Article ID: CBB679667777

Blood, Soy Milk, and Vitality: The Wartime Origins of Blood Banking in China, 1943–45 (2016)


This article examines the multiple meanings of blood transfusion and banking in modern China through the history of the first Chinese blood bank, established by the Overseas Chinese in 1943 to solicit blood for the war effort. Through investigating the attitudes of Chinese soldiers and civilians toward the blood bank, this article argues for the multiplicity of motivations underpinning society’s attitudes toward blood banking and donation. Cultural notions of blood were an important but not the sole factor in their consideration. Ideas of nationalism and altruism played a role too. What eventually turned out to be most effective for most donors was the promise of eggs and soy milk for blood. Its economic value in the context of wartime scarcity was enough for many to abandon opposition to blood banking. By drawing attention to socioeconomic concerns in biomedical practices, this article provides an alternative examination of blood banking in modern societies.

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Authors & Contributors
Bangham, Jenny
Oreskes, Naomi
Krige, John
Burns, Susan
Zhao, Dingxin
Glaeser, Andreas
Historia Scientiarum: International Journal of the History of Science Society of Japan
Health and History
Journal of Asian Studies
East Asian Science, Technology and Society: An International Journal
Medicina nei Secoli - Arte e Scienza
History of Psychiatry
University of Chicago
The MIT Press
University of Rochester Press
University of Chicago Press
Springer International
Science and war; science and the military
Blood donors
Blood transfusion
Transmission of ideas
Fisher, Ronald Aylmer
Mao, Zedong
Time Periods
20th century
20th century, late
20th century, early
21st century
19th century
Early modern
Great Britain
United States
East Asia
Australian Red Cross Society
华大基因 (Beijing Institute of Genomics)

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