Book Announcement: Science, Technology and Medicine in the Modern Japanese Empire

scitechDavid G. Wittner and Philip C. Brown, eds., Science, Technology, and Medicine in the Modern Japanese Empire (Routledge Studies in the Modern History of Asia) has just been released by Routledge Press.

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.

CONTENTS

Introduction
DAVID G. WITTNER AND PHILIP C. BROWN

1 On Science and Faith in the Life of a Meiji Engineer

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 S. YONGUE

3 An Emperor’s Chemist in War and Peace: Sakurai Jo – ji during the
Russo-Japanese War and World War I
YOSHIYUKI KIKUCHI

4 Buddhism contra Cholera: How the Meiji state recruited religion
against epidemic disease
WILLIAM D. JOHNSTON

5 The Influenza Pandemic of 1918, Taisho- Democracy and
Freedom of the Press during the Siberian Intervention

SUMIKO OTSUBO

6 The Politics of Manic Depression in the Japanese Empire

JANICE MATSUMURA

7 A Colony or a Sanitorium?: A comparative history of segregation politics of Hansen’s disease in modern Japan

WAKA HIROKAWA

8 “They are not human”: Hansen’s disease and medical responses to Ho- jo- Tamio
KATHRYN M. TANAKA

9 Dr. Baelz’s Mongolian Spot: German medicine, discourse of race in Meiji Japan, and the local response 000
ROTEM KOWNER

10 When Precision Obscures: Disease categories related to cholera during the Sino-Japanese War (1894–1895) 000
ROBERTO PADILLA

11 Kampo- in Wartime Sino-Japanese Relations: The Association of East Asian Medicine and the search for a tripartite medical partnership
MIZUNO NORIHITO

12 The Question of Research in Prewar Japanese Physics
KENJI ITO

13 Architects of ABC Weapons for the Japanese Empire: Microbiologists and theoretical physicists
TOMOKO Y. STEEN

14 The Science of Population and Birth Control in Post-war Japan
AYA HOMEI

Afterword: Is there anything unique about modern Japanese science?
JAMES R. BARTHOLOMEW

 

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About Paula

Paula lives in the vortex of graduate life. She studies medieval Japanese history.
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