The relevance of cognition for institution-based models in Japanese studies is discussed in three papers. Walter Ötsch discusses the complex processes how we perceive reality. He stresses the importance of cognitive paradigms in time and space (culture) for mental framing. Katja Triplett and Michael Pye analyse the role of "rationality" in religious transactions in Japan. Looking at several case studies, they argue that activities can often be understood as goal-driven in a narrow economic sense. Dirk Nabers looks at the evolution of international relations and presents a research agenda to pay attention to cognitive and discursive phenomena.