East Asia: Japan
Kerry Shannon specializes in the history of Japan and Korea from roughly 1860 to the twenty first century. His teaching interests include the regional history of Northeast Asia (China, Korea, Japan), and East Asia's place in global history with a particular focus on health, diet, medicine, and the environment. His current book project examines the advent of public health in Korea and Japan at the turn of the twentieth century. The manuscript argues that Japanese expansionists used hygiene as their main vehicle for justifying Japan's colonization of Korea in 1910. At the same time, Korean thinkers used measured improvements in public health as a means of protecting national sovereignty. The project seeks to reexamine the modern history of Japan and Korea by looking at the two countries in shared context.