Iranian Journal of Public Health 2018. 47(1):57-64.

A Comparative Study on Acceptance and Distribution of Modern Medical Care in Japanese Colonies
Do-Hyung KIM, Eun-Young PARK



Background: The propagation of modern medicine in the colonies has often been described in terms of modernism and nationalism, focusing on the action-reaction conflict with colonial power, but the propagation of modem medical care and hygiene in colonial Chosun seems not to be explained by this perspective. So how can we explain this aspect? Answering this question could provide new implications for the many controversies surrounding the “colonial modern" acceptance.

Methods: In order to examine the pattern of colonial acceptance of modern medicine, three cases of Britain and India, Japan and Taiwan, Japan and Chosun were set and compared, and the characteristics of colony Chosun were examined in-depth.

Results: The existence of the 'traditional medicine doctors' who played an important role in the dissemination of public health in colonial Chosun can be explained from the understanding of the identity of Confucian intellectuals who played a role in the traditional Chosun society.

Conclusion: The proliferation of modern medicine in the colonies has often been explained in terms of modernism and nationalism; however, the acceptance of a modern sanitary system in colony Chosun has been influenced by the traditional elements of the society. When considering these factors, the relationship between colonialists and the colonized society can be examined from a more interrelated perspective.




Modern medical care, Civilization, Japanese colonies, Traditional medicine

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