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Kunsthistorisches Institut

International Symposium "Heidi from Japan: Anime, Narratives, and Swiss Receptions" (29-31 August 2019)



General information

The symposium will take place on 

Thursday, 29th August 2019  

  • University of Zurich, room  HAH-E-11 (Häldeliweg 2, 8044 Zurich)

Friday, 30th August 2019

  • National Museum (Landesmuseum) in the Willy G.S. Hirzel Auditorium (Museumsstrasse 2, 8001 Zurich)
  • University of Zurich, room RAA-G-01 (Rämistrasse 59, 8001 Zurich)

On Saturday, 31st August 2019 there will be an excursion for speakers, panel chairs and invited guests only. 

The symposium is free and open to the public, no prior registration is necessary. 

Presentations will be held in German, in Japanese and in English. Translations in English will be shown simultaneously for presentations in Japanese. 

For questions, please contact the Section for East Asian Art:

Symposium abstract

A Japanese anime seriesアルプスの少女ハイジ Arupusu no shōjo Haiji. (English: Heidi, Girl of the Alps) was created in 1974 by Isao Takahata, Hayao Miyazaki and others and became an international hit during the following decades. Not only was the anime phenomenally popular in Japan, but it has since been shown in dozens of other countries and dubbed into many different languages.  

The images and ideas of the Japanese anime were based not only on Johanna Spyri's original Heidi books but also on actual images of Switzerland, gathered through travels in Switzerland in 1973 by a four-man Japanese production team: the first time that this experiment was attempted. 

The anime became so popular across the world that it has successfully become a symbol of Switzerland and its inhabitants and has brought forth strong yet differentiated reactions, depending on background and nationality of audiences. It has become the lens through which many people across the world see Swiss culture. 

The symposium and its accompanying museum exhibition will deal with a number of key issues, including the problems of inter-cultural transfer and cultural appropriation, the roles of an imagined and idealized Switzerland, the receptions of Switzerland across the globe, the use of Heidi as an advertising tool, and the power of the visual medium. The anime Heidi is a case study of how popular literature can impact not only individual and collective memories but also the imaginations of world-wide audiences

Symposium program, Thursday 29th August

9:00 – 9:30        Registration

9:30 – 10:00      Welcome speeches
Prof. Dr. Hans Bjarne Thomsen (Section for East Asian Art, UZH)
                          Prof. Dr. Alfred Messerli (Popular Culture Studies, UZH)
                          Alina Martimyanove (PhD Candidate, UZH)

10:00 – 12:00    Panel 1: Beginnings
                          Moderation: Prof. Dr. Takashi Kawashima

                          Prof. Dr. Hans-Heino Ewers (Goethe University Frankfurt)
                          Zwischen Mignon und Momo. Facetten der Heidi-Figur – Sozialfall,
                          Naturallegorie und Heilsmythos / Between Mignon and Momo: Facets
                          of Heidi – Hardship Case, Nature Allegory, and Healing Myth
                          (Presentation in German)
                          Abstract (PDF, 29 KB)

                          Prof. Dr. Alfred Messerli (University of Zurich)
                          Lektüre von Heidi / Lessons from Heidi
                          (Presentation in German)
                          Abstract (PDF, 34 KB)

                          Dr. Yūta Daigi 大喜祐太 (Mie University 三重大学)
                          Is the German Language of Heidi Swiss? Aspects of Dialects that
                          Express Intimacy / Ist das Deutsch von Heidi schweizerisch? /
                          を示す方言的 要素」
                          (Presentation in Japanese)
                          Abstract (PDF, 120 KB)

12:00 – 13:30    Lunch Break

13:30 – 16:00    Panel 2: Translation Process
                          Moderation: Prof. Hans Bjarne Thomsen 

                          Prof. Dr. Aki Nishioka 西岡亜紀 (Ritsumeikan University 立命館大学)
                          Animation and Education: From Heidi to the World Masterpiece                                     Theater and Ghibli / Animation und Erziehung: Von Heidi zum World                             Masterpiece Theater und Ghibli 
                          (Presentation in Japanese)
                          Abstract  (PDF, 153 KB)    

