This essay examines how Japanese Esperantism developed after the Russo-Japanese War in a manner that departed from the global Esperanto movement. Esperantists viewed Esperanto as a language that amplified the diversity of and symbolized equality between cultures. Esperanto was studied and discussed by elites and nonelites alike in noninstitutional spaces such as in rural homes and coffee shops, often at night, when institutions privileged by state and financial power had closed. By looking at these hidden space-times outside the realms of state guidance, we become privy to an imagination and practice of peace and world order that operated outside the institutions of the nation-state. The history of this movement offers us a rare window into a popular concept of world order in Asia.

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