By Hoi-eun Kim
The historical past of German medication has gone through extreme scrutiny due to its indelible connection to Nazi crimes. what's much less renowned is that Meiji Japan followed German medication as its reliable version in 1869. In Doctors of Empire, Hoi-eun Kim recounts the tale of the virtually 1,200 eastern clinical scholars who rushed to German universities to benefit state of the art wisdom from the realm leaders in medication, and of the dozen German physicians who have been invited to Japan to remodel the country’s scientific associations and education.
Shifting fluently among German, English, and jap resources, Kim’s ebook makes use of the vibrant lives of those males to envision the effect of German medication in Japan from its arrival to the head of its impact and its abrupt yet transitority cave in on the outbreak of the 1st international War.
Transnational historical past at its best, Doctors of Empire not just illuminates the German origins of recent clinical technology in Japan but additionally reinterprets the character of German imperialism in East Asia.
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Extra info for Doctors of Empire: Medical and Cultural Encounters between Imperial Germany and Meiji Japan
Chapter 1 Same Bed, Different Dreams It was a hot and humid summer day in August 1871. Describing his first meeting with Japanese medical students at Tōkō [East College] of Daigaku1 in Tokyo, the predecessor of the prestigious Tokyo Imperial University, Leopold Müller, the first German army staff physician (Oberstabarzt) dispatched to Japan as a professor of medicine, recalls that he had the bizarre impression of entering a synagogue:2 In our first visit of the school, around 300 students were introduced to us; they were sitting in a series of halls with ten to sixteen students at a table, with each one having a hibachi (a small Japanese table heater) and a smoking pipe.
The Japanese were drawn to Germany because of its superb medical science, not the other way around. But the final consummation of the marriage was possible only because Germany became a willing bride of this arrangement based upon its own political agenda and ambitions. Between Rational Choice and Imperial Conduit: The Arrival of German Physicians The “opening” of Japan by the unwelcome visit of four American battleships in 1853 opened a can of worms for the Japanese. Being insulated from external communication and exchanges meant that Japan had been relatively safe from outbreaks of seasonal infectious diseases going around in the world, but the coming of the “barbarians” (from the perspective of the Japanese) brought along undesirable germs as well.
In close collaboration with the Japanese court physician Matsumoto Ryōjun (also known as Matsumoto Jun) as a translator-cum-assistant, van Meerdervoort set up a full-fledged medical school in Nagasaki with a group of twelve Japanese students. Van Meerdervoort’s medical prowess was admirable; he showcased two dissections in September and November of 1859 and decisively influenced the treatment of cholera outbreaks in Nagasaki and Edo in 1860. 58 It is anyone’s guess what van Meerdervoort would have eventually achieved if the Tokugawa shogunate did not collapse in 1867 and had continued to support his medical education with more resources and personnel.