                          Prof. Dr. Hiroaki Sekiguchi 関口裕昭 (Meiji University 明治大学)
                          The Descendants of Heidi in Japanese Novels and Manga / Die
                          Nachfolger Heidis in japanischen Romanen und Manga
                        「日本の 小説と漫画におけるハイジの後裔たち」
                          (Presentation in German or Japanese)
                          Abstract (PDF, 97 KB)

                          Prof. Dr. Takayoshi Yamamura 山村高淑
                          (Hokkaido University 北海道大学)
                          The Creation, Consumption, and Restructuring of a Narrative World 
                          and Tourism: Seen from the Boundary-Crossing Consumption of the 
                          Heidi Narrative through Contents Tourism / Schaffung, Konsum, und
                          Rekonstruktion einer narrative Welt und Tourismus: Die
                          grenzübergreifende Konsumierung der Heidi-Erzählung im Contents
                          Tourism /「物語世界の創造・消費・ 再構築とツーリズム~コンテン
                          ツ・ツーリズム(contents tourism)としての物語『ハイジ』の越境
                          (Presentation in Japanese)
                          Abstract (PDF, 131 KB)

                          Dr. Jean-Michel Wissmer (Independent scholar)
                          The Saga of Heidi's Avatars: Would Johanna Spyri Still Recognize 
                          Her Child? Die Saga von Heidis Avataren: Würde Johanna Spyri ihr
                          Kind noch wiedererkennen?
                          (Presentation in English)
                          Abstract  (PDF, 29 KB)                         

16:00 – 16:30    Coffee Break

16:30 – 19:00    Panel 3: Lokehan                         
                          Moderation: Sabine Bradel, PhD Candidate

                          Prof. Dr. Hans Bjarne Thomsen (University of Zurich)
                          Role of the Lokehan in the Creation of the Anime Heidi / Die Rolle
                          der Lokehan in der Kreation des Anime Heidi
                          (Presentation in English)
                          Abstract (PDF, 41 KB)

                          Ms. Kaori Chiba ちばかおり (Heidi Research Group for the Study of
                          Children's Literature)
                          Heidi that became Animation in Japan: 19th Century Switzerland as
                          Captured by a Japanese Production Team and Its Expressions / Wie
                          Heidi in Japan eine Animation wurde: Die Schweiz des 19. Jh. durch
                          die Sichtweise eines japanischen Produktionsteams und seine
                          Ausdrucksformen /「日本でアニメーションになった『ハイジ』~日
                          (Presentation in Japanese) 
                          Abstract (PDF, 162 KB)

                          Dr. Anna Lehninger (Art Historian, Zurich)
                          "Ein Prachtsbuch für Kinder und solche, die Kinder lieb haben":
                          Martha Pfannenschmid's Illustrations for the Silva Heidi Editions in
                          the 1940s / ""Ein Prachtsbuch für Kinder und solche, die Kinder lieb
                          haben": Martha Pfannenschmids Illustrationen für die Silva Heidi-
                          Editionen der 1940er
                          (Presentation in English)
                          Abstract  (PDF, 38 KB)                         

                          Pio Gino Steiner (University of Zurich)
                          Sounding Swiss – The Family Schwartz Contributing to Heidi's Music/
                          Schweizer Klang – Der Beitrag der Familie Schwarz an Heidis Musik
                          (Presentation in English)
                          ​​​​​​​Abstract (PDF, 31 KB)​​​​​​​

19:00 – 19:20    Musical Interlude                          
Performance by the "Schwarz family"
                          Maya Rymann and Fritz Fuchs

19:20 – 20:30    Reception

Symposium program, Friday 30th August (Part 1 – National Museum)

9:00 – 9:15       Words of Welcome
                         Dr. Andreas Spillmann (Director, Swiss National Museum)

9:15 – 10:30     Panel 4: Anime Production
                         Interview with lokehan members

                         Junzō Nakajima (Producer of the 1974 Heidi)

                         Yōichi Kotabe (Character designer, animation director of the
                         1974 Heidi)

                         Narrated by Kaori Chiba and Hans Bjarne Thomsen
                         (Japanese and English)

