New Book Announcement - Empire of Hope: The Sentimental Politics of Japanese Decline

David Leheny's picture

Dear H-Japan members:

I wanted to make a quick announcement about my new book, Empire of Hope: The Sentimental Politics of Japanese Decline (Cornell University Press, 2018). This book connects a number of case studies to make an argument about how we might study emotion and politics by focusing on the role of national narrative. Drawing from the diverse scholarship of writers like Anne Allison, Lauren Berlant, Yuji Genda, Richard Samuels, Carol Gluck, Serguei Oushakine, and Peter Brooks, Empire of Hope examines the sentimental rendering of episodes in Japanese politics from the 1980s through the 2000s. These range from the medical treatment of two conjoined twins (victims of Agent Orange) from Vietnam through the “cool Japan” efforts of the 2000s, and from the deadly collision of a US Navy submarine with a Japanese fisheries training ship in 2001 through the 2011 Tohoku disasters. I wrote the book largely with advanced undergraduate readers in mind, and I hope that Forum members might find the book sufficiently interesting, useful, and engaging to consider for their courses on Japanese society, politics, and culture. I would certainly be grateful for your feedback and thoughts.


You can order the book at a 30% discount directly from Cornell University Press by using the promo code 09FLYER. 


Its page is here:


Thank you for your consideration, and best wishes to all of you during the end-of-the-year and beginning-of-the-year holidays -



David Leheny


Graduate School of Asia-Pacific Studies