Japanese Medical Presence in the Territory of Construction and Operation of the Chinese Eastern Railway (1897-1922)
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Keywords

Doctors
Health Care
Japanese Community
Medical Practice
Organization of Medical Care
History of Medicine
Chinese Eastern Railway
Manchuria
Russian Far East
Japan

How to Cite

1. Gonchar V., Povolotsky V. Japanese Medical Presence in the Territory of Construction and Operation of the Chinese Eastern Railway (1897-1922) // Journal of Frontier Studies. 2023. № 2 (8). C. 114-132.

Abstract

The article examines Japanese medical practice in the territory of the Chinese Eastern Railway (CER or KVZhD) during its construction and operation. The archival material made it possible to find that the Japanese community was eager to take responsibility for providing medical care to its subjects independently. They achieved this by attracting national physicians whose activities were built on the principles of private medical practice.

The provision of medical care followed the principles of Western medicine, although traditional medicine methods were not excluded. The Russian authorities allowed Japanese doctors to maintain their practice in the Russian-controlled territories, but medical care was provided only to their compatriots, as well as to the Chinese and Korean population. However, the activities of Japanese doctors were treated with distrust and wariness in Russian society, both due to the migrants’ low level of education and due to the existing narrative about the so-called “Yellow Peril.”

Another aspect of the activities of Japanese physicians in Manchuria was the familiarization of the local population with European medicine methods. To achieve this, private, public, and charitable Japanese medical institutions were established. The difficult epidemiological situation in Manchuria, sanitary problems, socio-economic problems, requirements of Russian legislation, inter-faith divisions, and language barriers raised issues for the territorial communities’ leaders on increasing the availability and quality of health care for their compatriots. The initiatives and proposals of the Japanese community to open public hospitals in Manchuria, centralized medical examinations, strict sanitary procedures, and quarantine measures were supported by the Japanese central authorities. They were considered not only as elements of civilization and colonial ambitions but also as a means of social control not only over Japanese subjects.

https://doi.org/10.46539/jfs.v8i2.430
pdf (Русский)

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