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The Izuru Kamukura Project (カムクライズルプロジェクト), also referred to as The Hope Cultivation Plan (希望育成計画 Kibō ikusei keikaku) or The Kamukura Project, was an experiment directed by The Steering Committee to create artificial hope in normal students, and create the Ultimate Hope, a student with every talent researched by Hope's Peak Academy.
Named after the founder of Hope's Peak Academy, Izuru Kamukura, the project was considered to be the culmination of Hope's Peak Academy's research on talent; creating a superhuman paragon by imbuing a single person with every talent possible. In order to achieve this goal, human experimentation and other immoralities were required, so The Steering Committee kept the project a secret, even to Principal Jin Kirigiri. After Class 74th graduated, former students Kyosuke Munakata, Chisa Yukizome, and Juzo Sakakura somehow learned of the project and worked to uncover it, accepting positions in Hope's Peak Academy's faculty to aid their investigation.
The Reserve Course was developed in part to fund the Kamukura Project, with the majority of the students' tuition going towards it. Some time before Class 77-B's freshman year, the project had received sufficient funding to begin its human testing phase. The intended subject was Hajime Hinata, a talentless Reserve Course student who was attending the academy on a special "grant" (participation in the Hope Cultivation Plan) in exchange for having his tuition waived. When everything was in place, Hajime was pulled out of the school - his official transcript stated that he was expelled in order to cover up his involvement with the project.
Under the Steering Committee's supervision, extensive surgeries were performed on Hajime to give him every talent Hope's Peak Academy had researched. He was also lobotomized to remove his memories, personality, and other emotional functions that could interfere with acquiring talent. Hajime was briefly aware of the procedure at least once, expressing distress before being stabilized for the rest of his mental and physical restructuring.
By the time the project was completed, Hajime's personality and appearance had changed dramatically; he was given the title of "Ultimate Hope" and the name Izuru Kamukura (after the school's initial founder). When his condition was fully stabilized, he was detained in a secret room for the next stage of the Steering Committee's plans.
On paper, the Izuru Kamukura Project was a total success; the formerly unremarkable Hajime had been imbued with every talent known to Hope's Peak Academy. However, the process had also stripped Izuru of his humanity, leaving him apathetic to everything and everyone. This would be exploited by Junko Enoshima and Mukuro Ikusaba, who learned of the Kamukura Project and tracked Izuru down; Junko was able to convince Izuru to assist her by promising to show him the unpredictable nature of despair. As a result, the "Ultimate Hope" was framed as the mastermind of The Tragedy of Hope's Peak Academy, kick-starting a chain of events that would lead to the deaths of the Steering Committee, the birth of Ultimate Despair, and the beginning of The Tragedy.