12:00 Uhr: Coping with uncertainty: Berlin’s Japanese restaurateurs during the Covid-19 pandemic (Cornelia Reiher)

Weitere Informationen zur GEAS Digital Lecture Series: East Asian Responses to Crisis finden Sie auf:

Forthcoming (late 2020): Methods Handbook

Handbook Studying Japan: Research Designs, Fieldwork and Methods
Nora Kottmann and Cornelia Reiher (eds.) (forthcoming 2020), Baden Baden: Nomos.

Japanese Studies is an interdisciplinary field. Research focusing on Japan’s society, politics, culture and history draws on a wide variety of theories and methods from various disciplines. This textbook responds to the increasing demand for systematic and transparent research practices in Japanese Studies and Area Studies communities. Weiterlesen

Conference Report: Studying Japan

Studying Japan: The impact of transnationalization and technological innovation on methods, fieldwork and research ethics Freie Universität Berlin, July 23 and 24, 2019

The international conference “Studying Japan” took place at Freie Universität Berlin on July 23 and 24, 2019. It was kindly funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), the German Institute for Japanese Studies (DIJ), Ernst-Reuter-Gesellschaft (ERG) and Freie Universität Berlin. Organizers Cornelia Reiher (FU Berlin) and Nora Kottmann (DIJ Tokyo) welcomed an interdisciplinary group of Japan scholars to discuss methodological trends in times of transnationalization and technological innovations and to talk about ways to make methods education more accessible for students and junior researchers. The conference consisted of five panels that encompassed the whole research process from finding a research topic to publishing one’s results.


ASIEN: Japanese Foodscapes in Berlin: Teaching Research Methods Through Food

As the third anniversary of this blog and project went by quietly, the creative effort students, guests and the instructor have put into the method lessons and seminars time and time again bears its fruit in forms beyond the posts here; it is introduced in issue no. 149 „Fieldwork in Japan: New Trends and Challenges“ of ASIEN The German Journal of Contemporary Asia (2018, edited by Cornelia Reiher) setting an example as to how method education in Japanese Studies can be accomplished through the study of food. The abstract reads: Weiterlesen