Welcome to the homepage of Wolfgang Schwentker!



Osaka, Nakanoshima, 2017

Osaka, Nakanoshima, 2017

Wolfgang Schwentker is a historian and professor at Ōsaka University.

His research subjects include Japanese history, modern social and political thought, and the life and work of Max Weber.



On 9 March, 2019, an international conference on “Kuwata Kumazô and his Contemporaries” was held at the Department of Human Sciences, Osaka University. WS was pleased to welcome many Japanese and foreign experts who talked about social thought and social policy in Meiji and Taishô Japan. The symposium was sponsered by the JSPS (kaken-project).

On 23 February, 2019, WS was invited by the Global History Study Group of Osaka University to talk about his kaken-project on “Kuwata Kumazô and Japanese Social Reform, 1890-1930”.

WS gave a paper on “The Poverty of Others: Japanese Social Reformers in Europe, 1880-1930” at the Historical Institute of Regensburg University, Germany, on the 6th of November, 2018.

On the 18th and 25th of October, 2018, WS was a guest lecturer at Tokyo University where he talked about “Reading Max Weber in Postwar Japan: The ‘Modernists’”.

In November 2017 WS’s essay “Was heißt in Japan ‘Nachkriegszeit’?” [The Meaning of “Postwar” in Japan] has been published in “WestEnd (Neue Zeitschrift für Sozialforschung”, No. 2, 2017, p.157-170

WS attended a symposium at the Werner Reimers Foundation in Bad Homburg, Germany, on 9 March 2017 where he spoke about "From Postwar to Post-postwar Japan: Parameters of Social and Political Change".


On the conference "Flows and Orders: A Tension of Global History", held at the University of Constance between 13 and 15 October 2016, WS presented a paper on "Exploring the Poverty of Others: Japanese Social Reformers in Europe, 1890-1930".


On 6 October 2016 WS attended a conference on "Constructing Communities - Below and Beyond the Nation" held at the university of Munich. His presentation was on "'Karisuma' in Japan? On Leadership and Followership in a Community-based Society".


On 17 September 2016 WS joined a symposium at Tôkyô University on "Civil Society in Comparison" where he spoke on "Emil Lederer and Kuwata Kumazô: German-Japanese Networks of Social Knowledge, 1900-1930".


In March 2016 WS attended an international conference on "Globalization from East Asian Perspectives", held at the Nakanoshima Center of Osaka University.


In February 2016 WS joined a new study group on Japan at the Werner-Reimers-Foundation in Bad Homburg, near Frankfurt, discussing various topics related to "Japan in East Asia: Tradition and Change".