In: KulturPoetik 2001, Heft 2


Franz Hintereder-Emde


German Studies vs. Germanistik als Kulturwissenschaft. Literaturwissenschaft und Kulturvermittlung am Beispiel der japanischen Germanistik




The roots of German studies in Japan reach back to the Meiji era (1867-1912), when German became the second obligatory foreign language in higher education. From the end of World War II to the present day, the number of students learning German has declined considerably. One of the problems German studies in Japan is facing today is the gap between teachers' research interests in literature and linguistics, and the need for effectively structured language training. The essay claims that this problem has its origin in the German academic tradition which ignores the educational needs of foreign cultures and tends to devalue language training as a substantial part of German studies. Efforts to combine the teaching of German as a foreign language with the fields of literature, linguistics and cultural studies would revive interest in German studies in the international academic community.