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Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien

Contemporary Japan 28, No. 1
Ethnographies of Hope in Contemporary Japan

In this issue, contributors consider feelings, perceptions, and narratives of hope and hopelessness in Japan: tracing, as it were, the work of hope.

Hope (kibō) in this context can be understood as at once a disposition, a tool, and a collective resource. People may actively seek out or attempt to foster hope; but hope is also, at times, felt as external: bestowed upon some and not others. That is to say, hope can be situational. Both fostered hope and situational hope can have an impact on people’s actions, but it is the latter that highlights the significance of the “independent action of hope in the world” (Reed 2011: 533). The contributions to this issue, in this sense, enlarge our understanding of what hope does.