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Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien
October 14, 2021

Barbara Holthus gives talk on Tokyo Olympic volunteers at Princeton University

© Princeton University

DIJ deputy director Barbara Holthus will give an online talk on her research into Tokyo Olympic volunteers at Princeton University. Her presentation “Smiling behind the mask: Tokyo Olympics and its volunteers” on Thursday, October 14, 8 a.m. JST is sponsored by Princeton’s East Asia Studies Program. In her talk, Barbara will  particularly focus on the Field Cast – the Olympic and Paralympic volunteers. Volunteering was supposed to get a huge boost in popularity in Japanese society. Yet thousands of volunteers either were let go due to the ban on spectators, or they quit their (unpaid) jobs. Fieldwork through participant observation highlights the heterogeneity of those volunteers that remained, shedding light on their motivations and dreams – and what they took away from the experience. For more information on research related to the Olympics, see the DIJ’s special project on the Tokyo Olympics and the open access book publication Japan Through the Lens of the Tokyo Olympics