Studying Japan: Handbook of Research Designs, Fieldwork and Methods


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, a book, or a documentary film. 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 is 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!


  • This publication also includes three contributions by staff members:
    • "Building arguments on national policies from everyday observations"
      by Hanno Jentzsch
    • "Ethnographic film and fieldwork on active ageing in rural Japan"
      by Isabelle Prochaska-Meyer and
    • "‘Bullseye view on happiness’: A qualitative interview survey method"
      by Barbara Holthus (DIJ) and Wolfram Manzenreiter


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

Studying Japan: Handbook of Research Designs, Fieldwork and Methods