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Klaus J. Friese M.A.

Klaus J. Friese, M.A.

Doctoral Candidate; Teaching Assignment

Areas of research and interest

Economic anthropology, especially anthropology of finance; material culture and museum anthropology.

Focus region: Asia, especially Japan


Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology
Oettingenstr. 67
80538 Munich

Phone: +49 (0) 89 / 2180 - 9601
Fax: +49 (0) 89 / 2180 - 9602

Office hours:
On appointment.

Doctoral project

Working title: Japanese war kimonos – history, meanings and representations in exhibitions

The first Japanese garments showing modern war motives (e.g. tanks, airplanes, battleships) but having traditional forms appeared after the 1894/95 Chinese-Japanese war. Most of the preserved pieces were produced between 1930 and 1942. The textiles – today often called war kimonos – were mostly mass produced, but after WWII disappeared completely from public view.

Main focus of the project are the meanings associated by the original owners and their contemporaries with those garments. To this purpose both the art historical and political context of the kimonos will be researched and connectivities to other objects of everyday use and media of this time will be investigated using an interdisciplinary approach combining (art) history and (visual) anthropology. The object analysis will be guided by the following questions:

  • In what form do the kimonos represent the specific Japanese concept of modernity?
  • Are those objects part of a (possibly) state controlled war propaganda, are they more personal and individual statements or just fashion items?

Another aspect of the research is the representation of those textiles in contemporary exhibitions both in anthropological and art museums. 

Further Information / CV

since April 2017: Lecturer at LMU

since October 2016:
Doctoral Candidate at the Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology at LMU and at the Institute for Art History – East Asian Art History – of the University of Zurich (Cotutelle). Supervision by Prof. Dr. Frank Heidemann, LMU, and Prof. Dr. Hans Bjarne Thomsen, Universität Zürich.

October 2014 – July 2016: Master in Social and Cultural Anthropology at LMU. Topic of master thesis: „Risk in Banks“

October 2011 – July 2014: Bachelor with major „Social and Cultural Anthropology” and minor „Antiques and Oriental Studies“ at LMU