Jing Sun


Ph.D. Candidate

Research Fellow, Death & Life Studies and Practical Ethics (Research Center), The University of Tokyo
Writer, Synapsis: A Health Humanities Journal

Modern Japan, East Asia, World History

Exam Committee: Frederick R. Dickinson (advisor), Siyen Fei, Walter A. McDougall.

Dissertation Committee: Frederick R. Dickinson (advisor), Eiichiro Azuma, Sebastián Gil-Riaño.

Teaching Fields: Modern Japanese history, Late imperial and modern Chinese history, US international history, World history


Dissertation: Eating by Numbers: Nutrition, Health and the Political Economy of Food in Modern Japan 1880-1952.

This project explores the making of quantitative dietary standards and its socio-economic consequences in modern Japan. I argue that the making of dietary standards paved the way for both micro- and macro-level applications of a quantitative logic to the management of health and food economy in the country. Government compared agricultural production with necessary calories for the total population. State agencies and public health professionals developed nutritional and food policies in wartime and occupied Japan to nurture the hungry population. People were encouraged to eat by numbers, follow standards of daily nutrient intake for better health. The ideas and practice of calculated eating transformed peoples’ nutritional awareness and dietary habits and reshaped food and nutrition policy making in modern Japan.


B.A. International Politics, Peking University, China (2013)
B.A. International Liberal Studies, Waseda University, Japan (2013)
M.A. Asia-Pacific Studies, Peking University, China (2016)
M.P.P. Campus Asia Program, The University of Tokyo, Japan (2016)

Research Interests

Nutrition, History of Medicine, Food, Warfare, Empire, Global Asia

Courses Taught

Teaching fellow: From the End of History to the Populist Explosion: The Comparative Politics of Europe (2024 GEC Academy)

Adjunct professor: HIST3001 Modernizing Ancient Japan (2023 CIEE Japan Studies Summer Program)

TA: Modern American Culture (2018Fall, UPenn); History of Modern China (2019Spring, UPenn).

Grader: Media History (2011-2, Waseda University, Japan); International Law (2014Spring, Peking University, China); American Diplomatic History since 1776 (2017Fall, UPenn); Comparative Capitalist Systems (2018Spring, UPenn).


CV (file)