Article ID: CBB001214339

Translating Medical Knowledge: Japan's First Medical Journal---Taisei Meii Iko (2012)


Takayanagi, Hideko (Author)
Jannetta, Ann Bowman (Author)
Asami, Ryuji (Author)
Nakamura, Ellen Gardner (Author)
Abe, Osamu (Author)
Kitagawa, Hiroyuki (Author)
Miyajima, Toshihiro (Author)
Iryu, Yasufumi (Author)

Historia Scientiarum: International Journal of the History of Science Society of Japan
Volume: 22, no. 2
Issue: 2
Pages: 68-87

Publication Date: 2012
Edition Details: Lead article in a special issue, “Social History of Medicine in Modern Japan”
Language: English

In the nineteenth century, European medical journals promoted a new form of medical writing that sped the transmission of new knowledge to a larger audience than ever before. These early jounals reported the experiences, controversies, and conclusions of medical practitioners interested in solving a wide range of practical medical problems. Written in vernacular languages, rather than Latin, the jounals published short essays on many topics of contemporary interest. These essays, or articles, were translated and republised in the vernacular languages of neighboring countries, and sent abroad to advise medical practitioners in European colonies and beyond. The medical jounal became an effective vehicle of transmission of new medical knowledge to individuals and communities throughout the world. In Japan, western medical texts - books and journals - became increasingly available after 1800 in response to a growing interest in western medical knowledge among Japanese physicians. By the 1830s physician-translators dedicated to promoting western medicine in Japan were producing a great number of western medical texts in Japanese translation. This article assesses Japan's first medical jounal, Taisei meii iko (A Compendium of Articles by Renowned Western Doctors), published between 1836 and 1842. It examines the special role of the jounal's editor Mitsukuri Genpo in conceiving and establishing the journal, as well as the contributors of other physicians. We introduce a bibliography of the western medical writings chosen by the jounal's editor for translation and publication in Taisei meii ijo in an annotated appendix. We find that Janan's rangaku scholars had a sophisticated understanding of contemporary medical trends and therapies in Europe, and a surprising knowledge of the recently-developed drug therapies and advanced surgical techniques that marked the global transformation of medical and scientific knowledge in the nineteenth century.


Description Contents:

Includes Series Articles

Article Sato, Masahiro (2012) Popularization of Psychiaric Knowledge in Modern Japan at the Turn of the Twentieth Century: Focusing on the Newspaper Coverage of Mental Disorders. Historia Scientiarum: International Journal of the History of Science Society of Japan (pp. 110-124). unapi

Article Bay, Alexander R. (2012) Nation from the Bottom up: Disease, Toilets and Waste Management in Prewar Japan. Historia Scientiarum: International Journal of the History of Science Society of Japan (pp. 142-158). unapi

Article Burns, Susan L. (2012) Relocating Psychiatric Knowledge: Meiji Psychiatrists, Local Culture(s), and the Problem of Fox Possession. Historia Scientiarum: International Journal of the History of Science Society of Japan (pp. 88-109). unapi

Article Rie, Hogetsu (2012) From the Laboratory to the Kitchen: The Oral History of Nutrition and Its Application to the History of Science. Historia Scientiarum: International Journal of the History of Science Society of Japan (pp. 125-141). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Heck, André
Houziaux, Léo
Kuriyama, Shigehisa
Watanabe, Junsei
Despeaux, Sloan Evans
Gross, Alan G.
Centaurus: International Magazine of the History of Mathematics, Science, and Technology
Mémoires de la Classe des sciences. Académie Royale de Belgique
History of Psychiatry
Sciamvs: Sources and Commentaries in Exact Sciences
Annals of Science: The History of Science and Technology
Journal of the History of the Neurosciences
Palgrave Macmillan
Periodicals; serials
Communication within scientific contexts
Publishers and publishing
Paşa, Hüseyin Tevfik Vidinli
Lockyer, Joseph Norman
Rutherford, Ernest, 1st Baron
Winslow, Lyttleton Forbes
Wakley, Thomas
Gorō, Kashida
Time Periods
19th century
20th century
18th century
20th century, early
Meiji period (Japan, 1868-1910)
Qing dynasty (China, 1644-1912)
Great Britain
United States
Ottoman Empire
Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (Brazil)
American Astronomical Society
Royal Astronomical Society
Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
Royal Society of London

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