Kaori Okano

Professor Kaori Okano

  • Post Nominals: FAHA
  • Fellow Type: Fellow
  • Elected to the Academy: 2023
  • Section(s): Asian Studies


Kaori Okano is Professor of Japanese & Asian Studies in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, La Trobe University. She is an internationally recognised scholar of diversity and social justice in education in Japan, with a particular interest in multiculturalism, social inequality, and women’s life course. Her work aims to advance understanding of how schooling simultaneously reproduces and ameliorates social inequality. Her publications include studies on poverty, zainichi Korean and migrant children, indigenous Ainu, compulsory school lunch, and eurocentrism in Japanese Studies. Her current project is a longitudinal ethnography of women’s life courses and well-being (1989-present). It has led to a collaborative interdisciplinary sociolinguistic study of language variations in the ethnography’s interviews (ARCD). One of her books, Young Women in Japan: Transitions to Adulthood (2009) was awarded as an ‘Outstanding Academic Title’ by Choice magazine (the American Library Association). She has been a visiting professor at Kobe University, Waseda University and Kwansei Gakuen Univeristy; and served as President of the Japanese Studies Association of Australia (JSAA) and Japan/Korea Councillor of the Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA).

Acknowledgement of Country

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