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Prof. Dr. Reinhard Zöllner

Principal Investigator


Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn 
Department of Japanese and Korean Studies 
Regina-Pacis Weg 7
53113 Bonn
Tel.: +49 228 73-48 48

Current Position: 

Director of the Department of Japanese and Korean Studies, Professor of Japanese Studies


1981-1988           MA Studies in Latin, History, and Japanology University of Kiel, University of Hamburg, Sophia
    University, Tokyo, Japan
1988-1992           PhD Studies, University of Kiel
1997                    Habilitation and Venia legendi in Japanology, University of Trier

Academic Positions

1990-1997          Lecturer, Department of Modern Japanese Studies, University of Düsseldorf
1997-1999          Professor of Economic and Social History of Modern Japan, Department of Japanology, University
    of Halle-Wittenberg
1999-2008          Professor of East Asian History, Chair of East Asian History, University of Erfurt
2003-2004          Toyota Visiting Professor, Center for Japanese Studies, University of Michigan, U.S.A.
2008-present       Professor of Japanese Studies, UoB, Department of Japanese and Korean Studies, UoB

Additional Academic Activities: 

Co-editor of the series “Reihe zur Geschichte Ostasiens (since 2000); Member of the scientific advisory board of the journal “Historische Mitteilungen” of the Ranke Society (since 2009); Co-editor of the journal “Crossroads – Studies on the History of Exchange Relations in the East Asian World” (since 2010); Reviewer for national and international research organizations and foundations; External reviewer for approximately 30 historical and Japanese appointment procedures at German, Belgian and French universities (since 2005)


RZ is concerned with the role of slavery and slave trade in early modern East Asia. In the 15th to 17th centuries, pirate activities and warfare resulted in the enslavement and trading of considerable numbers of Koreans and Chinese. Slavery was still a common institution in Choseon Korea until the 19th century, whereas in China und Japan, it was almost absent. Recent research indicates that deserting slaves tried to escape to Japan by sea but were "repatriated“ to Korea without the Japanese authorities inquiring about their status. On the other side of the coin, Koreans who had been abducted to Japan in the wars of the late 16th century were used as forced laborers until their repatriation was negotiated between the two governments. Zöllner's focus will be on the relationship between international politics and slavery.
9 books, 9 edited volumes, 67 papers and various book reviews. 200 national and international presentations and lectures, 15 completed, 5 ongoing PhD supervisions

External Funding: 

(DFG) (newspaper project since 2010); German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) (joint projects since 2005); Japan Foundation; Japanese Foundation for the Promotion of Science; Korea Foundation; North East Asia History Foundation – a total of about 1.4 million Euros.

 Selected Publications:

  1. Die Ludowinger und die Takeda. Feudale Herrschaft in Thüringen und Kai no kuni [The Ludovingians and the Takeda. Feudal Rule in Thuringia and Kai no kuni]. Bonn 1995.
  2. Einführung in die Geschichte Ostasiens [Introduction to the History of East Asia]. Munich 2009.
  3. Geschichte Japans. Von 1800 bis zur Gegenwart [The History of Japan. From 1800 to the Present]. Stuttgart 2013.
  4. Japanische Zeitrechnung: Ein Handbuch [Japanese Calendrical Calculation. A Handbook]. Munich 2003.
  5.  Japan. Fukushima. Und wir. Zelebranten einer nuklearen Erdbebenkatastrophe [Japan. Fukushima. And Us. Celebrants of a Nuclear Earthquale Disaster]. Munich 2011.
  6. Japans Karneval der Krise: Ējanaika und die Meiji-Renovation [Japan’s Carnival of Crisis: Ējanaika and the Meiji Renovation]. Munich 2003.
  7. With M. Eggert and G. Müller-Saini (eds.), Ostasien in Geschichte und Gegenwart. Eine Einführung für den Unterricht [East Asia in History and Present Time. An Introduction for Teaching]. Schwalbach 2014.
  8. Doitsugo Essei Mein liebes Japan! [My Dear Japan!]. Tōkyō 2015.
  9. Higashi Ajia no Rekishi, sono Kōchiku. Tōkyō 2011.
  10. with Yoshio Nakamura): Culture and Contents – Understanding Contents Business in Japan and the World. Munich 2010.
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