1st Edition

Science, Technology, and Medicine in the Modern Japanese Empire

Edited By David G. Wittner, Philip C Brown Copyright 2016
    312 Pages 22 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    302 Pages 22 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Science, technology, and medicine all contributed to the emerging modern Japanese empire and conditioned key elements of post-war development. As the only emerging non-Western country that was a colonial power in its own right, Japan utilized these fields not only to define itself as racially different from other Asian countries and thus justify its imperialist activities, but also to position itself within the civilized and enlightened world with the advantages of modern science, technologies, and medicine.

    This book explores the ways in which scientists, engineers and physicians worked directly and indirectly to support the creation of a new Japanese empire, focussing on the eve of World War I and linking their efforts to later post-war developments. By claiming status as a modern, internationally-engaged country, the Japanese government was faced with having to control pathogens that might otherwise not have threatened the nation. Through the use of traditional and innovative techniques, this volume shows how the government was able to fulfil the state’s responsibility to protect society to varying degrees. The contributors push the field of the history of science, technology and medicine in Japan in new directions, raising questions about the definitions of diseases, the false starts in advancing knowledge, and highlighting the very human nature of fields which, on the surface, seem to non-specialists to be highly rational.

    Challenging older interpretative tendencies, this book highlights the vigour of the field and the potential for future development. Therefore, it will be of huge interest to students and scholars of Japanese history, Asian history, the history of science and technology and the history of medicine.

    Introduction Part I: Science, Technology and Industry in the Creation of a New Japan 1 "Coke, Christ, and the Japanese Empire" Aleksandra Kobiljski 2 Academia-Industry Relations: Interpreting the Role of Nagai Nagayoshi in the Development of New Businesses in the Meiji Period and Beyond Julia Yongue 3 An Emperor’s Chemist at War and in Peacetime: Sakurai Jōji during the Russo-Japanese and First World Wars Yoshiyuki Kikuchi Part II: State, Experts and Imperial Medical Policy 4 Cholera, Buddhism, and Public Health: The Story of an Ephemeral Chimera in Meiji Japan William Johnston 5 Freedom of the Press during the Siberian Intervention: The Taisho Democracy and the Influenza Pandemic of 1918 Sumiko Otsubo 6 The Politics of Manic Depression in the Japanese Empire Janice Matsumura 7 A Colony or A Sanitarium? : A Comparative History of Segregation Politics of Hansen’s disease in Modern Japan Waka Hirokawa 8 "The Are Not Humans": Responses to Hōjō Tamio and Patient Writing Kathryn Tanaka Part III: Medicine, Race, and Empire 9 Dr. Baelz’s Mongolian Spot: The Contribution of German Medicine to the Racial Discourse in Meiji Japan Rotem Kowner 10 When Precision Obscures: Disease Categories Related to Cholera during the Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895) Roberto Padilla 11 Kampō in Wartime Sino-Japanese Relations: The Association of East Asian Medicine and the Search for a Tripartite Medical Partnership Norihito Mizuno Part IV: Scientific Weapons and the Transformation of Pacific War Aims 12 The Question of Research in Pre-WWII Japanese Physics Itō Kenji 13 Architects of ABC Weapons for the Japanese Empire: microbiologists and theoretical physicists Tomoko Steen 14 The Science of Population and Birth Control in Postwar Japan Aya Homei Afterword "Is There Anything Unique About Modern Japanese Science?" James R. Bartholomew


    David G. Wittner is a professor of East Asian history and Director of the Center for Historical Research at Utica College, USA.

    Philip C. Brown is a professor at the Ohio State University, USA, specializing in early modern and modern Japanese history.