10:30 – 11:00   Coffee Break

11:00 – 13:30   Panel 5: Global Receptions
                         Moderation: Prof. Dr. Alfred Messerli

                         Dr. Peter Büttner (University of Zurich)
                         Ein Streifzug durch die Übersetzungsgeschichte von Johanna Spyris
                         "Heidi" unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der hebräischen Ausgaben
                         von 1946 bis heute
/ A Journey through the Translation History of
                         Johanna Spyri's "Heidi"
with Special References to the Hebrew
                         Editions from 1946 to the Present Day
                         (Presentation in German)
                         Abstract (PDF, 34 KB)

                         Prof. Dr. Takashi Kawashima 川島隆 (Kyoto University京都大学)
                         Übersetzungsgeschichte von Heidi in Japan – Eine Geschichte für                                Mädchen? / Translation History of Heidi in Japan – A Story for Girls?
                         (Presentation in German)
                         Abstract (PDF, 44 KB)

                         Dr. Sunghwa Kim  金聖華
                         (Hankuk University of Foreign Studies 韓國外國語大學)
                         Heidi in Korea 
                         (Presentation in German)
                         Abstract (PDF, 25 KB)                         

                         Prof. Dr. Hiroko Nishiguchi 西口拓子 (Waseda University 早稲田大学) 
                         Differenzen zwischen der literarischen Vorlage von Johanna Spyri und
                         dem Anime
Heidi Differences between the Original Text by Johanna
                         Spyri and the Anime
Heidi /「ハイジ」の変容――シュピリの原作か
                         (Presentation in German)
                         Abstract (PDF, 98 KB)                         

13:30 – 15:00   Lunch

15:00 – 16:30   Panel 6: Analysis of "Heidi"
                         Moderation: Prof. Dr. Hans-Heino Ewers

                         Prof. Dr. Ingrid Tomkowiak (University of Zurich)
                         Generationenbeziehungen. Altersbilder in Johanna Spyris Roman 
                         Heidi und seinen Verfilmungen / Relations between Generations:
                         Images of Old Age in Johanna Spyri’s
Heidi and Its Film Versions
                         (Presentation in German) 
                         Abstract  (PDF, 28 KB)                        

                         Dr. Patricia Jäggi (Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts)
                         "Can you yodel, my child?" – Heidi in Arabic / "Kannst du jodeln, mein
                         Kind?" – Heidi auf Arabisch
                         (Presentation in English)
                         Abstract  (PDF, 45 KB)                        

Symposium program, Friday 30th August (Part 2 – University of Zurich)

18:30 – 18:45   Words of Welcome
                         Prof. Dr. Christian Schwarzenegger, Vice President Faculty Affairs and                          Scientific Information (University of Zurich)

18:45 – 19:45   Keynote Speech
                         Dr. Christine Lötscher
                         Assembling Girls, Plants, Rocks and Animals: New Readings of Heidi
                         in Today's Children's Literature / Heidi-Natur-Assemblagen: Neue
                         Lesearten von Johanna Spyris Romanen in der Kinderliteratur der
                         (Presentation in English)
                         Abstract (PDF, 40 KB)

20:00 ~             Dinner for speakers and invited guests

Other related events:

Symposium speakers and invited guests will take part in an excursion to Heidi related sites in Switzerland on August 31.

Concurrent to the exhibition, the exhibition Heidi in Japan is shown at the Swiss National Museum (Landesmuseum Zürich) from July 18 to September 29, 2019.

Prof. Dr. Aki Nishioka (Ritsumeikan University) will present on One Hundred Years of Japanese Kamishibai: Development and Popularity of the Paper Theater at the Swiss National Museum on September 1, 2019 at 14:00. See here for full details.

This symposium is organized by the Section for East Asian Art at the University of Zurich in collaboration with the Swiss National Museum and the Department of Popular Culture Studies at the Institute of Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies (ISEK) at the University of Zurich. Assistance was given by the Department for German Language and Literature at the Kyoto University, Ritsumeikan University, European Association for Asian Art and Archaeology, and numerous private individuals.  

The symposium is supported by the Japan Foundation, Swiss-Japanese Society, Swiss National Museum, JSPS KAKENHI: Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B) 19H01251, and other institutions. 

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