Postponed: Book Break :

Susanne Klien

author of “Urban Migrants in Rural Japan: Between Agency and Anomie in a Post-growth Society”

The Library Committee regrets to announce that the above planned event has been postponed until further notice.
We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding.

FCCJ Library Committee




Book Break : Susanne Klien, author of “Urban Migrants in Rural Japan: Between Agency and Anomie in a Post-growth Society”

Thursday, December 17, 2020, 18:15 - 20:30

Rural areas have generally been associated with stagnation, depopulation and lack of perspectives. Yet Susanne Klien in her book, published by Suny Press in 2020, aims to radically rethink the stereo-type image of countryside in Japan and beyond. Drawing on nine years of multi-sited ethnographic fieldwork across the country, she argues that the Lehman Shock in 2008, the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011 and increasingly harsh conditions of the job market have set the path for a new role of rural areas as experimental grounds for innovative projects.

In her talk, Klien will focus on three themes that feature in the book. She will introduce selected narratives by urban newcomers to show the paradox between aspiration to a better work-life-balance and the reality of persistent overwork and (self-)exploitation. She will also present life in rural Japan through the lens of female settlers, specifically social entrepreneurs, and examine how they negotiate their daily lives between self-determination and structural constraints.

Last, she will analyze how migrants' trajectories and practices are shaped by neoliberal forces. The talk cannot be more timely given the rapidly changing urban landscape of Japan as telework becomes the norm impacting office culture and urban lifestyles.

Klien is associate professor of Modern Japanese Studies at Research Faculty of Media and Communication/International Student Center at Hokkaido University. Originally from Vienna, Austria. She is the author of Rethinking Japan's Identity and International Role: Tradition and Change in Japan's Foreign Policy published by Routledge in 2002. She has conducted numerous ethnographic research projects about demographic decline, post-disaster reconstruction, youth culture and alternative modes of living and working. She is presently working on a new study about Japanese individuals living overseas, returnees and transnational influences on individuals relocating from cities to rural areas in Japan.

There will be a cocktail party - "Meet the Author - starting at 6:15 pm, followed by a set dinner with one drink at 6:40 pm (Menu: TBD/ Dessert/ Coffee or Tea with ONE DRINK (one from orange juice/ Oolong Tea/ white wine/ red wine). Drinks  are also available on a cash basis in the room. Book Break charges are 3,100 yen/ 4,100 yen (members/ non-members) per person. The member price is applicable to members' guests.

To FCCJ members: Sign up at the reception desk (03-3211-3161) or on the FCCJ website. To help us plan proper seating and food preparation, please reserve by noon of the day. Reservations cancelled less than 72 hours in advance will be charged in full.

To non-members: Sign up now at the reception desk by email ( Payment is in advance by Monday, December 14th, 2020. No refund is available unless the event is cancelled by FCCJ.

Attendees with food restriction should inform the reception desk three days before the event.

We kindly ask for your cooperation with Covid-19 prevention measures to have your temperature taken and wear your own mask whenever possible. Thank you.

(The talk will be in English)