Showing posts with label Japan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Japan. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Rare pictures of Japanese WW2 POW camps

A couple of rare pictures of Japanese WW2 POW camps for Allied soldiers are up on our Flickr site now - here's one of them - Camp Rules for Tsumori Prison Camp, Osaka, Japan

MAMAS D45-456-12-7

and Fire fighting apparatus, Yodogawa Prison Camp.

MAMAS D45-456-16-12

We have plenty more of these if there's any interest.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

PR: NLM "Turning The Pages" Adds Richly Illustrated Japanese Manuscript

NLM "Turning The Pages" Adds Richly Illustrated Japanese Manuscript, Hanaoka Seishu's Influential Surgical Casebook


The National Library of Medicine, the world's largest medical library and an arm of the National Institutes of Health, announces the addition of Hanaoka Seishu's Surgical Casebook ( to its growing collection of virtual books and manuscripts available for thumbing through online via Turning the Pages ( The virtual volume is also available on kiosks in the Library's Visitor Center (Building 38A, first floor) and the History of Medicine Division Reading Room (Building 38, first floor), and marks the continued collaboration of the Library's Lister Hill Center and the History of Medicine Division.


The newest addition to Turning the Pages is a magnificently illustrated manuscript depicting the likenesses of the men and women who came to Hanaoka for treatment in early 19th-century Japan. It is the first in the collection in which users will turn the pages according to Japanese custom, right to left.



Hanaoka Seishu (1760-1835) was a pioneering Japanese surgeon who was the first to use general anesthesia to remove tumors from cancer patients. The images in the Surgical Casebook are colorful, often charming, and depict quite graphically the medical and surgical problem to be treated.



Hanaoka studied both traditional Chinese-style medicine and Western-style surgical techniques. At age 25, he took over the family business and began to practice an eclectic style of medicine that combined these two traditions. He was greatly concerned with his inability to treat cancer patients, and over a period of 20 years he developed an herbal concoction he called "mafutsusan," made up of several highly toxic plants. It did not include opium derivatives which European doctors were only beginning to identify as anesthetics. The narcotic effects of Hanaoka's anesthetic could last as long as 24 hours, allowing him to surgically remove many different kinds of tumors which previously had been inoperable.



Images from the manuscript were selected and curatorial text was written by Dr. Ann Jannetta, Professor Emerita of History at the University of Pittsburgh. The descriptive text can be viewed if one clicks the "T" in the upper left corner of the virtual book page.



Monday, April 5, 2010

Letter of the Day: April 5

Department of the Interior,
Washington April 5th 1872

Dear Sir,

This Department is desirous of procuring some Indian relics with a view to their presentation to the Japanese Embassy, who have made application for them.

Understanding that you have in your office some articles of this description referred to, which can be probably be procured for the purpose named, I would esteem it a favor to be informed if I have been correctly advised in this premise? If so when the articles can be obtained?

Very respectfully,
Your obt. Serv.
John Delano
Chief Clerk

To this officer, in charge,
“Medical Museum”
10th Street.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Medical Education in 1920s China

There are many reprints in the Carnegie Embryological Collection about medical education in the early 20th century, mainly in the U.S. and Canada. This one, by E. V. Cowdry, is one of a number of similar articles that he wrote after a long trip to China and Japan in the 1920s. In this article he writes about how the schools melded traditional (like the Golden Mirror text here) and western medical practices. In other articles he shows a clear preference for the Japanese style of education for its greater inclusion of western methods. Cowdry started the Anatomy Department at the Peking Union Medical College (Beijing) which incorporated embryological research as well.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Swine flu? How about Spanish flu?

Smith Flu 3: Convalescent pneumoconiosis

In these days of our photographs of the WW1 influenza epidemic appearing in papers (uncredited at times, alas), here's a reminder that you can see all of our photographs from two other epidemics on our website - 1918 Influenza Epidemic and 1957 Influenza Epidemic.

58-15573-67 - Child Gargling Broth, Sagamihara Hospital, Japan, August 9, 1957.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Saipan and Pacific Islands fighting in WW2 on Flickr

Kathleen just loaded a bunch of pictures from the Island campaigns in the Pacific in World War 2. These photos are pretty gruesome and their caption reflect the heated attitude of the time - this is what the photographer wrote and sent back, and not what someone would use to caption a photograph today.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Researchers from Japan lead to news story

Here's a story on a 1954 fisherman whose death the AFIP consulted on: "US sought tissue from dead fisherman after 1954 H-bomb test," Chiba (Japan), Feb 23. Researchers from Japan were in last month, looking at various collections relating to radiation injury and then we got a call from a reporter a few days later.

James Hansen, the person who sent in the case and later donated his records of it, became the director of the AFIP in the 1970s and his daughter is planning on donating his personal papers to us this year. I didn't read the documents (which are in the AFIP Historical Files under "Hansen" for those interested), so I can't vouch for the accuracy of the news story. DeCoursey was on the ground after the atomic bombing of Japan, and took some motion picture footage, so it would make sense that he retained his interest in radiation injuries.