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Academic Staff

Dr. Janet Borland
BA, BSc, MA, PhD Melbourne

Assistant Professor

Email: borland@hku.hk

Janet Borland

Janet Borland is an Assistant Professor of Japanese Studies at the University of Hong Kong. She is the author of Earthquake Children: Building Resilience from the Ruins of Tokyo, forthcoming with Harvard University Asia Center.

In addition to articles published in leading journals such as Japanese Studies, Modern Asian Studies, Urban History, and the Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth, Janet has presented her research at international conferences and invited seminars in the areas of Japanese history, Asian studies, disaster studies, international education, history of childhood, and architectural history. In 2012 she was awarded the Scott Opler Emerging Scholar Fellowship for her paper presented at the 65th Annual Meeting of the Society of Architectural Historians.

Janet has devised courses emanating from her research that use Japan’s seismic past and contemporary leadership in disaster preparedness, as windows for students to experience and learn about Japan’s history, culture, and society. In recognition of her effective and innovative teaching, Janet received a University of Hong Kong 2018 Outstanding Teaching Award and the 2017 Arts Faculty Teaching Excellence Award. Janet’s research and teaching interests inspired her to partner with Mitsubishi Corporation and create the Young Leaders Tour of Japan. She has made a meaningful contribution to student learning and engagement with local communities in Hong Kong and Japan through this experiential learning course taught in areas devastated by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. Owing to her research expertise, the Discovery Channel sought her assistance and commentary for the 2016 documentary “Japan: Designed for Recovery,” which secured 2.7 million viewers.

She has begun two new research projects that explore interactions between people and the natural and built environment: one is a history of Sakurajima’s volcanic eruptions, and the second is a cultural, environmental, and social history of the Japanese crane.

Research Interests
Modern Japanese History
History of child and youth health in prewar Japan
Natural Disasters and Post-Disaster Reconstruction
Architectural history of Tokyo

Earthquake Children: Building Resilience from the Ruins of Tokyo. Harvard University Asia Center, forthcoming.

Peer Reviewed Articles
“Small Parks, Big Designs: Managing Daily Life in Tokyo’s New Green Spaces,” Urban History (2019): 1-20.

“Voices of Vulnerability and Resilience: Children and their Recollections in Post-Earthquake Tokyo,” Japanese Studies 36, no. 3 (2016): 299-317. https://doi.org/10.1080/10371397.2016.1246058

“Makeshift Schools and Education in the Ruins of Tokyo, 1923,” Japanese Studies 29, no.1 (2009): 135-147.

“Lessons From History for Today and Tomorrow: Disaster Prevention and Education in Japanese Schools Following the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake,” Education Without Borders Conference Proceedings, Abu Dhabi, UAE February 2007, 259-268.

“Capitalising on Catastrophe: Reinvigorating the Japanese State with Moral Values through Education Following the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake,” Modern Asian Studies 40, no. 4 (2006): 875-907.

“Stories of Ideal Japanese Subjects From the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923,” Japanese Studies 25, no. 1 (2005): 21-34. https://doi.org/10.1080/10371390500067645

JAPN1011 Introduction to Japanese Studies
JAPN2089 Twentieth Century Japan
JAPN2094 Japanese Studies Internship
JAPN2096 Young Leaders Tour of Japan Field Trip
JAPN2090 Growing Up in Japan: Youth, Culture and Society
JAPN3035 Revolutionary Origins of Modern Japan
JAPN4003 Japan: Earthquake Nation

Contact Details
Office: 537, 5th Floor, Run Run Shaw Tower
E-mail: borland@hku.hk
HKU Scholars Hub: http://hub.hku.hk/rp/rp01486

Japanese Studies HKU